Green business theme at county hall conference

By david tucker

COUNTY Wexford's second Green Business Conference will take place in Wexford County Council headquarters at Carricklawn on Thursday, against a backdrop of growing fears that Ireland is a long way from meeting its target of a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

We all need to do more and steps taken now, however big or small, will help secure our future.

The Wexford conference is part of the Greensave Programme, a joint initiative of Wexford County Council's Local Enterprise Office, the Environmental Protection Agency and Wexford Chamber which helps small businesses in the county to save money by reducing their energy, water and waste costs.

The Conference, which will invole around 60 delegates, is being held in association with Wexford-based environmental management company Econcertive, Kilkenny LEO and Kilkenny Chamber.

'All business should focus on both green and sustainability,' said Madeleine Quirke, CEO Wexford Chamber. 'There are very often considerable savings to be realised through looking at energy and water costs and ensuring good maintenance on equipment. Implementing strategies such as recycling and going paperless will also save on supply costs. Sustainability can make a big difference to your bottom line,' she said.

Madeleine said that sustainability improvements are a collaborative effort.

'When employees work together to identify and implement green and sustainable initiatives, it fosters a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement. Employees work harder when they are engaged and have a sense of pride in their company.'

Everybody is becoming more conscious of the environment and making improvements will strengthen an organisation's reputation and the GreenSave programme will be piloting a supply chain greening programme this year.

'More and more suppliers hold a credible environmental certificate but we feel that it is an important next step to encourage a major business to develop an interest in measuring their own progress by 'greening' their supply chain. Further information on this project and indeed on the Greensave Project will be available at the Green Business Conference this Thursday in County Hall,' said Madeleine.

The Green Business Conference 2017 will include keynote speakers from the field of environmentally friendly technologies and solutions.

Speakers will include:

Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA; Declan Mealy, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland,Head of Department Emerging Sectors; Andrew Mullins, Bóard Bia (Origin Green), Sustainability Development Manager; John Carley, Wexford County Council, Director of Services; Phil Walker, Econcertive, Environmental Adviser; Brendan Ennis, Innovation Wexford, CEO; and Elaine Greenan, Waterford Institute of Technology/Estates Manager.

Raoul Empey, Climate Reality Leader at Sustineo, who qualified under former US Vice President Al Gore, will host a workshop 'Climate Reality - Ireland's opportunity,' from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. To book places contact the Chamber on 0539122226 or email katieoconnor@wexfordchamber.ie

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