- The Strategic Development Goals and Your Business
- Controlled Demand Reduction
- SEAI: Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme
- Govt Schemes And Resources For Retailers
- Government Has Approved Grants For Businesses Seeking To Install Solar PV Panels
- Chambers Ireland Sustainability Grants Of €4,000
- Energy Efficient Grant For Small Business
- ESB: Beat The Peak Initiatives
- Packing Recycling Offer (Free) from Siopashop
- Energy Supports For Business – Check out Funding & Information Supports
- Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme Back For 2023
The Strategic Development Goals And Your Business
The Strategic Development Goals Summit
This September marks the mid-point of implementing the 17 Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda agreed in 2015, and will see Heads of State and Government gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow-up and review the implementation.
The Summit will carry out a comprehensive review of the state of the SDGs, respond to the impact of multiple and interlocking crises facing the world, and provide high-level political guidance on accelerated actions leading up to the 2030 deadline for achieving the SDGs. The outcome of the Summit will be a negotiated political declaration.
Supporting the SDGs
Supporting and working towards the SDGs is a key focus for Chambers Ireland and will require business and wider society to seek new solutions to achieve the SDGs. The SDGs also offer new business opportunities, and to seize these opportunities requires new methods of approaching issues and the need to look at upskilling our teams. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (Goal 9) and Climate Action (Goal 13) are just two key goals that will impact business.
Taking these two Goals as an example, Chambers Ireland and ourselves here at the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber are working in partnership with Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate and Community Action (IKC3) to responding to upskilling needs. Recently established by the Government’s Future Jobs Initiative and funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Human Capital Initiative 3 (HCI3), IKC3 are also guest judges for this year’s Sustainable Business Impact Awards Chambers Ireland will be hosting on 14th September in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin Airport. See details below.
IKC3 is led by led by Munster Technological University in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin and involves a wide network of partners, companies and civic and social innovators. In forthcoming editions, we will be providing members with insights from our IKC3 partners with briefings on a wide range of sustainability-related topics and trends.
Good for Business?
So, what are the SDGs and what opportunities are there for business? The SDGs comprise of 17 Goals and were launched by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 and act as a shared framework for managing sustainable development on a global scale. Many larger organisations are already aligning their strategies to the SDGs, but the role for SMEs, making up more than 90% of all businesses worldwide, will be critical in advancing the Goals.
Companies who have taken steps to incorporate some of the Goals into their activities report a range of benefits across their business, including increasing profit margins and savings, growing their customer base by attracting sustainably-minded consumers, winning new contracts by appealing to businesses looking to implement a more sustainable supply chains and Improving employee retention by working towards a common goal.
Familiarising yourself with targets and indicators that sit behind each Goal is your starting point. Here is an opportunity to see how the SDGs might impact on your business, and naturally, identify market opportunities to take into consideration when looking at your strategy and planning, the options available to you and where best to make investments. Asking your colleagues whether your customers might pay more for your offering if it was produced more sustainably, or asking them to consider how you might enhance processes to decrease emissions is a good start. A ‘yes / maybe’ to these types of questions could indicate there is potential to increase profits and make cost savings, and a compelling reason to revisit your planning.
The Chambers Ireland SDG Toolkit for Business provides you with an ‘at a glance’ guide to getting started, whether you are large or small business, and includes advice on key steps on how to get started:
- Mobilise – get to grips with the SDG fundamentals, lead a discussion and generate initial interest to explore further, seek support from senior management.
- Assemble – ask for volunteers from different sections of the business to form a working group and begin to brainstorm initial ideas.
- Assess – gather information on how the SDGs affect your sector, look at best practice elsewhere. Consider aligning with key trends shaping your sector and the wider market.
- Prioritise – draw up a list of issues and possible solutions and agree as a team which ones you will prioritise, balancing needs and wants, and set out what you will seek to achieve.
- Plan – develop a plan of how you will achieve prioritised activities, the resources you will require, the support from managers, consider upskilling and report good news as you progress.
Have undertaken this preparation you can begin to roll out activity, measure and evaluate your progress and look to how you can learn and improve on future activity. The important message is to make a start, even if only small steps to begin with.
Skills for Sustainability
Achieving specific Goals, such as addressing climate change and sustainability, will most likely require you and your team to gain new skills. ‘Skills for sustainability is fast becoming an in-demand skillset,’ says Dr Helena McMahon, Head of IKC3, ‘identifying the skills and knowledge needs of business and developing flexible, university-accredited programmes to help business make the transition to net zero is at the core of what we do. We have already developed a range accredited programmes which have proved popular, but we are very much in listening mode and welcome input from business about their knowledge needs. This will help us to respond quickly in developing flexible programmes that will have an immediate impact on embedding sustainability with the business and support those looking to accelerate a career in sustainability.’
