This is the second in a series of semi-regular, semi-structured updates on recent activity in the Irish impact investing, innovation, sustainability, and SDG community.
Next week is a big week in the sustainability calendar, as we mark Earth Day 2021, between April 20–22. It’s a great opportunity as a business leader to think about the ways you can reduce your negative ESG impacts, and there’s some really helpful resources available. Here’s two for starters; first, check out Project Drawdown, a free library of practical solutions you can implement today in your organisation to reduce resources, increase carbon sinks, and improve society; second, there’s a new Sustainable Energy Community operating in Ireland that focuses on helping IT and tech-oriented businesses tackle the challenges of de-carbonising — lot’s of useful tools in there, and an active network of peers. Check out TechiesGoGreen.
Next, here’s a quick round-up of some interesting resources and events that caught my eye in the last few weeks:
- In my last update, I mentioned that Enterprise Ireland were recruiting a Manager for their new Climate Action Department; they’ve been busy again on the sustainability front, running a series of webinars on the theme of “Ready for a Green Future”; OK, so the “Green for Ireland” and “Green for Sustainability” trope is a bit heavy-handed, but I’m impressed (as always!) by how quickly EI’s team in overseas markets respond to changing business environment. This webinar hosted by the French and German offices was particularly good, featuring MagGrow, AMCS, and the Irish Green Building Council.
- Second one from EI; they’ve partnered again with the National Ploughing Association to run the Innovation Arena competition at the 2021 Ploughing Championships; they’re looking for early-stage teams tackling challenges in the AgTech sector, and this year the focus is on solutions that have the potential to lower the carbon footprint in the sector: closing date for applications is June 30th, details at https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/events/ourevents/innovationarena/about.html
- There was some excellent news from TCD last week, with the announcement of Prof Linda Doyle as the next Provost of the University — the first time in the four century history of the institution that there won’t be a man in charge… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ In the run-up to the election, a group of TCD staff held a hustings on the future of TCD, with regard to sustainability — great report on the event here, and some intriguing questions posed to the candidates.
- Something a little different: the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications recently launched a Creative Climate Action Fund, and has an open call for collaborative applications. I think this is so necessary, as we’re not going to overcome the numerous environmental and societal challenges that face us through technology alone — we need storytellers, communicators, and community builders, and the creative arts industry in Ireland has an important role in this.
- On that note, DCU have recently launched the Centre for Climate and Society: the focus here is to develop research that is less focused on “hard science” facts, and more on the role played by policy, politics in general, the media, and education. This is basically the “heart” guy from Captain Planet: that show was light years ahead of its time…
- Last, but not least: CIRCULÉIRE — (The National Platform for Circular Manufacturing), will soon be opening the third call for demonstrator projects under their Innovation Fund. The projects should support CIRCULÉIRE’s mission of demystifying, de-risking, and delivering circular business model innovation for Irish industry. There’s some detail on previously successful projects at https://circuleire.ie/circuleire-2020-innovation-fund-awards-announced/, any you can fire any queries to email@example.com
That’s all for this update: please do get in touch if you want to give some feedback, or to suggest something for the next edition; I’d also love to hear if anyone implements any of the suggestions above for Earth Day! :)