Green Enterprise Guide launched

Date released: Jul 28 2011

Green Enterprise guide launched

  • Key agencies – EPA, SEAI, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland - develop an efficiency guide for businesses 
  • Assistance available to help businesses save money by preventing waste, conserving water and reducing energy consumption

A Green Enterprise Guide, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland has been launched by Mr Phil Hogan, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.  ‘Developing a Green Enterprise’ provides directional information on where different businesses can go for assistance in relation to water conservation, waste prevention, energy efficiency and clean technology.  The guide also provides an overview of the key state agencies involved and the programmes and assistance they offer.  


Speaking at the launch of the guide Minister Hogan said, 

“The State offers a wide range of supports to manufacturing, service and institutional enterprises in implementing green enterprise initiatives.  I am pleased to see that the four principal agencies providing services and support have developed this useful guide for businesses. The coming together of the four agencies to deliver this guidance is a solid example of the benefits that can flow from joined-up government action.”


The EPA is a key organisation providing technical and financial assistance to service and manufacturing enterprises through a range of programmes.  For example, businesses that participated in the EPA’s Greenbusiness initiative in 2010 have identified almost €10m worth of savings from an investment by the EPA of less than €1m.

Laura Burke, EPA Director, Office of Climate Change, Licensing, Research and Resource Use said,

“Companies are increasingly aware of the financial savings and competitive advantage that can arise from taking an environmentally and resource efficient approach to their business. The EPA is delighted to work in partnership with other agencies within the enterprise sector to assist companies to grow in both an economic and environmentally-sustainable way.  ”


Forfás welcomes publication of the Green Enterprise Guide. Its preparation and publication follows a Forfás identification of the need for clarity in this area.

Declan Hughes, Divisional Director of Forfás, commented,

“The Guide specifically addresses an important recommendation of the High-Level Group on Green Enterprise to better co-ordinate, and consolidate information on, available state supports for the green economy. It will be of particular value to SMEs in Ireland involved in the wider clean and green technology sector.”


Ray Bowe Clean Technology Division, IDA Ireland explained that,

“Achieving a high level of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are increasingly important objectives for the world’s leading multinational corporations, and IDA is very active on a number of initiatives in this regard. For example, securing internationally recognised sustainability accreditation has become standard for all new IDA property developments.”

Improving company competitiveness is a key element of the Enterprise Ireland strategy.  Fred Mc Darby, Environment and Green Technologies Manager, Enterprise Ireland concluded the launch by saying,


“Our experience is that companies who adopt resource efficiency practices and attain green credentials improve their competitive position through substantial cost savings and increased market opportunities.  With an increasing focus in the marketplace on more environmentally friendly products, services and green supply chain demands, Enterprise Ireland is actively promoting sustainability and accreditation among our client base in order to avail of these opportunities.”


The Guide is available on the EPA website.

Notes to the Editor:

Guide: The guide, ‘Developing a Green Enterprise’ was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, with advice from Forfás.

Priority Action: This initiative by the State Agencies fully supports one of the three priorities established in the European Commission’s Europe 2020 Strategy – a European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.  This priority is: ‘Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy’. It also supports the policy ambitions in both the EU Flagship for a Resource Efficient Europe (2011), and in the EU Raw Materials Strategy (2011).

Benefits: Some of the benefits of improving resource efficiency include the following: lower operational overhead costs for Raw Materials, Energy, Water, and Waste Management; competitive & marketing advantages; improved working conditions and reduced liabilities; lower impact on the environment; enhanced corporate & community image; better products; patentable innovation opportunities; and customer loyalty.

Explanation of Eco-Efficiency: In the context of this publication the concept of eco-efficiency - or environmentally sustainable business practices - comprises four elements: Water Conservation, Waste Prevention, Energy Efficiency, and Clean Technology.   There is ample accounting proof that good environmental practices make good business sense: being resource efficient saves money. 
Energy Efficiency: Sustainable energy management for businesses and institutions encompasses energy mapping, awareness, behaviour management, technology choice, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) fit, potential for renewable sources at a facility, insulation, building zone management, demand management, machinery and equipment service and repair programmes,  lighting design, etc. 

Clean Technology: Clean technology involves design and operation of activities/services such that emissions are minimised.  It also involves the selection of processes and operational practices that would eliminate or minimise the use of harmful substances, or that would be more eco-efficient (i.e. consume less energy, raw materials, etc). 

Water Conservation: This operational good practice involves managing water use in such a way that conserves this valuable resource.  Examples of the sort of initiatives employed includes water metering, leak detection, pump balancing, water recycling, rainwater harvesting , use of ‘grey’ water  in process where possible, etc.

Waste Prevention
This aspect entails the configuration of your operations so as to minimise the waste generated, as well as such operational matters as source separation of waste streams, identification of re-use or recycling options for residual materials, designing products to minimise materials and packaging use, designing products that can be easier to repair or recycle at end of life, etc.