The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Enterprise Ireland (EI) all offer a variety of environmental supports to Irish businesses. These supports include everything from guidance documents and tools to free one-on-one consultancy, nationwide workshops and financial grants.
SME Support Centre: SEAI runs a dedicated service for small, medium and micro business in Ireland. This includes the following key offers:
Green Business: Green Business is a free and confidential resource efficiency service for all types of SMEs in Ireland. The service is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the National Waste Prevention Programme with the objective of delivering substantive resource efficiency improvements and cost savings, through waste prevention and reductions in water and energy consumption.
Businesses can request a free site visit carried out by our experienced GreenBusiness advisors. A report is then produced which provides recommendations for resource efficiency savings. Green Business also runs free events and workshops all over the country and, in its resources section, offers a wealth of guides, reports, videos and case studies on everything from resource efficiency to eco-design to life cycle management to green procurement. They are also connected to the Green Hospitality programme, which is focussed on the travel and tourism sector.
Green Enterprise Funding Scheme: Through a co-funding model, Green Enterprise challenges organisations and companies to produce goods and provide services in more environmentally friendly ways and to minimise emissions through cleaner production methods. The objective is to achieve a balance between economic activity and environmental protection. See some examples of the kinds of projects they fund here.
SMILE Resource Exchange: SMILE Resource Exchange is a free service for businesses that encourages the exchanging of resources between its members in order to save money, reduce waste going to landfill and to develop new business opportunities. Potential exchanges are identified through free networking events, a free online exchange facility and a support team to assist throughout. At SMILE networking exchange events and through the website businesses can identify resources they would like to exchange such as reusable items, by-products and surplus products. All resources offered are either free of charge or below market value. The service is available to businesses in the Republic of Ireland.
First Steps to Green Competitiveness Guidebook: Aimed at consultants, this very useful document can help you quickly understand how managing environmental impacts and producing an Environmental Policy Statement can benefit to your company. It includes practical and easy to use assessment tools for water, energy, noise, air, storage and wastes.
GreenStart: The GreenStart programme is designed for SME companies only. It aims to increase the level of environmental awareness relating to regulatory compliance and help with the development of a basic management system in companies which do not have in-house expertise or have conducted limited environmental activities to date. An increase in environmental performance can help companies reach a level where they can achieve competitive advantage through greater resource efficiency (energy/water/waste costs) and greater market share through enhanced credentials.