Sustainable Nation Ireland Climathon.           
Picture by Shane O'Neill Photography.

Sustainability Skills building capacity for Irish sustainability sector

Sustainable Nation Ireland is tasked by the Irish government with making 2018 The Year of Sustainable Business, which aims to stimulate economic growth in the sustainability sector. Ireland is rapidly becoming an integral part to the global sustainable community.

Ireland’s economy is predicted to grow by 3.6pc in the next year, bringing extra jobs opportunities. Jobs are growing in all sectors, not least the sustainability & environment sectors, with the sector predicting a 37% growth in employment in 2017.

Hiring staff in today’s competitive market is tough, and once hired, employers must make sure their staff have the necessary skills to support business growth. Sustainability Skillnet, promoted by Sustainable Nation, recognises this.

Sustainability Skillnet is a training network set up to develop leadership capacity and staff skills for private sector employees in Ireland. Sustainable Nation has been appointed to promote the courses and provide the information you need.

Companies are increasingly interested in sustainability practices and Sustainability Skillnet has been working to provide quality courses in areas as diverse as responsible financial investment to energy management to construction regulations.

Your company has the opportunity to take courses with the likes of DIT, the PRI Academy and others, which meet the real-life needs of your employees today.

The training networks are a mixture of online and in-class courses. You can request a course here or register your company for membership and start to prepare yourself.

Sustainable practice is no longer optional; it is necessary and at the very core of business thinking and practice, and essential to increase financial and operational performance. New practices require new and innovative skillsets.

Sustainability Skillnet is there to make life easier for your company by making things clearer. Some of the courses available include:

NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building) Policy & Legislation – the New Building Regulations
NZEB is a new EU standard which requires all new buildings to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings by the end of 2020 (and 2018 for governmental buildings). This means that any buildings completed after these dates must achieve the standard irrespective of when they were started.

The NZEB requirements will be Ireland’s building regulations – it is vital that all professionals understand the implications.

As a result, many need to be aware of the new standards. NZEB Policy & Technology is a course designed to develop an understanding of the new standards and emerging technologies that have been put in place. The course is being run in cooperation with DIT and It’ll be worth 5 ECTS and can be put towards a postgraduate certificate in Building Performance through DIT.

Responsible Investment
As the cliché goes, ‘nice guys finish last’, but in today’s market, to do good is to invest smart. Attitudes have made a huge leap over the past few years and investors are starting to see the golden side of being good. Globally, 26% of all assets are invested in responsible investment.

Responsible investment has been consistently growing throughout the world. The most popular investment strategy in Europe is negative/exclusionary strategy. This is when an investor actively excludes certain industries from their investment portfolio because of their damaging effect.

In the US and Canada, ESG Integration dominates. This is when an investor explicitly incorporates environmental, social or governance factors into their portfolios. One of our courses, Responsible Investment Essentials, has been described as the “gold standard of ESG training”.

The Sustainability Skillnet runs three different courses on responsible investment. They aim to introduce new ideas to traditional investment approaches and to illustrate the significance of responsible investment.

Sustainability Skillnet is at the forefront of skills provision for the future of business in Ireland and is already supporting business and industry leaders such as Bank of Ireland, Kingspan, AIB, KPMG, Coillte, ESB and the Irish Green Building Council.

If you/ your company are interested in a course/ topic but don’t see it on our schedule, you can request it here.









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