Business and Leadership Ltd.

Music Generation, the music education programme initiated by Music Network following a €7m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds, is set to become a long-term and lasting part of the national music education landscape from July as the Department of Education and Skills commences phased co-funding of the programme with Local Music Education Partnerships. Music Generation provides young people with access to subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. Since its foundation in 2009 the programme has established Music Education Partnerships in 12 counties, creating access for up to 18,500 children and young people and providing employment for some 220 musicians. In January 2013 the Department…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Boyne Valley Group and AIB have introduced the first rooftop apiary on a commercial building in Ireland in an attempt to help increase the country’s bee population. The initiative will see over 200,000 honeybees located on the sixth story roof of AIB Bankcentre in Ballsbridge. It is expected the bees will pollinate flowers and trees within a five kilometre radius of the hives and produce an average of 20 jars of honey per hive by the end of the summer. In total, the apiary has four hives. Boyne Valley Group has been a customer of AIB for 58 years during which time it has grown to produce more than 2,000…

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Renewable energy

Investor and asset manager of renewable projects NTR has reported a significantly lower loss of €16.2m for the year ended 31 March 2013, down from €88.8m the previous year. It said it had delivered the key components of its three-year strategic plan a year ahead of schedule by building cash reserves and consolidating the group into a “slimmer, renewable investment and asset management group, with a particular focus on wind energy”. The group’s total assets stand at €775m, further to it selling Greenstar Recycling for $180m as well as wind and solar assets and its remaining shareholding in ethanol producer Green Plains Renewable Energy. NTR expects to invest in wind…

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Ireland launches Global Green Asset Management Network

Ireland has launched a Global Green Asset Management Network at the Ireland Day Summit in the New York Stock Exchange. The move comes after green assets under management in Ireland doubled in the last year and tripled in the past four. Ireland now manages or services more than $10bn in green assets. The Green IFSC’s Global Green Asset Management Network aims to accelerate the growth of Ireland’s green asset management cluster by developing a forum for all market practitioners in the industry through which a consensus on regulatory, legislative and educational needs can be addressed through engagement with government, state bodies and other industry groups both nationally and internationally. “Irish…

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Dublin postwoman Caroline Doyle

An Post and Renault Ireland are joining forces in Ireland’s first ever on-the-road trial of electrically powered post vans. The detailed like-for-like study will compare the energy/fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and overall performance of the Renault Kangoo ZE (electric) mini van against its traditional diesel counterpart over designated city postal routes in Dublin, Cork and Galway over the next 12 months. An Post operates one of Ireland’s largest fleets with over 2,700 vehicles ranging from smaller vans to large articulated vehicles.  The company uses more than 7.5 million litres of diesel annually and in 2011, the company’s fleet-related fuel costs were in the region of €10m. An Post chief executive,…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Ford has pledged to reduce the amount of water used to make each of its vehicles by 30pc globally by 2015, compared with the amount used in 2009. The company is also developing year-over-year efficiency targets as part of its annual environmental business planning process and has established a cross-functional team spanning several divisions to review water usage more holistically. “Water remains one of our top environmental priorities and our aggressive reduction target helps ensure continued focus on this critical resource,” said Sue Cischke, group vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering. The company said its latest water reduction initiatives are designed to build on the success the company has…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

A 72-hour social initiative, which kicked off today in Sweden, is aiming to come up with at least 60 well-formed ideas for world peace over the next three days. The ‘Create for Change’ programme, which promotes projects dedicated to global positive change, was devised by communications, business management and leadership company Hyper Island, and ad agencyCrispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B). During the “72-Hours for Peace” event, the companies’ creatives and strategists will guide 300 digital creative students at Hyper Island’s Stockholm and Karlskrona campuses as they explore ways to use technology to encourage peace within their communities, resulting in complete and viable concepts that will be free and available for…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The ‘Cut Don’t Kill’ campaign, a coalition of British solar power companies and NGOs including Friends of the Earth has responded to the UK government’s proposals to cut the feed-in tariff on domestic solar electricity production by 52pc by saying that such a reduction would kill the industry, destroying 4,000 companies and 25,000 jobs. On Monday, Climate Change and Energy Minister Greg Barker revealed plans to cut subsidies as part of “an urgent effort to keep the FITs (feed-in tariff) scheme budget under control and reflect the plummeting costs of the technology”. Barker is proposing to introduce a new tariff for schemes up to 4kW of 21p per kilowatt hour,…

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IWEA says Ireland's over-complicated regulatory framework is choking the renewables sector inister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan with, from left: Kenneth Mathews, CEO, IWEA, David Gunning, CEO, Coillte and Stephen Wheeler, chairman, IWEA, at the WInd Energy (IWEA) conference in the INEC, Killarney

At the start of its autumn conference yesterday, the IWEA shared some alarming statistics on Ireland’s renewables portfolio for 2011. We are the worst performers in Europe night now, despite having some of the best wave and wind resources on the planet waiting to be capitalised on, both to reduce our extremely high reliance on imported fossil fuels (over 80pc) and to engage in green energy exporting in future with countries such as the UK. According to the IWEA, Ireland is only meeting 68pc of its 2010 targets for 2010, with competing European nations now gleaning a critical edge in the green stakes, snapping up opportunities before the country. The…

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Angel Gurria, secretary-general, Angel Gurria.

Removing inefficient subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels – which are estimated to have cost over US$400bn last year – would raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to OECD and International Energy Agency (IEA) data. The two organisations said their data and analysis are actively following up on the G20 leaders’ commitment in 2009 to phase out subsidies that “encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change”. “Both developing and developed countries need to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,” said OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria. “As they look for…

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