Royal College of Surgeons, 123 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

7:30 – 9:15am

21st June 2016


€85 trillion will be invested in global sustainability & resource efficiency infrastructure by 2030. Irish firms are playing their part by leading the way in sustainability tech & innovation while winning billions in investment. How can we further stimulate this growth, win greater market share, while increasing access to capital and emerging markets?


Nations are starting to embrace the necessity of a low-carbon economy as climate change, population growth, increasing urbanisation and rising consumption place increasing demand on scarce resources.

This is now driving the business of clean technology and investment in sustainable products and services at a rapid rate. Non-sustainable investments are being assigned negative risk scores, prompting global investors to look for alternative businesses and assets in which to invest.

Tipping point

Which means that we have reached a tipping point. An €85 trillion tipping point to be invested in global sustainability and resource efficiency infrastructure by 2030. An opportunity hotspot!

Capture the opportunity

Post COP21 and with a clearer global policy framework emerging, we feel it is timely to focus on what is potentially required from a domestic policy, funding and skills perspective to further support the emergence of Irish enterprise leadership in sustainability. We also feel there is scope for Irish located businesses to re-invent themselves and positively transform their business models to take advantage of the shift. Now is the time for university incubators, start-ups and mature companies to embrace this agenda.

This breakfast series is hosted by our Sustainability Skillnet in partnership with the IIEA and CDP Ireland, kindly supported by KPMG.


Register here




37-42, McCann Fitzgerald, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2

7:30 – 9:15am

08th June 2017


Why the growth of international ‘climate finance’ is an opportunity for Ireland

The Paris climate summit signalled a fundamental shift in the global economy towards a more sustainable model that will limit global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. One of the key planks of the Paris agreement is ‘climate finance’ – a pledge that developed countries will by 2020 channel $100 billion a year of funding to poorer countries to help them meet the challenges posed by climate change. For Ireland, this ramping up of climate finance represents a significant opportunity.
Ireland is already playing its part in the fight against climate change, but it can – and will – do more.
Ireland has said it will continue contributing its current level climate finance, which between 2016 and 2020 ensures €175 million in public funding, mainly for adaptation.
In addition to this, it will this year begin to make contributions to the Green Climate Fund – a vehicle set up by the UN to channel finance to projects in developing countries – with a view to ramping up support over the coming years.
Ireland has also said it will increase its contributions to the Least Developed Countries Fund, which helps countries adapt to deal with the impacts of climate change.
But the public sector alone cannot solve climate change or deliver the required amount of climate finance. For the 2°C target to be met, the private sector will need to invest at-scale in climate solutions. Ireland can play a major role in helping channel this private finance.

Panel details to follow shortly.

This breakfast series is hosted by our Sustainability Skillnet in partnership McCann Fitzgerald.

Register here


600 top firms and innovators confirmed for November’s Sustainability Gathering events to celebrate Irish leadership in sustainable investment and innovation


The fifth ‘Sustainability Gathering’ will be held in Dublin on November 20, bringing together more than 600 hundred established businesses, investors, policy-makers and start-ups.The event will discuss and showcase the many ways that Irish businesses can grab a share of the estimated €85 trillion which will be invested in global sustainability and resource efficiency by 2030.


More details to follow.


Register your interest in attending here


In 2015, Goldman Sachs declared that sustainable investment (environmental, social and governance – or ‘ESG’) has now become mainstream – and that awareness of ESGfactors is a minimum requirement for investment. It called it the ‘new bottom line’. Goldman is not the only player to recognize the trend.


Citi and Morgan Stanley have developed similar plans and so too has Bank of America, which is targeting $125 billion in low-carbon business by 2025 “through lending, investing, capital raising, advisory services and developing financing solutions”. Here in Ireland, AIB has just appointed Ray O’Neill as its first head of sustainable business.


It’s clear that the world’s capital markets and major global investors have woken up to the challenge of climate change, environmental sustainability and the role of finance in helping solve society’s problems.


On the client side, the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, the leading forum for institutional investors, now has a signatory base in excess of US$59trillion. This feeds directly into how money is managed along the investment chain – so investment banks and asset managers are becoming responsive to client demands to raise their game on sustainability.


Ireland’s opportunity 


Ireland is already a domicile to a surprising range of responsible investment funds. Hermes, Ownership Capital, Generation, Sarasin and Sonen Capital count among sustainable and responsible funds already domiciled here. BlackRock Renewable Power, Brookfield Renewable and Kleinwort Benson are amongst an emerging cluster managing capital guided by responsible and sustainable investment principles.


It is a start with potential for exponential growth.


In an exciting development and mirroring international developments in other countries, Sustainable Nation Ireland has set up a new forum to accelerate this growth – the Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum Ireland (SIF Ireland). The Forum will support the advancement of responsible and sustainable investment practices here in Ireland, while internationally promoting Ireland as a location of choice to domicile / manage such assets from.


Joining forces with other global networks like the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and EuroSIF (Europe’s umbrella body for sustainable investing) to learn from existing players, the Forum is chaired by Terence O’Rourke, former Managing Partner KPMG.


Offering a platform for market players with a substantial interest in responsible and sustainable investing to come together, the Forum aims to support and advance the sustainable development of both the Irish finance and investment sector and spread and exchange experiences among the members of the Forum as well as to facilitate a diversified debate on ESG.


It is open to institutional investors (pension funds, unit trusts and others) as well as other organisations with activities in Ireland that have a substantial interest in ESG.  The Forum will be officially launched on the 28th April.


SMART tech has been deployed on a Dublin river with electronic sensors being used to warn of possible floods.


Dublin City University Water Institute and Kingspan, with support from Dublin City Council, have joined forces to develop a smart sensor network for water level monitoring.


They believe the technology could help businesses and householders to limit flood damage, by providing crucial early warnings.


The ground-breaking technology has real time capability and an easy to use app. When river waters rise to a certain level, sensors send out a warning alert, via SMS, to a local business owner, farmer or householder in a vulnerable area.


The low-cost sensors developed by Kingspan have been deployed at a number of locations on the River Dodder, with the data being analysed by DCU Water Institute.


The affordability of the sensor means that it is scalable and can be used as part of a nationwide network of sensors which can be widely deployed to measure water levels in different places.


Barry Finnegan, technical director of Kingspan Sensor said: “This collaboration highlighted how the public could benefit if a river/tidal level network was put in place nationwide.


“The Kingspan sensor level measurement hardware and software disciplines are core to Kingspan sensor’s technical capabilities.


“We ultimately see the results of this collaboration with DCU and DCC being used by everyone as it is affordable and easy to deploy. End users can check river levels on an app to give peace of mind while local authorities and municipalities will benefit from the profiling data that is so important in understanding river and tidal behavior in real time.”


Data collected from the sensors can provide vital information in relation to the behaviour of our rivers, how they flow and how these flows are affected by rainfall.


Professor Fiona Regan, director of the DCU Water Institute said: “The sensor data can inform us where we need to build flood defences and ultimately, it could be connected to a smart system of automated flood defence barriers, that would erect themselves automatically once a warning signal alerting dangerous water levels was received.”


The collaboration was made possible through Dublin City Council’s Smart City programme which encourages a collaborative approach to solving city challenges.