Limerick hosts conference to encourage biodiversity in business

Liz Gabbett of Maigue Rivers Trust leads a riverside walk and talk tour. Photo: Alan Place.

OVER 100 sustainability partners gathered in Limerick last week for a conference to discuss biodiversity in Ireland.

Limerick-based 20FIFTY Partners brought together workers from companies like Irish Rail, Astellas Pharma, ABP Food Group, Uisce Éireann, Nestlé Wyeth Nutrition, and Repak to discuss topics including water stewardship, biodiversity, and the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The conference also saw the launch of a new Biodiversity Leaders Programme, spearheaded by the Climate Ready Academy, an initiative of Skillnet Ireland run by 20FIFTY Partners.

The eight-week course, led by Anja Murray, broadcaster, ecologist, and programme lead at Climate Ready Academy, aims to guide and empower businesses to adopt responsible and sustainable practices that can promote and enhance biodiversity.

Speaking about the launch of the programme, Ms Murray said: “The reality of the biodiversity crisis in Ireland is all too clear. Many of our most valuable habitats are in ‘unfavourable’ or ‘poor’ condition, half of our rivers are polluted and more than 60 per cent of Ireland’s wild bird species are in decline.”

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“Safeguarding the health of the natural environment has never been more crucial. Putting biodiversity high on the agenda of businesses across Ireland will foster the sea-change we need and help reverse the loss and restore ecosystems. This programme will provide companies with valuable tools and knowledge to support their journey,” she said. 

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland CEO, said: “The EU Year of Skills is a pivotal commitment from Commission that enshrines the value of skills and talent development throughout the member States. Core to this commitment is a focus on green-skilled jobs and powering the green transition through talent development.”

“Skillnet Ireland is working with multiple industry sectors, and directly with companies, to ensure they have a pipeline of the in-demand green skills,” he concluded.