The New Industrial Revolution - and the Role of Irish SMEs
by Máire Fay

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” In 2022, Benjamin Franklin’s words have never been more meaningful.


As a global society, we’ve known for a long time that the way we live and do business simply isn’t sustainable. Many of us remember being told in school that fossil fuels were finite and that the planet was getting warmer but it seemed a ‘faraway problem’ then. Today we know that this isn’t the case. However, human nature means we can feel inclined to avoid uncomfortable truths - we prefer to avoid the ‘faraway problems’ - or in commerce, we avoid what we perceive to be a threat to how we are used to doing business.


In a 2021 survey commissioned by Dublin Chamber with Amárach Research, we learned that 75% of Irish organisations are less than halfway into their journey of becoming more sustainable, with 36% saying that some steps had been taken but that there was a long way to go. The survey also told us that 70% of respondents did not have a strategy for environmental, social and governance reporting (ESG).


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