Feature Article

Dear ,

 

Welcome to the inaugural Dublin Chamber Enterprise Europe Network Sustainability newsletter, this monthly newsletter aims to keep you up to date with the latest news in sustainability, from both an Irish and European perspective.

 

This newsletter will also address critical topics and challenges facing Irish businesses as they transition to a more sustainable business model, and the various supports available from Dublin Chamber to assist with this.

 

We are interested to hear any feedback you may have on the content and indeed any future content you would like to see. To leave your feedback on the sustainability newsletter please email: maria@dublinchamber.ie.

 

The Dublin Chamber Team


Upcoming Events
 

The Dublin Chamber Sustainability Academy sponsored by AIB is a skills initiative with one goal - to help firms become environmentally sustainable and as a result become more competitive, resilient and successful.

 

Our online short courses were developed to help you learn your business sustainability 'Why'. Through these courses, we provide you with the tools and knowledge to make impactful change while also growing your business and reputation.

 

May's upcoming workshop on Carbon Footprint Management will enable you to understand the core principles of Carbon Footprinting. You will learn how to measure and report the impacts of your operation and how to take action. 

 

For more information and to book, click here


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).

 

Read the full article here.

 


AIB Leading By Example
 

Like many Dublin Chamber members, AIB has committed to reducing the carbon emissions from our own operations to net zero by 2030. This is just one of many steps the bank is taking to support Ireland’s transition to a low carbon future.  

 

We will all have to play our part in reducing our carbon emissions to net zero. At AIB we are leading by example and were the first Irish bank to pledge to operate as carbon neutral by 2030, using a “net zero’’ approach. That means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible - through elimination of carbon rather than offsetting it.  Within our own operations we are making steady progress and have reduced our own emissions by 40% since 2014 and a 19% reduction on 2021 versus 2020 alone.


As Ireland’s largest financial services provider we also have a responsibility to our customers and country to lead the way in the fight against climate change. In doing our part to help achieve this, we have put sustainability at the heart of our strategy at AIB.

 

Our ambition is that green and transition lending should account for 70% of overall new lending by 2030 as we aim to play a significant role in helping the Government and European Union meet their carbon reduction targets. 

 

Every day we are working hard to support our customers in their transition to a low carbon future, with green lending options available to mortgage borrowers and personal customers, large corporates and SMEs.  An example of this support is our sponsorship of the Dublin Chamber Sustainability Academy, which brings practical training and insights to participating businesses for their sustainability journey.

 

We want to ensure a greener tomorrow by backing those who are building it today.

 

We doubled our Climate Action Fund to €10bn, due to strong customer demand. The fund was originally launched in 2019 with a target of lending €1bn per annum for green lending over five years. Having comfortably exceeded this annual target for two years, it is now €2bn with Green Lending accounting for 19% of all new lending in 2021.

 

And our Energy, Climate Action and Infrastructure lending continued to be both the fastest growing book and the best performing loan book in AIB, underlining that banking green can also deliver resilient sustainable returns. 

 

Our support in helping Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy also extends to our charity partners. Reducing food waste has been recognised as the single biggest individual solution to reverse the effects of climate change. This is why our longstanding partnership with social enterprise FoodCloud is so important to us.

 

Together, these AIB initiatives can help play a role in reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse gas emissions released in to the atmosphere. It is a good start, but we have a lot more to do.

Circular Economy Bill Approved by Cabinet
 

The Circular Economy Bill, which has been published by the government, will underpin Ireland’s shift from a “take-make-waste” linear model to a more sustainable pattern of production and consumption that will instead minimise waste to help significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

 

In a circular economy, waste and resource use are minimised. The use and value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. When a product has reached the end of its life its parts are used again and again – to create further useful products, instead of being discarded which is an all too familiar pattern now.

 

The Circular Economy Bill:

  • Defines the Circular Economy for the first time in Irish domestic law
  • Incentivises the use of reusable and recyclable alternatives to a range of wasteful single-use disposable packaging and other items
  • Re-designates the existing Environment Fund as a Circular Economy Fund, which will remain ring-fenced to provide support for environmental and circular economy projects

  • Introduces a mandatory segregation and incentivised charging regime for commercial waste, similar to what exists for the household market. This will increase waste separation and support increased re-cycling rates
  • Provides for the GDPR-compliant use of a range of technologies, such as CCTV for waste enforcement purposes. This will support efforts to tackle illegal dumping and littering, while protecting the privacy rights of citizens
  • Places the Circular Economy Strategy and National Food Loss Prevention Roadmap on a statutory footing, establishing a legal requirement for governments to develop and periodically update these two policies
  • Streamlines the national processes for End-of-Waste and By-Products decisions, tackling the delays which can be encountered by industry, and supporting the availability of recycled secondary raw materials in the Irish market
  • Consolidates the government’s policy of keeping fossil fuels in the ground – by introducing prohibitions on exploration for and extraction of coal, lignite and oil shale
EU Green Week 2022 - May 30th - June 5th
 

EU Green Week 2022 will take place from 30 May to 5 June 2022

 

EU Green Week is an annual opportunity to debate European environmental policy with policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. This year's edition focuses on the European Green Deal - the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

 

The Green Week hybrid conference opens on 30 May with a high-level debate on what happens to the EU environmental policy in times of crisis. The following day, three important aspects of the transformation – circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity, will be in the spotlight. Throughout the week, partner events will be taking place across Europe and beyond.

 

The registration is now open. If you wish to attend the EU Green Week 2022 conference, please complete the registration form below.


