Thursday 13 December 2018

Sustainability key to lasting success, businesses warned

New €1.5m programme to fight climate change by focusing on green finance and low-carbon innovation, writes Fearghal O'Connor

Stephen Nolan, ceo of Sustainable Nation Ireland. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic.
Stephen Nolan, ceo of Sustainable Nation Ireland. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic.

Fearghal O'Connor

A new €1.5m programme aimed at encouraging Irish business to tackle climate change and other sustainability issues will focus on green finance, responsible investment, enterprise innovation and resource efficiency activities.

Ireland's Year of Sustainable Business 2018 is aiming to increase awareness among leading Irish businesses and will focus on both business risks and opportunities as part of a programme that will involve at least 50 events nationwide.

The programme also includes at least eight international events across Europe, the US and China, aimed at informing key markets and target audiences about Ireland's activities in this area. The events will also aim to highlight the strength of Irish companies in the area of sustainability, as well as reinforcing the need to strengthen cross-border collaboration.

"Over the next 12 months, Irish businesses of all sizes will be invited to join us on the journey towards building a sustainable future," said Stephen Nolan, the ceo of Sustainable Nation Ireland, which is organising the programme and which promotes Ireland as an international hub for sustainable finance and low-carbon innovation.

"Inaction on climate and environmental issues is an economic threat to business. Sustainability issues, including climate change, is now a critical agenda item for institutional investors and banks."

Nolan said the events would highlight the huge rewards of building a low-carbon and sustainable global economy.

Approximately 350 companies are already actively producing new low-carbon products and services. In addition, €28bn in green finance capital is also managed, domiciled or listed in Ireland.

"Companies and states that fail to act may find that the capital markets are closed to them, or their cost of borrowing rises, because they are deemed more of a risk. Integrating good environmental practice is a company's best bet for a profitable future, while underpinning our country's economic prosperity," said Nolan.

"With scores of Irish-located companies already global leaders in sustainable business, there is a huge opportunity to drive awareness of responsible investment practices and help Irish business to embed sustainable best practice within its operations."

Sunday Indo Business

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