Green vision for Irish businesses set out at Green Business National Conference

Finance | Wed 10 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
Green Business
Pictured at the Green Business National Conference are (L-R) Dr Shane Colgan (EPA), Keiron Phillips (EPA), Anne Murphy (Ibec) and James Hogan (Green Business)

Irish companies are currently failing to explore the multitude of financing and funding available to ‘green’ their businesses.

Green Business is a free and confidential resource efficiency service for all types of SMEs in Ireland.

The service is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the National Waste Prevention Programme, with the objective of delivering substantive resource efficiency improvements and cost savings, through waste prevention and reductions in water and energy consumption.

At the national conference, held at Killashee House Hotel and organised by Green Business and Ibec, James Hogan and a number of other speakers outlined and demonstrated the range of financial supports available to businesses, and how this can, in turn, create massive cost savings.

“Businesses should look first for the hidden finances within their own business as many companies are wasting money through resource inefficiencies. Simple changes in practices and operations can achieve significant savings,” said Hogan.

Dr Shane Colgan of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also announced that businesses could avail of a new round of funding of approx. €400,000 over two years under the EPA’s Green Enterprise programme.

He commented: “Through this programme, the EPA provides direct support to organisations to develop greener ways to operate. We welcome applications from manufacturers, service providers and social enterprises and hope that an increasing awareness of the energy and money savings that can be achieved from green practices will drive interest and applications for this funding.”

Gerard Cleary of Glenisk who was among the speakers described how his company are achieving energy savings of approximately 3% (€600,000) of its annual turnover of €20m.

“Our success as a green business is an accumulation of small achievements over time, it wasn’t one big idea. One of our markers of success is how our brand is perceived in the Irish market and we have been very conscious of our approach and how we communicated our environmental efforts to our customers. We would encourage businesses to seek out not just financial assistance and funding supports but consultancy from programmes such as Green Business and the EPA’s Green Enterprise Funds to explore all the positive benefits to the environment and their business’ bottom line,” said Cleary.