Innovation and procurement
Reducing the impact your business has on climate change is not just about managing your current processes and activities more efficiently. It is also about looking at new and innovative ways of doing things as well as analysing and changing some of the products or services that you purchase. Changing both of these can have a significant impact on your emissions, and although it can require investment up front, there are a number of programmes that can give assistance in developing innovative and efficient products and services.
Supports and Incentives for Low-Carbon Business
There are a number of opportunities for businesses to gain support and assistance in their commitment to a low-carbon existence. Below is a list of key bodies and organisations where you may find advice, financial backing, research funding, or other support.
Enterprise Ireland (EI) is a state-run development agency that assists businesses in a number of ways to accelerate their progress and achieve competitive success. EI provides a series of funding opportunities that can be used for climate change initiatives, if desired. General funding opportunities which can be applied to the low carbon market include:
- Funding to explore new ideas/markets;
- Funding for Start up Companies;
- Funding for Company Expansion;
- Growth Funding;
- R& D Funding.
There are also specific grants aimed at promoting environmental best practice and supporting product innovation. These are:
- Environmental Management;
- Environmentally Superior Products.
The Enterprise Ireland ‘envirocentre’ website is dedicated to the environment and business. Go to this website for a range of information including contacts, details of legislation, green markets and case studies.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency that ensures Ireland’s environment is protected through monitoring, policing, and research. The EPA provides funding to support science, technology, research and innovation projects through grant-aid to third level institutions, state agencies, government departments, local and regional authorities, the private sector, and individuals.
Although not all of the funding available will be relevant to your business, the work and research that is produced may directly impact the way you work in the future. Please click here for more details on research outcomes, current projects, and available grants.
The Green Business Initiative (GBI) is a project designed to promote waste prevention and resource efficiency within the business sector. It seeks to work with enterprises and other organisations by providing practical tools and independent support to enable users to save money and increase profits, whilst helping the environment.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is Ireland’s national energy agency. They support the development of sustainable energy initiatives throughout the country and provide a series of grants that promote efficient usage of energy. Some examples of specific SEAI grants that would be relevant to most business include:
- Renewable Heat (ReHeat) Deployment Programme: Provides grant assistance to commercial, industrial, services and public organisations who wish to implement sustainable forms of heating (biomass boilers & solar thermal) in their premises.
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Deployment Programme: This programme will provide grant support to assist the deployment of small-scale (<1MWe) fossil fired CHP and biomass (anaerobic digestion and wood residue) CHP systems.
Although not directly linked to businesses, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the main organisation which promotes research and development in the sciences. A large number of grants are provided on their website and it is worthwhile exploring the opportunities they provide.
While the grants may not be directly related to the work you do in your business, the outcomes that are produced or the people that participate may create new opportunities for your business to explore. It may be valuable for you to keep an eye on this page for any new developments that may help your business lower its carbon footprint.
The European Union
The European Union (EU) offers a variety of grants and funding opportunities that, if appropriately sourced and organised, can help your company become highly efficient, energised, and less environmentally harmful.
The European Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) aims to promote the uptake of environmentally friendly activities and to resource eco-innovation. It seeks to mobilise funding, promote R&D, and improve market conditions by creating more demand for environmental products. This Plan is on-going and a myriad of funding opportunities, not limited to ETAP, can be found on this site.
A number of banks, investment companies, and other businesses are now offering grants, loans, and funding for environmentally-friendly investment or research. If you’re considering investing in your company’s commitment to low-carbon output, check with your bank to see what sort of opportunities they provide.
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