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Sustainable Business Q1 2024

Embracing sustainability: a strategic imperative for Irish businesses

iStock / Getty Images Plus / JLco - Julia Amaral

Alexa Toomey

Department Manager of Sustainability, Renewable Energy and Agtech, Enterprise Ireland

The international movement for climate action, diversity, equity and corporate accountability has elevated ESG considerations in business strategy.

Irish enterprises must better understand their impact on society and the environment. Sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s essential for success, both environmental and commercial.

Sustainability makes business sense

In an interconnected world, showcasing measurable, transparent sustainability credentials is vital to business success. Blue-chip companies and MNCs, in particular, insist that their suppliers demonstrate robust sustainability plans. These plans outline concrete steps to reduce environmental impact and contribute positively to society.

The workforce of today — and tomorrow — craves purpose-driven employment. Employees under 30 prioritise companies that align with their values. A credible sustainability strategy isn’t just a recruitment tool; it’s a retention strategy. Companies that champion sustainability and ESG create a workplace where purpose meets profit.

Consumers wield immense power. A strong sustainability strategy isn’t merely a badge; it’s a competitive advantage. Irish businesses that integrate sustainability into their DNA resonate with an increasingly expanding pool of conscious consumers.

Companies that champion sustainability and ESG
create a workplace where purpose meets profit.

Sustainability starts with a plan

At Enterprise Ireland, sustainability isn’t an afterthought; it’s woven into our core strategy. We firmly believe that every client — regardless of size or sector — must embrace sustainability.

While carbon reduction is vital, sustainability and ESG are broader than that. It also includes supporting biodiversity, promoting water quality and making the most of the extraordinary opportunities offered by the circular economy. Beyond that, a company must consider its diversity, equity and inclusion policies, its Board and management structure and ethical business practices.

Sustainable strategy kickstart

Enterprise Ireland is here to help at every stage of your sustainability journey, and we have a simple core message ‘Sustainability Starts With A Plan.’ We are working with companies throughout Ireland to provide practical advice and financial support to help them begin to plan now for a more sustainable future.

Our online Sustainability Kickstarter Workshops for Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office clients are a great place to start. The next one takes place on 21 March. We will also be launching our Green Transition webinar series for 2024, with webinars covering several aspects of sustainability, including how to develop a sustainability strategy and plan, sustainability standards, Scope 3 emissions measurement, the ‘S’ in ESG, water stewardship biodiversity and carbon reduction technologies. These webinars feature guidance from experts in sustainability and climate action and are open to all.

Don’t delay starting your sustainability plan. It may seem daunting, but hundreds of businesses are already on the journey and are gaining tangible environmental and commercial benefits.

Learn more about our sustainability supports at enterprise-ireland.com/sustainability

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