ESB: Making a positive impact

Business in the Community Ireland

Company Description:
ESB (Electricity Supply Board) is a leading Irish company in the energy utility sector, employing over 9,300 people. It is 95% owned by the Government of Ireland, with the remaining shares held by an employee share ownership trust. In 2004, ESB had a turnover of €2,488.9m and a profit after tax of €267.3m. ESB operates through four businesses: ESB Power Generation, ESB Customer Supply, ESB Networks and ESB Commercial Enterprises.

Business Issue:
Enhance and develop the company’s relationship with its staff and the community through making a substantial impact on key causes in Ireland.

Solution Applied:

  • In July 2005, following in-depth consultation with staff, government agencies and NGOs to establish the most pressing areas of need in Ireland, ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus, launched a new company fund to make a real impact on Suicide Prevention & Counselling and Care of the Homeless.
  • Called ESB ElectricAID Ireland, every employee or pensioner of ESB (or its subsidiary companies) is eligible to be a member. ESB has committed €1million per year to the fund.

Company Benefits:
ESB considers itself part of the social fabric of Ireland and this initiative will enable us to enhance our relationship with our staff and community stakeholders. According to John Power, ESB Head of Corporate Affairs, “By joining with our staff in identifying the initiatives to be supported by ESB ElectricAid Ireland, we feel we are making a difference to two vitally important causes in Irish society.”

Stakeholder Benefits:

  • In its first year of operation, ESB ElectricAID Ireland funded 112 projects across the 32 counties of Ireland, totalling €1.17m. 75projects were funded in the area of Suicide Prevention and 37 in the area of Homelessness, with activities ranging from national research projects to small community initiatives.
  • Alan Wardle of the Shankhill Stress and Trauma Centre in Belfast was heartened that “the grant received from ESB ElectricAID Ireland will help sustain a new outreach counselling service we are providing to both communities in North & West Belfast.”
  • The acceptance of their project for funding has meant that the Clann Family Resource Centre in Oughterard, Co Galway can now provide a programme called “Creating Power Within” comprising counselling workshops, support groups and awareness-raising to deal with stress, depression and suicidal tendencies resulting from disadvantage and marginalisation. Anne O’Shaughnessy, Centre Co-ordinator is confident this funding will contribute to “young people and adults feeling empowered and having a positive impact within the community through development and social inclusion.”

Departments Involved:
ESB ElectricAID Ireland

Solution Champion:
James Foley, Fund Administrator, ESB ElectricAID Ireland, james.foley@esb.ie

Year
2006