Climate change is one of the biggest existential threats to humanity, but also as one of the largest opportunities we have ever seen. To quote from “climate change” by Joseph Romm; “climate change will have a bigger impact on your family and friends, and all of humanity than the Internet has had”.


Climate change really matters. It is also a fantastic lever within organisations, big and small, to unleash potential and positive impact. It could be the transformative purpose that you have been looking for. It makes business sense too. Transformative purpose has been identified as the key factor to achieve exponential growth and recruit and retain talent.


Free help to develop your green idea

The opportunity is so hot, it sizzles. Which is why Sustainable Nation designed 2oCamp.


2oCamp is a one day workshop that will give anyone with a green idea the tools to develop the idea further. It is open to a start-up or an existing business – everyone with an idea is welcome. Ideas can range from renewable energy to sustainable transport and from smart agriculture right through to new business models and ways to fund projects and make an impact.


The 1-day bootcamp, facilitated by our Entrepreneur in Residence, will put you through the steps and you will learn how to develop a successful green business. Our workbook, based on a proven methodology, is practical and direct. 2oCamp is geared to help you move quickly. As a participate of 2oCamp you will become part of our ecosystem, and we can guide you through the supports and access available to accelerate your business.  


Supported by Enterprise Ireland and Climate-KIC, we believe the more successful you are, the bigger the positive climate impact your business can have.



Supported by Enterprise Ireland and our local partners it is rolled out across the county. Starting in March:

As a follow on, participants of 2oCamp have an opportunity to also participate in ClimateLaunchpad,  the largest green business idea competition in the world.


The cost to attend this programme is normally €150 per person but due to the support of Climate-KIC and Enterprise Ireland, we can offer this programme for free. Register now…


Register Now



If you have any questions, you can contact ron.immink@sustainablenation.ie or call on +353851006307.


Have an idea for a sustainable business? Not sure how to get started? Enter ClimateLaunchpad. We’ll help you fast-track your green business idea.  You’ll learn how to get it funded and launched. Worldwide.


ClimateLaunchpad is a global Green Business Idea Competition. It is the largest global competition of its type. But is it more than a competition. It is an accelerator programme for early stage companies. Why? Because we need as many entrepreneurs as possible to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our time – climate change. Apply Now. Apply Here


Your idea can be an innovation in renewable energy, a sustainable transition in the food chain, a mind shift in urban mobility or any other way to tackle climate change.


This competition is open to early stage companies/ ideas – so even if your idea is written on the back of a napkin we want to hear it. In ideal terms you:

  • have not yet started a business or you started it less than one year ago;
  • have no substantial revenue;
  • you have attracted no more than € 200,000 in investment;
  • you have not yet sold products, solutions or prototypes on commercial terms.


How does it work…first apply for the programme Here. Once chosen for the programme you will work through the following steps.


Step 1: Boot Camp

ClimateLaunchpad kicks off with a 2-day Boot Camp in Dublin on the 15 and 16 June. Our international trainers will teach you all you need to know about jumpstarting your business.


Step 2: Intensive coaching and National Finals

The Boot Camp is followed by a period of intensive coaching. The six coaching sessions will take place in Dublin during June, July and August.

  • the Deal & Market
  • your Customer and Product
  • Financials
  • Climate Impact
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Team & Founders Dream

In between each coaching session Sustainable Nation’s Entrepreneur in Residence, will be on hand to provide additional support.

At the National Final, which will take place in the first week of September, you’ll get to pitch in front of our national jury. The top-3 will go forward to the Grand Final, which will be held in Cyprus.


Step 3: Grand Final in Cyprus in October

The Top-10 competitors in the Grand Final will get direct access to the Climate-KIC Accelerator, the renowned business school where great ideas grow into great businesses. On top of that there is also prize money. The overall winner of the Grand Final receives € 10,000, the runner up gets € 5,000 and the idea that comes in third place wins € 2,500.

