Embracing more sustainable business models can be a difficult task. Companies of all sizes who are considering reducing their carbon footprint share similar challenges, not least of which is evaluating how to turn that initial investment cost into a profit and ultimately generate a significant return on investment.
Ireland has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 51% by 2030, and as a nation has a long-term target of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Getting companies onside is an important part of those goals. There are a number of incentives in place that businesses can utilise which ensure a broad agreement is reached in the market so that a more sustainable future is possible.
A good place to start is understanding your current carbon footprint.
The Irish Government created a ‘Climate Toolkit’ website to measure carbon emissions. It offers practical advice about sustainable, cost-efficient products and services to reduce the carbon footprint.
Small businesses can also use the free Carbon Footprint Calculator, which can drill deeper into various aspects of your business, supply chain and current asset usage.
The National Waste Prevention Programme, led by the Environmental Protection Agency, has developed resources to help ‘green your business’. It includes factsheets and case studies specific to the hospitality sector, and the construction and demolition sector.
All the above can help identify gaps and areas in your current energy landscape which can inform your investment decisions in the future.
The Government has made grants available to support businesses to become more resource efficient. A summary of these are displayed below.
|Climate Enterprise Action Fund|
Administered by Enterprise Ireland and includes:
– Climate Action voucher – up to the value of €1,800.
– GreenStart grant – up to €5,000.
– GreenPlus grant – funding up to 50% of your climate change and sustainability plan.
|EXEED grant scheme|
Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design promoting energy efficiency in business.
Successful applicants can receive grant support of up to €1,000,000 per project, and is open to any sector, organisation or project.
An initiative to support development of innovative practical applications and solutions to prevent waste and stimulate the circular economy.
The maximum amount of funding available is €100,000 per grant award.
|Accelerated Capital Allowance|
A tax incentive scheme allowing a sole trader, farmer or company that currently pays corporation tax in Ireland to deduct the full cost of energy-efficient equipment from their profits in the year of purchase.
|Support Scheme for Renewable Heat|
Grants available for air, ground and water source heat pumps. Open to commercial, industrial, agricultural, public sector and non-domestic heat users.
Installation grant can cover up to 30% of eligible costs as well as ongoing support.
|Electric SPSV Scheme|
Owning a small public service vehicle (e.g. taxi or hackney) can make you eligible.
Successful applicants can receive a grant up to €10,000 toward the cost of a new, full-battery eSPSV. Additional funding is available for scrapping older vehicles in exchange for fully electric models.
|Financial Supports for Sustainable Farming|
Agriculture is a major proponent of greenhouse gas emissions and the main supports available include:
– Results Based Environment Agri Pilot Programme (REAP) which is designed to improve environmental conditions of the land, including farm features.
– Woodland Support Funds to cover the cost of forestry projects.
– Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) to provide funding to farmers for tackling climate change, preserving biodiversity and protecting habitats.
– Organic Farming.
– Smart Farming.
Training and Support
To encourage greater awareness of sustainable practices, and offer practical suggestions in your business, there are a range of support options available.
- Green for Micro
- A free training programme for small businesses with up to 10 employees.
- Climate Ready
- Specialised training around climate action, sustainability and corporate responsibility.
- Water Conservation for Business
- Online information hub to help businesses learn more about the conservation of water resources.
- SEAI Energy Academy
- e-Learning service to upskill staff on improving energy efficiencies, reduce waste and lower carbon emissions.
- SEAI Energy Show
- Annual event with free workshops, expert briefings and best practice demonstrations.
To learn more about the various financial aids available to those who wish to adopt a greener, sustainable model in their business practice, you can read more here.
To start your own journey and engage with our highly skilled and experienced team to better understand how your own business can benefit from the various supports available, you can contact us for an initial consultation.