Thursday, 27 October 2022
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
36. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps that his Department is taking to complement the local government provision of local infrastructure and connectivity enabling sustainable travel, such as public transport, cycling and walking with sustainable travel infrastructure on IDA land banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53875/22]
Sustainable growth is at the centre of IDA Ireland's current strategy “Driving Recovery & Sustainable Growth 2021-2024”, in line with Government policy, international consensus, the vision of IDA client companies, and the demands of citizens. This strategy is framed through five interlinked pillars of Growth, Transformation, Regions, Sustainability, and Impact.
To ensure that the IDA support key environmental sustainability initiatives, I am advised they have developed a strategic approach guided by the EU’s taxonomy for sustainable activities with a focus on investments that relate to: climate change mitigation (e.g. the reduction of greenhouse gases); climate change adaptation (the reduction of adverse impacts); sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources; the transition to a circular economy; pollution prevention and control; and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.
The IDA land portfolio remains under constant review. It is essential that there are serviced sites with appropriate zoning, planning and required infrastructure in every region, to attract & secure FDI investment. In that context IDA’s regional property programme continues to embed sustainability through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation to deliver reduced carbon emissions and increased energy efficiency.
IDA Ireland supports client companies with operations on IDA sites as they pursue opportunities and address challenges related to environmental sustainability, including through collaborative engagement with key stakeholders. The Agency also continues to assess the potential for sustainability enhancements across IDA’s Business and Technology Parks and utility intensive strategic sites in 36 locations around the country, building on successful initiatives to date which include simple yet impactful steps such as the installation of more efficient public lighting and an enhanced focus on sustainable modes of transport such as public transport links to business parks. In that regard IDA supports access to the IDA park portfolio for public transport links and has installed bus and cycle infrastructure where possible in flagship parks.
In addition to the focus on climate action, IDA Ireland is also committed to protecting biodiversity and to the national efforts in this area following the Governments declaration of a Biodiversity Emergency in 2019.
In the implementation of their current strategy, the IDA is piloting biodiversity measures on selected business parks in line with the emphasis on biodiversity in the Programme for Government and in support of policies such as the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017- 2021 and the National Pollinator Plan. In line with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan for 2021-2025, which is a new five-year road map that aims to help bees, other pollinating insects and our wider biodiversity, IDA Property Division is currently reviewing locations suitable for developing these initiatives and has identified a number of IDA Business Parks for review and action.
IDA Ireland also continues to enhance its land bank optimisation initiative through developing a disposal strategy for non-strategic lands.