All other National Finalists who made it to the Grand Final get a chance to pitch their idea to the review board of Climate-KIC Accelerator. Impress them and gain access to their programme.


Climate change is the number one biggest business opportunity of the 21st century. Apply your green business idea today.


Train. Compete. Launch. Apply Now. Apply Here


If you have any questions please contact

Ron Immink at ron.immink@sustainablenation.ie or +353 85 1006307 or

Aideen O’Hora at aideen.ohora@sustainablenation.ie or +353 1 525 0290



The ‘2° Platform’ will help turn Ireland’s smartest sustainability and low-carbon ideas and products into commercial reality.

Sustainable Nation Ireland, the body promoting Ireland as a hub for sustainable business, innovation and investment, has today launched a new €1m programme for Irish businesses to support and develop ideas and innovations that help preserve our scarce natural resources.
A dedicated initiative called the ‘2° Platform’ will help turn the smartest sustainability and low-carbon ideas and solutions into commercial reality, through a number of structured programmes. “2° (two degrees) refers to the stated global aim to limit future temperature increases to just 2° (Celsius), if agreed carbon reduction targets are met.”

Sustainable Nation has established the 2° Platform for companies developing resource-efficiency solutions, to help build Ireland as a hub for low carbon and clean technology innovation. Some of the latest exciting ideas in global sustainability have come from Irish firms as they seize a slice of an €85 trillion opportunity to transform the world’s economy to a low-carbon model. The low-carbon model is not just about clean energy; it includes efficiency in food production, access to water and urban population growth.

The ‘2° Platform’ will support businesses in a structured manner; helping them to develop resource-efficiency solutions. Businesses will be invited to join the platform by Sustainable Nation. It will help them to connect all aspects of the sustainability ecosystem from the entrepreneur to the market/buyer, to create a pipeline of homegrown low-carbon products and services with global impact.

Sustainable Nation collaborates with Europe’s Climate-KIC and Sustainability Skillnet, initiatives which bring world-class resources, insights, skills, research and opportunities to Irish businesses and entrepreneurs. Sustainable Nation provides a gateway to the global sustainability eco-system. Our work is designed to benefit Irish startups, existing firms and larger brands by connecting them with a dynamic, thriving, innovating network.

Speaking after a breakfast briefing in Dublin today for over 100 business leaders, Sustainable Nation Ireland director Aideen O’Hora commented: “Almost 200 world governments asked the private sector to partner with them to achieve the 2°C, or less, target after the climate change talks in Paris last December and Irish companies are well-placed to respond. “I’m delighted that we can provide 2°Platform, which brings together resources, knowledge, insights and partnerships, focused on responding to this call to arms. Ireland is developing service and finance solutions in the sustainability sector, and becoming leader and educator in how these solutions are implemented globally.”

In becoming part of ‘2° Platform’, firms can access resources including but not limited to:

• Climate-KIC resources, including ClimateLaunchpad and Accelerator Programme
• A Sustainability Skillnet programme called 2° Catalyst
• Global Cleantech Cluster Association Award (GGCA) nominations

Wayne Byrne, CEO of OxyMem, a University College Dublin (UCD) spinout and Irish cleantech company (listed in the 2015 Global Cleantech 100) who have been commercialising an innovative solution to reduce costs for wastewater treatment, said: “Developing a new company is exciting, especially in the emerging sustainability market. “Our success is dependent on many factors, such as access to networks and finance. Collaborating with Sustainable Nation through their 2° Platform, and accessing their global network has opened up opportunities which are invaluable. Irish companies are recognised as leaders in the sustainability and low-carbon sector and we should actively engage with Sustainable Nation to strengthen our ecosystem, and promote our successes.”

Pic: Wayne Byrne, CEO OxyMem; Austin Coughlan, Irish Strategic Investment Forum; Fintan Whelan, Chairman 2 degree Platform Programme; Aideen O’Hora, Director Sustainable Nation; and Elliott Griffen, CEO BVP Investments


A new organisation devoted to the development and promotion of Ireland as a world-leading hub for sustainable and responsible businesses and investment, comes into being today.

