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‘Year of Sustainable Business 2018’ unveiled in National Mitigation Plan

With the race on to build a low-carbon and sustainable global economy, the economic opportunity is big. And with many Irish located companies already considered global leaders in sustainable business, Ireland Inc. is already playing its part!

But together we can do more. By further mobilising innovation and investment in Ireland, we can stimulate greater business opportunities for Ireland Inc., both at home and abroad. In doing so, put shape to the economic future we want.

That’s why Ireland’s Year of Sustainable Business 2018, an initiative of Sustainable Nation Ireland, was included in the National Mitigation Plan, the Government’s climate action strategy, presented to Cabinet by Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten.

The National Mitigation Plan says: “Sustainable Nation Ireland is a public-private partnership established to promote Ireland as a hub for sustainable investment and innovation, demonstrate the potential for the private sector to support and develop ideas, innovations and investment strategies to successfully transition Ireland to a low carbon economy.

As part of Government’s IFS2020 Strategy, Sustainable Nation Ireland has been mandated to promote Ireland as an international hub in green finance and will in 2018 undertake a series of initiatives, under the banner as Ireland’s Year of Sustainable Business, to further promote sustainability as a key business imperative, highlight low carbon investment opportunities in Ireland and further underpin Ireland as an emerging green finance hub.”

Sustainable Nation Ireland are delighted to be playing a key part in advancing the climate dialogue between Government and the business sector.

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. Companies and States that fail to act on these issues 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.

That is why the publication of Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan is to be welcomed. It recognises the important role that business will play, and how organisations such as Sustainable Nation can help. It identifies key priorities that ensure government policy develops in a way that provides both an enabling environment for businesses, while supporting the deployment of private sector investment at a significant scale.

Recognizing the link between policy certainty, enterprise innovation and the mobilization of private sector investment in meeting Ireland’s national decarbonization targets, the Year of Sustainable Business 2018 activities will build on existing and successful programmes already been delivered by Sustainable Nation. Cutting across skills, green finance, responsible investment, enterprise innovation and resource efficiency activities these programmes have been delivered in collaboration with the EU’s Climate-KIC platform, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainability Skillnet and the UN Principles of Responsible Investment.

Existing programme corporate partner examples include AIB, Coillte, KPMG, Greencoat Capital, Mediolanum, ESB, Irish Life Investment Managers, BCP Asset Managers, Gaelectric, Kingspan, McCann Fitzgerald’s, Mainstream Renewable Power, Beauchamps, Amarenco and Bilfinger.

If you have an idea for inclusion in the 2018 programme please register your comments here.

**The full programme of the Year of Sustainable Business 2018 will be announced at this year’s annual Sustainability Gathering, 20th November.

Next year will see a programme of events and initiatives that celebrate, showcase and support the role Irish businesses are playing in transforming Ireland into a low-carbon economy.

Read Sustainable Nation’s submission to the National Mitigation Plan here.

Main image: Enterprise panel at the 2016 Sustainability Gathering. (L to R): Jim Fitzharris, Smurfit Kappa Group; Seemab Sheikh, Embassy of Denmark in Ireland; Tom Mitchell, Director Climate-KIC UK and Ireland; Ronan Furlong, DCU Alpha Innovation Campus; Christine Boyle, Synergy.
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