Taoiseach Enda Kenny has invited companies across Galway to join up to Ireland’s fastest growing upcycling network.
The Taoiseach was speaking at the national launch of SMILE Resource Exchange – an innovative initiative whose aim is to link companies across Ireland that can share by-products rather than send them to landfill. Despite still being in its infancy, SMILE has over 1000 members nationwide and the financial benefits of membership are quickly being recognised.
“I’m delighted to launch SMILE Resource Exchange and to lend my support to the bright idea of businesses coming together to reduce waste, save money and share resources,” he said.
“SMILE provides a great free service to businesses and allows them to network with other companies to find opportunities of mutual benefit and help the environment. I hope more Irish companies will be able to find new efficiencies and make new connections through the SMILE network.”
Since its inception, SMILE has been instrumental in linking up Irish businesses to make financial savings while reducing waste destined for landfill and developing new business opportunities. In October 2013, SMILE welcomed its 1000th member and through its national launch, aims to attract and foster new business relationships on a wider scale throughout the country.
Recently, SMILE has welcomed multi-nationals such as IKEA to its membership and has piloted bespoke exchanges between these and smaller Irish companies under their corporate social responsibility policies. SMILE’s new national platform hopes to develop further similar relationships and encourage greater symbiosis between Irish businesses of all sizes.
Implementing the EU Green Deal more urgent than ever after COP26
For some time now, the European Union has been leading the way in the fight against climate change. As European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness recalls, “When the Commission committed in December 2019 to achieving climate neutrality by the middle of this century, this was ground-breaking – a clear sign of EU ambition and a signal to the rest of the world to make bold and ambitious commitments. Several of the world’s leading economies have also now committed to climate neutrality by 2050. Europe will keep working with our global partners to achieve our collective ambition to tackle climate change.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that, “Europe is on track to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050. We have reduced our emissions by more than 31% compared with 1990, while at the same time growing our economy by 60%, which shows that you can cut emissions and prosper.” Europe’s Green Deal recognises that the transition to a low carbon economy can be driven by investing in green technologies, which provide hundreds of millions of good, safe, sustainable jobs worldwide.
As a world leader in the fight against climate change, the EU ensured that progress was made at COP26 on three important objectives. President von der Leyen cited these objectives as “First, to get commitments to cut emissions to keep within reach the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees. Second, to reach the target of 100 billion dollars per year of climate finance to developing and vulnerable countries. And third, to get agreement on the Paris rulebook.”
Regarding the ‘Paris rulebook’ to measure the implementation of international climate agreements, Commissioner McGuinness confirmed, “This work is quite technical but it is vital for ensuring accountability. All countries need to be sure that others will match their words with actions – and avoid that some countries take unfair advantage of the work of others.”
COP26 demonstrated that we must remain aware of the scale of the changes necessary to reach our climate goals. For example, over 100 countries followed the EU and US in pledging to reduce methane emissions by 30%.
COP26 also focused on sustainable finance – opening the way for moving large amounts of money – private funds – towards sustainable investments. As Commissioner for financial services, Commissioner McGuinness noted, “Public funding has an important role, but it will not be enough to reach climate neutrality. The private sector, and the financial sector in particular, are central to helping us meet our climate targets.”
Pieta recruits new Galway therapists
Pieta, the national suicide and self-harm prevention charity, has announced it is on a current recruitment drive to hire qualified and accredited therapists, specifically with child and adolescent experience in Galway city and Tuam.
The recruitment drive comes as the demand for Pieta’s services for under 18s has increased by 42% since 2020 and almost a quarter of these have attempted suicide.
Pieta is focused on therapists performing its day-to-day tasks from centre locations; working hours are flexible with several options available including 15, 20 or 25 hours per week with one evening required.
The roles will be varied, and candidates will have the opportunity to engage in flexible working arrangements through Pieta’s in-person and video counselling service. Candidates must have experience working with teenagers and children.
Pieta’s Regional Manager for Connacht, Ulster & Midlands, Grainne McGill said it was always hard to see people struggling – but particularly when they are under 18.
“So far, this year we have had almost 1,500 clients under the age of 18 and almost 8,000 hours of therapy provided to this age group. Our services are needed now more than ever, and an increase in the volume of therapists with specific experience to deal with our increasing younger age group is priority for us,” she said.
For further information, visit https://www.pieta.ie/ careers/
Teeing up for tourism success
A couple of golf clubs in the south and east of the county have joined with compatriots in the Midlands to ensure a greater slice of this tourism sector that generates €300 million a year across the country.
Ballinasloe GC and Portumna GC joined representatives from Slieve Russell, Glasson Lakehouse Mount Temple GC, County Longford GC and Farnham Estate as the Ireland Golf Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) hosted its first in-person event in 18 months to highlight the incredible golfing experiences available throughout Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
The IGTOA and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Golf Challenge and Business Networking Dinner, in association with Fáilte Ireland, took place in the newly refurbished Glasson Lakehouse hotel & golf resort outside Athlone.
They heard that the golf tourism industry attracted 200,000 visitors a year to Ireland before the outbreak of Covid-19 – accounting for 1.6 million bed nights.
And those clubs within the Hidden Heartlands region want to claim their share of that.
Head of Business development in Fáilte Ireland, Paul Mockler said that the state tourism promoter has, and will continue to, support and invest significantly in the golf tourism industry.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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