Sustainable Nation Ireland has been established from the merging of several existing bodies to help transition Ireland to a low-carbon future – a mutli-billion-euro investment opportunity for innovation, learning and responsible business to flourish.

Forming part of the Irish Government’s IFS 2020 strategy, our role is support and develop ideas, innovations and investment strategies to deal with trends such as population growth, urbanisation and rising consumption of scarce resources such as food, water and energy.

Sustainable Nation will help Ireland to play its role in reducing global carbon emissions, a key plank of last year’s climate change talks in Paris.

These trends are 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 in.

Irish-based firms, big and small, are creating scalable, world-beating solutions and winning billions of euro in investment, underpinning Ireland’s emergence as a leading low-carbon enterprise hub.

Some €85 trillion will be invested in global sustainability and resource efficiency infrastructure by 2030. Sustainable Nation Ireland will back Irish enterprise leadership in sustainability, by helping mature companies, university incubators and start-ups to capture the opportunity.

Across the range of activities including responsible investment, enterprise development, climate finance, skills and resource efficiency our partners already include AIB, Coillte, Bank of Ireland, ESB, KPMG, Mainstream Renewable Power, PwC, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Greencoat Capital.

We are also working with Irish Life Investment Managers and Kingspan, Bilfinger, OxyMem, Amarenco, Gaelectric, Dublin City Council, Cylon, UrbanVolt, FenestraPro, Ambisense, UN PRI Academy, Climate Bonds Initiative, Responsible Investor and EuroSIF.

Sustainable Nation Ireland has been formed as a result of a merger between the Green IFSC and the Green Way, which promoted Dublin’s cleantech cluster of companies. Our work is supported and funded by a range of public and privately financed initiatives.

Our purpose is to

*stimulate greater investment into smart innovations, new enterprises and sustainable business practices

*provide a voice for the sector, a platform for (international) collaboration and vehicle for the promotion of the Irish sustainability and low carbon sector

*accelerate the regional growth of Ireland’s indigenous low carbon sector, including increase the amount of capital deployed to Irish projects and enterprises

*promote Ireland as a location of choice to domicile / manage assets from underpinned by responsible and sustainable investment principles

*develop a skills programme for the enhancement of world-class knowledge and competence

*support the development of innovative financial services and products that support sustainable economic development

*embed responsible and sustainable business practices across Irish enterprises

*share industry insight and collaborate with sector stakeholders

Sustainable Nation offers a platform for those working right across the sustainability sector and capital markets to come together, understand each other – and ultimately do business together at a local and global level.

Sustainable Nation Ireland is chaired by Mr. John Mullins, who commented: “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. Sustainable Nation Ireland will provide that focus.”

Sustainable Nation Chief Executive Stephen Nolan said: “It is 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.

“This shift presents a significant opportunity for Ireland in terms of increasing sustainable and responsible funds serviced, under management or deployed into Irish enterprise activities with potential for exponential growth. Now is the time to capture the opportunity.”

Present at the launch in Dublin today were representatives from three exciting new Irish companies innovating in the sustainable sector.

They included Ms Rachel Waite, marketing manager of FenestraPro, which produces software that enables architects to design energy efficient building facades more effectively, Mr. Kevin Maughan, CEO of UrbanVolt, which helps businesses to upgrade their premises with investment-grade LED lights with zero capital expenditure and Dr. Eoin Syron, technical director of OxyMem, a UCD spinout that has developed pioneering technology to better treat waste water worldwide.