50:50 Chance of Global Temperature Temporarily Reaching 1.5°C Threshold
by WMO - 09/05/2022
 

Geneva, 9 May 2022 (WMO) - There is a 50:50 chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial level for at least one of the next five years – and the likelihood is increasing with time, according to a new climate update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

 

There is a 93% likelihood of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record and dislodging 2016 from the top ranking. The chance of the five-year average for 2022-2026 being higher than the last five years (2017-2021) is also 93%, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, produced by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, the WMO lead centre for such predictions.


The annual update harnesses the expertise of internationally acclaimed climate scientists and the best prediction systems from leading climate centres around the world to produce actionable information for decision-makers.

 

The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero.  For the years between 2017 and 2021, there was a 10% chance of exceedance. That probability has increased to nearly 50% for the 2022-2026 period.

 

“This study shows – with a high level of scientific skill – that we are getting measurably closer to temporarily reaching the lower target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The 1.5°C figure is not some random statistic. It is rather an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and indeed the entire planet,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

 

“For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise. And alongside that, our oceans will continue to become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise and our weather will become more extreme. Arctic warming is disproportionately high and what happens in the Arctic affects all of us,” said Prof. Taalas.

 

The Paris Agreement sets long-term goals to guide all nations to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 °C while pursuing efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5 °C.

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that climate-related risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5 °C than at present, but lower than at 2 °C.

Dr Leon Hermanson, of the Met Office led the report. He said: “Our latest climate predictions show that continued global temperature rise will continue, with an even chance that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will exceed 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. A single year of exceedance above 1.5 °C does not mean we have breached the iconic threshold of the Paris Agreement, but it does reveal that we are edging ever closer to a situation where 1.5 °C could be exceeded for an extended period.”

 

In 2021, the global average temperature was 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial baseline, according to the provisional WMO report on the State of the Global Climate. The final State of the Global Climate report for 2021 will be released on 18 May.

 

Back-to-back La Niña events at the start and end of 2021 had a cooling effect on global temperatures, but this is only temporary and does not reverse the long-term global warming trend. Any development of an El Niño event would immediately fuel temperatures, as it did in 2016, which is until now the warmest year on record.

 

The findings of the annual update include:

  • The annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2022 and 2026 is predicted to be between 1.1 °C and 1.7 °C higher than preindustrial levels (the average over the years 1850-1900).
  • The chance of global near-surface temperature exceeding 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels at least one year between 2022 and 2026 is about as likely as not (48%). There is only a small chance (10%) of the five-year mean exceeding this threshold.
  • The chance of at least one year between 2022 and 2026 exceeding the warmest year on record, 2016, is 93%. The chance of the five-year mean for 2022-2026 being higher than the last five years (2017-2021) is also 93%.
  • The Arctic temperature anomaly, compared to the 1991-2020 average, is predicted to be more than three times as large as the global mean anomaly when averaged over the next five northern hemisphere extended winters.
  • There is no signal for the El Niño Southern Oscillation for December-February 2022/23, but the Southern Oscillation index is predicted to be positive in 2022.
  • Predicted precipitation patterns for 2022 compared to the 1991-2020 average suggest an increased chance of drier conditions over southwestern Europe and southwestern North America, and wetter conditions in northern Europe, the Sahel, north-east Brazil, and Australia.
  • Predicted precipitation patterns for the May to September 2022-2026 average, compared to the 1991-2020 average, suggest an increased chance of wetter conditions in the Sahel, northern Europe, Alaska and northern Siberia, and drier conditions over the Amazon.
  • Predicted precipitation patterns for the November to March 2022/23-2026/27 average, compared to the 1991-2020 average, suggest increased precipitation in the tropics and reduced precipitation in the subtropics, consistent with the patterns expected from climate warming.

Press release first published byWMO on the 9th May 2022 - Full release can be found here

Blue Internationalisation Programme for SMEs
 

FANBEST is an EU funded Blue Economy Programme aimed to foster the technology transfer to SMEs in blue biotechnology and exploitation of marine resources by creating a network of public and private entities focused on the fundraising that makes possible the start and scale-up phase.

 

The internationalisation programme is focused on businesses within the Blue Economy sectors (aquaculture, blue biotechnology, use of marine resources, coastal tourism, marine renewable energy, etc.) looking to expand globally. The programme will select up to 5 businesses across the European Atlantic Area which will receive up to 10,000 EUR worth of support to help them grow global. The support will include strategy planning, export readiness assessment, market research and identification, all leading to a tailored market visits to their identified market.

 

This is a great opportunity for SMEs from across the European Atlantic Area looking to get their businesses to the next stage.

 

More information about the eligibility requirements and how to apply can be found here.

 

Applications are open until 27th May midnight.


Have Your Say: Sustainability Survey with Amárach Research
 

Dublin Chamber in partnership with Amárach Research will be launching our 2022 Sustainability Survey. The survey will assess companies' needs and requirements around sustainability. The survey will also influence upcoming policies in the Chamber.   

 

Once the survey is launched we will be asking businesses to complete the survey and have their say. Watch this space!


More News
Dublin Tech Summit Partnership
 

Dublin Chamber is delighted to be partnering with this year's Dublin Tech Summit as it returns to the iconic RDS venue on the 15th & 16th of June 2022

 

Dublin Tech Summit is one of Europe's mostinfluential and fast-growing B2B tech events. The summit will bring together some of the world’s most influential thought leaders to Dublin for two days of the latest trends, knowledge sharing, networking, and innovation. 


Want to Feature your Company on Radio?
 

If you're a new member or have some exciting business news you want to promote, as a Dublin Chamber member you can avail of our radio interview slot with Dublin City FM

 

Contact claire@dublinchamber.ie to enquire about availability.