Find out more
Further details about the annual Sustainable Business Impact Awards can be found at the chambers.ie site where you can also download the SDG Toolkit, a useful guide highlighting other steps you can take in embedding the SDGs in your business. See chambers.ie/sustainable-development-goals/
if you are looking to upskill your team or yourself through accredited programmes or, wish to arrange an informal discussion about sustainability skills needs for you or your organisation, contact David Williamson, Industry Liaison, at IKC3.ie or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Controlled Demand Reduction
What is Controlled Demand Reduction?
When there is a generation shortfall on the electricity system, ESB Networks, as directed by EirGrid will have to reduce electricity demand and this will result in temporary outages for some customers.Any temporary outages will be spread as evenly as possible to minimise outage times for individual customers. This will be an emergency action required at short notice when there is insufficient generation available to meet demand. This response is in line with international best practice and the action is taken to avert a more serious, prolonged and uncontrolled nationwide outage. If impacted by this event, real-time updates and areas impacted will be available on www.powercheck.ie. We apologise to customers who are impacted by these outages.
SEAI: Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme
The recently announced improved Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme, operated through the SEAI is now live and available for applications. The amendments made to the Scheme are aimed at extending the supports to more businesses and now include a tiered grant support for solar PV installations for sizes greater than 6 kWp up to 1,000 kWp (1 MW) capacity.
Goverment Schemes and Resources for Retailers
DETE has published a general guidance for retailers about the current government schemes and supports in relation to energy costs.
Government Has Approved Grants For Businesses Seeking To Install Solar PV Panels
“The Government has approved amendments to the existing Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme, operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), to extend supports to a wider range of businesses and non-domestic applicants. This will be done through tiered grant supports for solar PV – for installation sizes greater than 6 kWp up to 1,000 kWp (1 MW) capacity.”
More details from the Department of Environment Climate and Communications on new PV solar grants. Applications open mid-July via SEAI.
The updated grants will be as follows:
- Up to 6kWp will remain unchanged up to €2,400, with an additional:
- €300/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 7kWp -20kWp;
- €200/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 21kWp- 200kWp;
- €150/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 201kWp-1000kWp.
- This would mean that installations up to 1MW could be eligible for a grant of up to €162,600.
Chambers Ireland Sustainability Grants Of €4,000
Chambers Ireland, supported by Meta, has created a fund consisting of a limited series of €4,000 grants to support affiliated Chamber member companies still recovering from Covid that are looking to invest in sustainability projects in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The grant will be in relation to validated external expenses incurred and to support delivery of the project. In order to apply, simply click on the link below and give a description of the project, the expense that will be incurred, and its benefits in relation to sustainability and the SDGs (supporting their local communities, infrastructure, staff, climate action and gender equality).
To qualify a company must:
- Have less than 50 employees
- Have an annual turnover of less than €10 million
- Were in receipt the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme until its termination on 31st August 2020 (TWSS)
- Be in possession of a valid Tax Clearance certificate
- Be a member of a Chamber affiliated to Chambers Ireland
- Be a registered limited company in Ireland and up to date with its filings with the Companies Registration Office (CRO)
- Be willing to acknowledge engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram
A selection committee will review all applications and select the successful projects. Winners will be notified as soon as possible thereafter. 50% of the grant will be payable in advance, with the balance being paid on production of proof of the completion of the project.
Energy Efficient Grant For Small Business
The latest support to aid small businesses on their sustainability journey was announced recently by Simon Coveney TD Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
ESB: Beat The Peak Initiatives
ESB Networks have set up initiatives under their umbrella programme ‘Beat the Peak’ to help organisations reduce electricity usage during peak times. There are three market segments that customers can get involved in:
- Beat the Peak Commercial Active for larger industrial customers with an import capacity of over 250 kVa.
- Beat the Peak Commercial Pledge for any organisation large or small willing to pledge actions to reduce electricity demand at peak times.
- Beat the Peak Domestic “Is this a good time”
Packing Recycling Offer (Free) From Siopashop
We here at Síopashop reuse and recycle any and all packaging, so if you have any that you’re just going to throw away then we would gladly take them.
Please help us to stay as green as we can be! Contact Claire on 083 8557562.
Energy Supports For Business
Energy grants for businesses are available to help you reduce your energy costs:
- Support Scheme for Energy Audits – SEAI
- Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme =
- Green Transition Fund
- Capital Investment for Decarbonisation Processes – Enterprise Ireland
- Support Scheme for Renewable Heat – SEAI
- EXCEED Grant Scheme
- Receive Up To €2,400 Towards Solar PV For Your Business/ Organisation
- Retailer Energy Schemes & Resources
- Energy Efficiency Guide For Retailers
- Controlled Demand Reduction
For more information and advice, please click here