Circular and Sustainable Sectors

What is a sustainable organisation?

A sustainable organisation is one which minimises the impacts of its activities on the environment, uses efficient practices that save costs and has a positive impact on communities. The EPA is focussed on providing tools and supports that will help enterprises in their transition to becoming economically, environmentally and socially resilient.

The benefits of becoming a sustainbale organisation are far reaching. An example of a sustainbale sector is the hotel industry. It is estimated that the hotel industry produces 53,000 tonnes of food waste which is costing the sector approximately €180 million per year. By reducing the amount of food wasted in this sector:

  • The land space, water and energy used to grow the food will be reduced and the environmental impacts, such as land degradation and biodiversity loss will be minimised.
  • Costs savings such as reducing waste disposal costs in the sector will help to build economic resilience.

What is the EPA doing?

New ideas are an important part of finding ways to reduce waste. Demonstrating and sharing these new ideas is important because showing others the potential for change encourages changes in behaviour. The National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) demonstrates the benefits of preventing waste to all sectors and to individuals. It also stimulates innovation by providing funding for activities that prevent waste and support the goals of the circular economy.

NWPP’s main activities to support sustainable sectors:

  • We promote opportunities to become a sustainable organisation through Sectoral Sustainability Factsheets and Case Studies for key sectors. Enterprises can embed sustainability and climate action into their businesses by reducing water use, waste and energy. Resources for the construction and hospitality sector are now available.
  • We manage Green Enterprise: Innovation for the circular economy, a competitive annual innovation funding call. In the region of €600,000 is funded every year.
  • We are leading a Small Business Innovation Research challenge for 2020-2021. This is co-funded by Enterprise Ireland, to explore pre-procurement innovative solutions for preventing soft-plastic packaging in the provision of school meals.
  • We partner with Circuléire, the national platform for circular manufacturing. The programme targets 20%reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and waste production in 30 manufacturing companies in Ireland.
  • The TREE online resource efficiency tool has been used by over 1,250 organisations to provide resource efficiency scoring and an action plan.
  • We support www.repairmystuff.ie a national repair directory that connects over 800 repair businesses with the public.