Kevin Gaffney Won Sky Academy Arts Scholarship – Dublin Visual Artist

Visual artist Kevin Gaffney was last night named the Irish winner of the Sky Academy arts scholarship. The 28-year-old Dublin artist, who works in photography and film, will receive £30,000 (€38,000) towards the development of an artistic project and the cost of living for one year, along with mentoring from Sky and the arts industry. Gaffney’s work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally, including the Sapporo International Art Festival (Japan, 2014) and the Poetry Project at the Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin, 2013).  For his Sky Academy arts scholarship project, he plans to create and exhibit a new body of work titled ‘Tectonic Plates of Conversion,’ exploring areas…

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Sustainability Gathering coming up in Dublin Castle focused on capital investment

Gerry Britchfield, former acting CEO of Coillte and John Mullins, CEO Amarenco Solar speaking at the Sustainability Gathering in 2013

The 2015 Sustainability Gathering is taking place on 24 June in Dublin Castle with the theme of ‘Capital working for sustainability’. The main aim of the event will be to facilitate the transactions that will steer capital towards investments that are both environmentally and socially sustainable, and make a healthy return. On 22 and 23 June, separate events will focus on the financing of Irish clean-tech start-ups and see the launch of Docklands 21, a partnership between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Dublin City Council and Green IFSC to ensure that at a business level Dublin’s Docklands are undertaking best-in-class resource efficiency measures. There will also be a number…

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Fujitsu Ireland gets Business Working Responsibly Mark

Fujitsu Ireland has been announced as the first company to achieve the Business Working Responsibly Mark in 2015. Certifying excellence in responsible and sustainable business practices across company operations, the mark is operated by Business in the Community Ireland and audited by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). Fujitsu Ireland is the 17th company in Ireland to achieve the standard, which examines a range of areas including sustainability, customer relations, supply chain management, workplace, community and environment. To achieve the mark, Fujitsu Ireland initially completed an online questionnaire with over 290 questions analysing operations on over 27 different indicators. A one-day audit was then conducted by the National Standards…

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Maynooth University team wins Enactus competition for its Access Earth app

A team from Maynooth University has won the 2015 Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship and will now represent Ireland at the 2015 Enactus World Cup in South Africa in October. The team won the competition for its Access Earth project. Access Earth is an app that allows users find reliable and up-to-date accessibility information about places and businesses. Last July, the team won third place in the World Citizenship category of Microsoft’s international competition, Imagine Cup, also for Access Earth. Enactus is an international organisation that encourages university students to make a positive difference to their communities and develop the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of…

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‘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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