Pic: Dr. Eoin Syron, OxyMem; John Mullins, Chairman Sustainable Nation Ireland & CEO Amarenco Solar; Kevin Maughnan, CEO UrbanVolt; Rachel Waite, Head of Communications, FenestraPro; and Stephen Nolan, CEO Sustainable Nation Ireland


SIF chaired by ex-KPMG executive is already a Eurosif member
by Daniel Brooksbank | Responsible Investor, April 29th, 2016

Ireland’s ‘Sustainable Nation Ireland’ initiative has established the Sustainable & Responsible Investment Forum Ireland (SIF Ireland), with the new body already becoming a member of the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif), the Brussels-based membership organisation.
The new SIF is chaired by Terence O’Rourke, former Managing Partner of KPMG Ireland.
O’Rourke, who retired from the accounting firm in 2013, is Chairman of Enterprise Ireland, the government body which promotes Irish companies globally. He’s also a director of the Irish Times and an advisor to Women’s Executive Network.
“Eurosif is proud to welcome Sustainable Nation Ireland within its family of SRI investors,” said Eurosif’s Executive Director Flavia Micilotta. “We look forward to working together to promote responsible investments with other key players in Ireland.”
Stephen Nolan, CEO of Sustainable Nation, added: “Ireland’s Sustainable Nation offers a platform for those working right across the sustainability sector and capital markets to come together, understand each other – and ultimately do business together at a local and global level.
“Developing our own SIF is a next step in recognizing the growing influence of the sustainable and responsible investment space, both at home and in Europe.”
The Sustainable Nation project, where former European Parliament President Pat Cox (see RI interview) has an ambassadorial role, is part of the Irish government’s IFS2020 strategy; it aims to have €250bn in funds domiciled, managed or deployed into low-carbon enterprises in the country, all underpinned by responsible and sustainable investment principles, by 2021.
“Developing our own SIF is a next step in recognizing the growing influence of responsible investment”
It was created through a 2015 merger of Ireland’s Green International Financial Services Centre (Green IFSC) and The Green Way, an organization leading the cleantech cluster in Dublin.
Nolan, the former Executive Director Green IFSC, is a former advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’sICT Task Force. He is a member of the international Advisory Group of the Climate Bonds Initiative and the Advisory Group for the UN Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring System for Water Capacity Development Centre.

Sustainable Nation is partnering with Response Global Media (publishers of Responsible Investor and ESGMagazine) to host the Global Sustainable Capital Forum 2017 in Dublin on March 15-17 next year.


Dublin will next year host one of the globe’s biggest gatherings of international financiers, to discuss and promote responsible and sustainable investment, in Ireland and across the world.

Sustainable Nation Ireland, a group that promotes Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy, is partnering with global publication Responsible Investor to host the Global Sustainable Capital Forum in March 2017.

The forum will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing all institutions in the investment chain for sustainable capital flows into low-carbon, resource-efficient investment projects in Ireland and across the world. The event is hoping to build on the momentum of the global climate deal agreed in Paris.

At a sustainable and responsible investment leadership breakfast briefing in Dublin today, more than 100 business leaders heard that there is an enormous opportunity for Ireland to position itself as a world leader in this area.

Stephen Nolan, CEO of Sustainable Nation Ireland, which hosted the event, said: “It is 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.

“This shift presents a significant opportunity for Ireland in terms of increasing environmental funds serviced, under management or deployed into Irish enterprise activities with potential for exponential growth.”

More details on the 2017 forum will be released later in the year. Sustainable Nation Ireland was created through a 2015 merger of Ireland’s Green International Financial Services Centre (Green IFSC) and The Green Way, an organisation leading the cleantech cluster in Dublin.

Photo: L-R Pat Cox, Sustainable Nation Ireland international ambassador; Hugh Wheelan, co-founder Responsible Investor; and Ambassador Dan Mulhall, Irish Embassy UK

