Sustainability

‘Free cup of tea if you cycle to me’ scheme introduced in Co Clare

Free cup of tea if you cycle to me' scheme introduced in Co Clare

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and An Taisce Green Schools Travel, in conjunction with the Burren Ecotourism Network, have developed a scheme to promote sustainable travel throughout the region. The ‘Free cup of tea if you cycle to me’ scheme will see cyclists offered a free cup of tea when cycling to participating businesses. Among the local business and attractions taking part is Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey centre, Doolin Hostel, The Burren Smokehouse, Wild Kitchen, The Burren Centre, Hotel Doolin, The Boghill Centre, Kilfenora Hostel and the Farmyard in Corofin. This latest scheme is building on previous initiatives such as the introduction of the Geopark sustainable…

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Microsoft partners with CoderDojo Foundation

Microsoft is to become an official European partner for the CoderDojo Foundation and movement. The aim of this new collaboration is to support the CoderDojo movement across the region and to further encourage young people to learn to code. Microsoft has pledged its support to the CoderDojo Foundation as part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, a global, company-wide initiative that aims to improve education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people worldwide. “In addition to the corporate grant Microsoft will be providing we are also ambitious about how our employee base can support the growth of the CoderDojo movement,” said Microsoft Ireland managing director, Cathriona Hallahan. “In Ireland there is…

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Volunteering: how companies in Ireland are helping to make a difference

To coincide with National Volunteer Week, Volunteer Ireland CEO Nina Arwitz discusses the growing interest in employee volunteering in Ireland. This week is National Volunteering Week, our big campaign in Volunteer Ireland to help raise awareness of how people can volunteer and to highlight just how many diverse opportunities are available for people to get involved in their local community. It’s estimated that between 25pc and 40pc of the Irish population regularly volunteers. Economically, volunteering is estimated to be 2.7pc of GDP of developed countries – which in Ireland’s case equates to over €3bn. Volunteering is the engine that powers over 12,000 volunteer-involving organisations in Ireland, whose very purpose is…

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Alison.com hosts first ever free online training courses in Kurdish aimed at learners in northern Iraq

The first free online training courses in the Kurdish language have been officially launched on Alison.com this week. The self-paced courses cover food safety, tourism studies, human resource management and customer service and were developed in collaboration with USAID/Foras, Silatech, a regional social initiative promoting employment opportunities for Arab youth, and Cihan University in Irbil, Iraq. The courses are designed assist the development of modern workplace skills in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The Kurdish translation of the resources was completed by Cihan University. The resources have also been translated into Arabic. “Free online learning has a hugely influential role to play in upskilling people in regions of the…

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‘Blue Nose Month’ launched in support of Irish Autism Action

Kevin Whelan, CEO of Irish Autism Action, TV presenter Kathryn Thomas, Ciaran Mulligan, CEO of Blue Insurance and Ian Kennedy, Blue Insurance at the launch of Blue Nose Month

Online insurance broker Blue Insurance has launched ‘Blue Nose Month’, its first campaign as part of a new partnership with Irish Autism Action, which includes a commitment to raise up to €50,000 over the coming year for the organisation. All monies raised through the fundraising efforts of the team at Blue Insurance will go towards supporting the numerous projects being undertaken by Irish Autism Action. These include a nationwide awareness campaign across all media, which Blue Insurance is sponsoring, and providing emergency support to families in need. For Blue Nose Month, blue noses will be available in XtraVision outlets nationwide during the month of April with the aim of raising…

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Investment News: Sustainable Now Outperforming Traditional – Morgan Stanley Report

Investing in sustainability usually meets and often exceeds the performance of comparable traditional investments, both on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis, across asset classes and over time, according to a new report from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. The Sustainable Reality report reviewed 10,228 open-end mutual funds and 2,874 separately managed accounts over the last seven years. It found that sustainable equity mutual funds met or exceeded the median return of traditional equity funds for 64pc of the time periods examined.  Sustainable equity mutual funds also had equal or lower median volatility for 64pc of the time periods examined. For the longest time period (seven years trailing, 2008-2014),…

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KPMG launches guide for green bond issuers

A new guide for private and public sector organisations aimed at overcoming common challenges around issuing green bonds has been published by KPMG. Valued at $37bn in 2014, the market for green bonds is expected to reach $100bn this year, with a third of the market comprising organisations in the energy and utilities, consumer goods and real estate sectors. Green bonds are typically used to raise capital to fund green activities with an environmental benefit, such as renewable energy, low carbon transport or forestry projects. The publication ‘ Gearing up for Green Bonds ’ provides an overview of evolving green bond frameworks and standards including the Green Bond Principles, Climate Bonds Standard and green bond…

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Dawn Meats awarded McDonald’s Europe ‘Sustainability Supply Award’

Jose Armario, McDonald’s; Joao Lopes, McDonald’s; Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s; Richard Clinton, Dawn Meats; Niall Browne, Dawn Meats; Brian Hyland, Dawn Meats; Doug Goare, McDonald’s Europe; and Keith Kenny, McDonald’s Europe

Irish company Dawn Meats has been awarded the McDonald’s Europe ‘Sustainable Supply Award’ at the bi-annual McDonald’s Europe Supply Chain Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal. This is awarded to the supplier that has shown outstanding leadership and demonstrable results in making the McDonald’s supply chain more sustainable. Dawn Meats has won a number of sustainability awards in recent years, including in the global Best of Sustainable Supply awards in 2014. Niall Browne, CEO Dawn Meats, said: “We have worked collaboratively across a range of sustainability challenges both internal and external and have delivered tangible benefits for our business, our customers and our suppliers. We look forward to building on this progress…

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Irish Cancer Society and Dell Ireland Appeal Support Daffodil Day

The Irish Cancer Society and its lead partner for Daffodil Day, Dell Ireland, have launched an appeal to companies and businesses all over Ireland to support the event, which is being held on 27 March. The overall target for Daffodil Day 2015 is €3.5 million. “Corporate partnerships and employee fundraising activities help to make a real and significant impact on the Irish Cancer Society’s ability to continue to provide services and support to people affected by cancer in Ireland,” said Irish Cancer Society chief executive, John McCormack. “We need companies to sign up this year and once again commit to helping those families around the country affected by this terrible…

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Change leaders: Mairead Healy and Future Voices

maireadhealyresized

For young people in Ireland, obtaining a third-level degree has arguably never been more important. According to the National Youth Council of Ireland, Ireland had one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the EU during the recession. Even as the economy improves, shrunken retail and construction sectors mean that non-degree holders are the first to be left behind in a competitive job market. Recent statistics from the Department of Education are hopeful, with over 90pc of students sitting their Leaving Cert in 2013 and 2014. However, students from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds still lag behind their peers in this measure: in Ireland’s DEIS schools two out of 10 students…

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