Intel Ireland: Biodiversity in the Rye River

Business in the Community Ireland

Company Description:
Watch a video of this case study. This case study is one of 10 most innovative examples selected from 182 case studies collated over the period 2003-2008

The Intel Ireland Campus, located in Leixlip, County Kildare, is Intel’s fourth largest manufacturing site. Over €6 billion has been invested in turning the 36 0 acre former stud farm into the most technologically advanced industrial location in Europe.

Business Issue:
The Rye river runs at the back of the Intel campus. It is an important tributary of the river Liffey and is approximately 26 km in length. The Rye water is considered one of the most important salmon spawning grounds in the Liffey catchment. When Intel first located on the site, the river was at risk due to large over-growth. Intel set the objective of improving the condition of the Rye as a community amenity and the quality of the river as a salmon and trout fishery.

Solution Applied:
• In 1993, Intel commenced a cleanup of the river banks and river bed. Funded by Intel, this project was carried out in conjunction with the Fisheries Boards, the Water Bailiff, Leixlip District Angler’s Association and the OPW. This led to the formation of the ‘Friends of the Rye River’, a key group of local stakeholders concerned about the long-term viability of the river. Intel plays a leadership and facilitation role in bringing together all interested parties quarterly, to explore ways the river can be improved.
• We then began working with Aquens (environmental consultants) to produce an annual limnological study to measure the quality of the water at designated sites and make a study of the macroinvertebrate and salmon and trout in the river.
• In 2001 a project was undertaken to encourage butterflies and bees into the area through the planting of specially-designed beds. A free-standing interpretive board was also produced, detailing the restoration work on the Rye, wildlife and the history of the area.
• In 2005 a project was completed involving the construction of a series of vortex stone weirs, excavation of pools and placement of salmon spawning gravels at intervals throughout the river, downstream of Sandford Bridge.
• To encourage awareness of the natural habitats on the campus, Intel commissioned a report on the flora and fauna on the site. This study was also used as an opportunity to create employee awareness of the amenity, art work for employee’s children and nature walks for local schools.

Company Benefits:
Intel is seen as a trusted member of the local community through our continued commitment to enhance the river Rye. Through a variety of programmes we have increased employee and community awareness about the environment on the Intel campus and these programmes have gradually garnered third party endorsement.

Stakeholder Benefits:
• The scientific research of the river is now a community resource and is available for public review.
• The local community has benefited from the support of environmental projects that enhances their community. The documentation will be a resource for years to come.

• Maintaining commitment to the initiative. The cost of rejuvenation and surveying is significant.
• The river is affected by aspects beyond the control of the core team, e.g. the quality of the river is directly impacted by its tributaries.

• Make employees your advocates through creative awareness campaigns.
• Engage a variety of stakeholders, not just those that you deem to be directly affected.

Departments Involved:
Corporate Affairs and Environmental Health and Safety.

Solution Champion:
Sarah Sexton, External Affairs Generalist,