‘40 under 40’: New dynamic network to drive sustainability in Ireland

Pat Cox launches new think-tank for leading young executives
A new learning network was launched today which will harness the creativity, dynamism and expertise of 40 young company executives who are driving Ireland’s innovation in the sustainability sector.
The 40 under 40 Irish Sustainability Leaders Network will bring 40 young innovators – all under the age of 40 – from across Irish industry who are charged with driving their companies’ sustainability agendas.
The goal of the network is to create an innovative think-tank where these young leaders can share best practice and build skills in support of their leadership development. The group of 40 leaders will consider corporate sustainability challenges, explore new solutions and share their expertise with one another.
The network will be limited to 40 Irish-based finance, enterprise and policy leaders, with each member nominated by their company’s CEO.
Launching the initiative today, International Sustainability & Investment Centre (ISI Centre) international ambassador Pat Cox said: “The corporate sector has a significant role to play in reaching climate goals. The ‘40 under 40’ can play an important role in helping Ireland achieve these goals.”
“However, it will be more than just a network. We are building a community that shares a common vision; a community that is committed to action and innovation as its members integrate environmental and social sustainability objectives with financial goals,” said Mr Cox.
The initiative was launched by the ISI Centre’s Sustainability Skillnet and will be chaired by Ray O’Neill, the recently appointed Head of Sustainable Business, AIB.
Mr O’Neill said:  “I am honoured to chair this group of like-minded thinkers under 40. We believe that better environmental performance can help companies achieve a competitive advantage through greater resource efficiency; greater market share through enhanced credentials; access to customers who are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly products and services as well as access to investors and capital markets which are adopting responsible investment principles and indicators.”
Backed by government funds, the Sustainability Skillnet supports companies throughout Ireland with the knowledge and expertise that they require to achieve Ireland’s part in controlling global warming.
The critical necessity to control global warming to below 2 degrees has become a priority discussion across governments, companies, investors and regions. The recent world talks at the Paris Climate Summit – COP21 –  saw the first universal climate agreement reached in 20 years.
As natural resources get scarcer and companies are under pressure from regulators and consumers to be more responsible, sustainability is a trigger for innovation and investment.
The companies that understand present and future trends in this area are becoming more competitive and are being rewarded in the marketplace by consumers. Ireland has positioned itself at the vanguard of the response to these trends.
Tracey Donnery, Senior Programme Support Manager at Skillnets said: “The green economy is a high-priority sector in our strategic plan. With companies leading and driving a range of new initiatives this year through the Sustainability Skillnet, we believe that our combined expertise across Ireland can set an example for other countries”.
CONTACT: For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Ciaran Byrne at StoryLab PR on 01 6853029 or 086 1739523.
About ISI Centre
The International Sustainability & Investment Centre (ISI Centre), is a public-private partnership devoted to helping Irish businesses to develop and manage initiatives around clean technology, the investment of funds in sustainable industry as well as other innovative schemes and ideas that will assist in Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Pat Cox is the international ambassador for the ISI Centre.
About Sustainability Skillnet
The Sustainability Skillnet is a new learning network co-funded by government through the Skillnets Training Networks Programme and companies. It supports companies with funding for training and development. The network will deliver a range of new courses for staff involved in sustainability and environmental aspects of the business. This will include sustainability leaders, cleantech entrepreneurs, facilities and plant managers, responsible investment professionals and supply chain staff, executive briefings and networking opportunities.


New renewables firm plans €150m fund

Environmental Finance

12 June 2013

JOhn Mullins and Stephen Nolan

A new solar photovoltaic (PV) asset management business has unveiled plans to raise €150 million ($199.1 million) for its inaugural fund.


Dublin-based Amarenco has been founded by John Mullins, the former CEO of Ireland’s main gas supplier and distributor, Bord Gáis.

The firm is “in the later stages of finalising arrangements” for its Global Solar Income Fund, which will initially invest in assets in the South of England and France

The fund, which will only take majority stakes, is targeting an “attractive and realistic” 6% annual yield over a ten-year time frame, said Mullins, the firm’s CEO.

“We have contractual arrangements to secure assets for the full fund amount with experienced developers and owners’ positions in over 200MW of solar power projects in the UK and France,” he added. “As experienced international energy executives, we will bring solid investment opportunities to the market, which should provide secure and stable income from solar power in the UK and France for many years to come.”

