Pictured at the sustainability event in Ei Electronics’ Centre of Excellence in Shannon (seated l-r): Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber, Ali Donnellan, SEAI, and Sharon Malone, the Falls Hotel. Back row (l-r): Robert McCarthy, SEAI, David Keating, Ei Electronics and Steve Gorvel, Element Six. Photograph by Eamon Ward
When launching its strategic plan 2023 – 2026, Shannon Chamber president Eoin Gavin stated that one of the Chamber’s key objectives over the next three years will be to collaborate on promoting sustainability and renewable energy.
He said that the Chamber would do this in several ways but particularly through creating a platform to brainstorm and undertake initiatives that can enable Shannon and the region to play a meaningful role in Ireland attaining its national targets. A key part of making this a reality has been the formation of a Sustainability Forum which has already attracted over 40 member companies to its fold.
This Forum, which is led by sustainability professional, Barry Gavin, has a singular purpose, to support Chamber members in their sustainability journeys and in the delivery of their sustainability goals.
Feedback from the meetings held so far is that companies are at different stages of their sustainability journeys – some have definitive plans in place whilst others need direction and assistance on where to start. As Shannon Chamber operates a Skillnet, it will be encouraging companies to engage with it to have a conversation on how the Chamber can support them into the future. As Skillnet Ireland has established a Climate Ready Academy, the Chamber will be linked to this to enhance its offering to members.
In the short time since the Task Force has been formed, companies have demonstrated a willingness to share information and to help others, as is the ethos of the many Forums the Chamber has set up – the CEO Forum, the HR Forum, and the Mid-West Lean Network. All of these Forums are industry-led which means that they are delivering on the real needs of businesses.
Sustainability encompasses so many areas and that’s why the Chamber is setting up separate working groups – to focus in on energy, biodiversity, waste and water and to enable those with the expertise in these areas to lead the way and assist in setting attainable goals that will make a difference in Shannon and the region.
To quote Eoin Gavin: “Shannon Chamber is only at the beginning of its journey and we hope to have some notable wins that we can report on in the next twelve months.”
A recent sustainability-focused event, held in Ei Electronics in Shannon, included contributors from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Chamber members, Ei Electronics, Element Six and The Falls Hotel. All spoke about the benefits of focusing on sustainability.
Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes says that this event was one of many events that the Chamber will be organising through the Sustainability Forum.
“We want to support our members in their sustainability journeys and ultimately enable this region to be a stand-out example of what can be achieved through collaborative endeavour.”