Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Local Enterprise Offices

Steven Matthews (Wicklow, Green Party)
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182. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his plans regarding the introduction of sustainability indicators for enterprises in receipt of support from their local enterprise office given that this would highlight businesses that have made a conscious effort with regard to sustainability goals and this is not considered at present as part of a grant application. [43326/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Under the Government's Climate Action Plan and in preparation for developing a new strategy, Enterprise Ireland is assessing further the scope and scale of supports and programmes offered to client companies in the area of sustainability and resilience in a low carbon economy. This will include an assessment of Local Enterprise Office supports.

The Local Enterprise Offices established the LEO Green Committee in October 2020 to drive implementation and build on pilot programmes such as the Going Green Project, the Green for Micro Project and the Lower Carbon Lower Cost Initiative run by various LEOs in 2020.

In the first Quarter of 2021, the Local Enterprise Offices are planning to launch a National Green for Micro initiative to help micro-enterprises incorporate sustainable practices into the day-to-day running of their businesses and to assist them in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

In their role as a ‘signposting’ service to businesses, the Local Enterprise Offices can assist enterprises in identifying the sustainability standard most appropriate to their activities, including some existing approaches which facilitate companies communicating their sustainability to employees, stakeholders and customers. These can be sector specific, such as the Origin Green program in the food sector.

My Department is collaborating with Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices Centre of Excellence and other agencies to help build a web portal to provide SMEs with relevant tools and content to address the climate action and sustainability agenda. This portal will include a carbon calculator, a template action plan and signposting to relevant agency supports and case studies.

The Local Enterprise Offices will actively promote this portal across its client base, with the objective of increasing the ability of Irish microenterprises to accurately measure their CO2 footprint and awareness of the most impactful ways to reduce emissions and improve sustainability.

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