Sustainability centres on acting for the common good now and for generations to come.…says An Post CEO at Shannon Chamber Lunch

Shannon Chamber president Eoin Gavin and CEO Helen Downes pictured with An Post CEO David McRedmond at the lunch in Dromoland Castle Hotel. Photograph by Eamon Ward

An Post’s current transformation programme, which commenced in 2016, has enabled the company to take a leadership position in many fields. This was the proud opening statement made by its chief executive, David McRedmond, when he addressed Shannon Chamber members and guests at a luncheon in Dromoland Castle Hotel.

Commenting on the fact that An Post was the first major company in Ireland to eliminate the gender pay gap, the first postal service in the world to attain zero emission delivery status in all major cities – Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Kilkenny, and the first company in Ireland to trial the use of HVO (Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil) for fleet fuel, he said that this was achieved through a renewed sense of purpose throughout the organisation.

Recounting the Company’s sustainability journey, Mr McRedmond said that it is centred on gaining wins in two or three sustainable development areas. Having already reduced its carbon emissions by thirty-six percent, against a target of fifty percent by 2025, he said that while achieving net zero carbon emissions from its own operations will be difficult, it is achievable.

Advising attendees on the brink of charting their sustainability journeys to just do it, do it fully, and do it in big steps, he told them to consider their company’s purpose and soul and to act for the common good now and for generations to come.

“Big goals matter. It will be impossible to attain net zero unless we move faster in terms of carbon reduction,” he said.

When asked which top tip he would give to companies as a target for the next six months, he replied: “Focus on your procurement strategies to ensure that your suppliers are committed to the same sustainability goals as your company.”

“Publicise your achievements; don’t keep your fire under a bushel,” he added, as he cited An Post’s latest initiative, which is testing carbon eating paint for all its post boxes.

The event in Dromoland Castle Hotel, which was hosted by Shannon Chamber and supported by AIB, Clare County Council and Shannon Chamber Skillnet, was organised as part of the Chamber’s overall drive to encourage companies to focus on sustainability.

Chamber president Eoin Gavin said: “One of the Chamber’s key objectives over the next three years will be to collaborate on promoting sustainability and renewable energy. We have pledged to do this in a number of 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.

“We also want to work towards positioning Shannon and the region as an exemplar contributor to sustainable development and we have already taken the initial steps to deliver on this by setting up a Sustainability Task Force. Shannon has a reputation for delivering ‘Firsts’ and we would like to able to deliver another First for Shannon. That’s the goal of the Sustainability Task Force,” added Mr Gavin.