According to Amarenco’s website, it plans to ramp up its production from a planned 200GWh this year, to 3TWh by 2017, and will expand to other regions, such as North America. It says it has €1 billion of investment capacity.

The Global Solar Income Fund, which is awaiting regulatory approval, plans to directly purchase large-scale solar projects installed, or at financial close, in return for equity.

The investment criteria include:

  • high quality developers and contractors with a proven track record;
  • established PV technology;
  • fully permitted projects with land access rights, grid access and connection; and
  • creditworthy power purchase agreements.

Irish independent wealth-management and stock-broking firm, Davy, has been appointed investment manager for Amarenco, while Irish private wealth services firm DHKN and Investec Bank are providing financial and origination support.

Another Irish owned company, Quintas Energy, will provide physical asset management solutions to each invested solar park portfolio.

The company aims to employ a total of 20 staff and will also have an office in London.

Rabbitte reveals details of new national energy efficiency action plan

minister rabbittePublished in Silicon RepublicFebruary 28, 2013

The Government has already committed €35m as seed capital for the fund and is now seeking matching funding of €35m from private investors.

The Government’s Green International Financial Services Centre, the Green IFSC, is also working to identify possible international co-investors into the new fund.

In addition, Rabbitte said the Green IFSC will be co-ordinating a number of IFSC-based firms in applying to the fund to carry out retrofit activities.

Details of the Irish Government’s latest National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) were revealed today by Ireland’s Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, as well as more information on the €70m Energy Efficiency Fund that was announced last week.

Speaking at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin this morning, Rabbitte said the new energy efficiency action plan reaffirms Ireland’s commitment to deliver on its 20pc energy savings target by 2020.

He said this would be equivalent to almost 32,000 gigawatt hours, or a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of around 7.7 mega tonnes.

“Put another way, this means a potential reduction in energy spend of approximately €2.4bn across all sectors of our economy,” said Rabbitte.

He said a key focus of the action plan would be getting the public sector to act as an exemplar in how it uses and procures energy.

However, he said energy suppliers will also have to play their part in helping Ireland meet its 2020 targets.

“Some more than others need to intensify their efforts to offer a much wider range of affordable energy services to their customers,” added Rabbitte.

NEEAP plan

The updated plan contains 97 actions, but Rabbitte highlighted some of these actions that he said would play a vital role in meeting national targets.

In the public sector, the Government is set to introduce a series of obligations on public sector bodies to address the consumption, procurement and reporting of energy use. Current public sector spending on energy is between €600m and €800m each year.

The Government is also working on a pay-as-you-save (PAYS) model for Ireland to replace existing exchequer supports for domestic and non-domestic energy efficiency upgrade measures.

As for the Better Energy programme, Rabbitte said it will deliver energy efficiency improvements across a number of sectors, including energy saving targets for energy suppliers.

He added that a cross-departmental implementation group will be ensuring that the actions contained in the plan are met.

On the lookout for private investors

In terms of the €70m energy efficiency fund, Rabbitte said it will “dramatically improve energy efficiency savings in public and commercial buildings right across the country”.

He expects that the fund will deliver up to 675 jobs for every €10m that’s spent on financing energy efficiency initiatives in the public and private sectors.

The Government has already committed €35m as seed capital for the fund and is now seeking matching funding of €35m from private investors.

“We are confident that there is appetite within the financial community to get on board and back this initiative, which could potentially open up much larger investment opportunities,” said Rabbitte.

The Government’s Green International Financial Services Centre, the Green IFSC, is also working to identify possible international co-investors into the new fund.

In addition, Rabbitte said the Green IFSC will be co-ordinating a number of IFSC-based firms in applying to the fund to carry out retrofit activities.

Rabbitte also issued a call for exemplar projects from the public and private sectors to apply to the energy efficiency fund.

“We want to prove the concept at scale utilising about 20 pilot projects in 2013,” he said.

Selected projects will receive technical assistance from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to help them access the energy efficiency fund.