Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

SME Energy and Carbon Demands, Green Initiatives and Technology: Discussion

Mr. John Magee:

Absolutely, that is part of the conversation. When we deploy a consultant into the small business, initially for two days under the green for business programme, very often they will start with the business toolkit for climate, which is kind of a calculator looking first of all at inputs in terms of energy and water usage and all that sort of stuff. They look at that and try to put in place a baseline, very often for the first time, for a microenterprise. Often, when the consultant leaves they leave the microenterprises with a sustainability strategy that looks at those inputs and at reducing costs but, crucially, we hear time and again that the awareness-raising piece with the staff in the microenterprises is something they are really focused on. They realise that sustainability is not the job of one person in the business; it is a whole-of-business responsibility. In that context a small business owner can wear many hats but they will ultimately be focused on productivity, margins and trying to bring costs down. We focus on those kinds of input costs and seeing how they can be reduced. Is the business on the correct electricity tariff? Is there a way it can reduce water usage? All of these costs are increasing significantly so we focus on the inputs but we also focus on education and awareness raising, and we are hearing that the clients are really interested in those. That then helps them to talk to their customers.


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