EPA Annual Report and Accounts 2009

EPA Annual Report and Accounts

Summary: This Report provides details of the functions that were carried out throughout the year, in addition to the financial statements.

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84095-351-0

Pages: 68

Filesize: 3,015KB

Format: pdf

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For our 2009 Annual Report we have moved away from our traditional style of reporting on our functions by Office, to reporting on outputs under the six strategic environmental goals set out in 2020Vision. The EPA set out its long-term vision for Ireland's environment in its corporate strategy 2020Vision. This vision sets out goals for Ireland's environment under the headings of limiting and adapting to climate change, clean air, protected water resources, protected soil and biodiversity, sustainable use of resources and integration and enforcement. The EPA annual work programmes are aligned to these strategic goals for Ireland’s environment and this is reflected in the structure of this report. In addition to the six environmental goals, 2020Vision set out that our overarching goal continues to be the development of a high performance organisation, working smartly and efficiently, building effective partnerships and delivering positive environmental outcomes. This report also addresses outputs in four key areas – competent / committed people, environmental champion, customer focused and organisationally efficient.  

Like all public sector organisations the EPA is being impacted by the downturn in the economy and the steps that the government is taking to restore finances. We have to operate with less money and fewer people. In the current economic climate, ‘doing more with less’ is a high priority for the EPA and we are examining a range of options for getting things done more efficiently and using technology to best effect, to help our people work more efficiently and effectively. Despite the economic downturn and reductions in both budgets and staff, our mission, vision and values remain the same and the challenge for the EPA is to make the best use of the people and resources available to it to deliver on our strategic objectives.

The same environmental protection challenges remain and, if anything, have been made more difficult because of the economic crisis. In the simplest terms, there is less money to invest in environmental protection and many of our problems, such as the water shortages witnessed recently in the aftermath of unprecedented rainfall and snow, require very significant and on-going investment for them to be resolved.

This is why it is crucial to keep environmental protection centre-stage. Ireland’s environment is a key strategic asset for the country, which we must protect, manage and invest in to secure a healthy society and a strong, low-carbon and greener economy into the future. If, as a society, we want to make sure that future generations inherit a clean and productive environment, action and investment now is essential.

There are, however, many reasons to be optimistic for the environment. Green technologies and green business are being seen as integral to the new ‘Smart Economy’. Sustainable development is now at the heart of the European Community and Europe is leading the way globally on climate change. A new European Commission has recently been put in place and the three priorities for the new environment commissioner are promoting a green economy, halting the loss of biodiversity and implementing and improving existing environmental legislation. Climate change is of such central importance that a separate new directorate has been created. In Ireland, despite all of our problems, we still have a high quality environment. State of the Environment reports and the many other EPA reports on air quality, water quality, waste management, enforcement, climate change and other issues – coupled with the outputs from EPA-funded research – provide us with an evidence base to show where the problems are and what needs to be done to remedy them.

During 2010, we will be reviewing progress to date with our 2020 Vision strategy and consulting with our stakeholders on the actions required by the EPA and others between 2011 and 2014 to progress this vision, with a new corporate strategy to be prepared. During 2010, the review of the EPA provided for in the programme for government will also be carried out. My fellow Directors and I welcome this review which will help chart the way forward for the EPA for the foreseeable future and will be key to the development of the EPA’s new corporate strategy.

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