Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Our purpose is to inspire and enable businesses to bring about a sustainable, low carbon economy and a more inclusive society. Every day BITCI advises top companies in Ireland on the need to embed and communicate on sustainability. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are the KPI’s for the planet to 2030 and they position business as a vital partner to achieving sustainable development. Companies that understand the opportunities and challenges presented by the goals gain a real competitive advantage. Sustainable businesses are successful businesses.
This autumn we will encompass a new element of sustainability in our World of Work programme. Our participating companies will be collaborating this summer to discuss and decide on the content. This will be a great forerunner for second year students who may wish to consider taking the new Climate Action and Sustainable Development Leaving Certificate subject in a few years’ time. Already, many companies have shared their sustainability strategies with students in this year’s World of Work programme. See below examples:
Amazon Web Services & Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Co. Louth & St. Paul’s Secondary School, Dublin – World of Work programme
Sustainability was on the agenda for Scoil Uí Mhuirí and St Paul’s Secondary School students during the World of Work programme this year. Amazon Web Services engineers from the Water Projects team and Mechanical Engineering team dedicated two sessions to the topic. Volunteers discussed how Amazon Web Services acts sustainably and the time they give to considering the communities they are based in. Students learned about water conservation, heat recovery / district heating and solar panels.
Mergon & Castlepollard Community College, Co. Westmeath – World of Work programme
The report contains easy to understand explanations of sustainability topics, accompanied by illustrations designed to assist employees to educate their children on the importance of climate action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Breedon Cement & Ballymahon Vocational School, Co. Longford – World of Work programme
During the company overview session on the World of Work programme, Breedon Cement volunteers promoted wellbeing, health & safety and caring for the environment as one of many key strengths. Breedon Cement have increased the number of sites with environmental, safety and quality certification, and focused on actively engaging communities through a local liaison and support for local events, community groups and sports teams. Volunteers explained to students that its policies and codes of conduct encourage the highest standards in areas such as the environment, health & safety, gender pay and equal opportunities.
Britvic Ireland/Ballygowan & Desmond College, Co. Limerick and Deansrath Community College, Dublin – World of Work programme
Britvic Ireland volunteers were delighted to share with second-year students the work they have been doing across the business to ensure a healthier and more sustainable planet. They gave insight on where we are today, post the industrial revolution, and reviewed population growth, carbon emissions and deforestation trends. Volunteers spoke about the Sustainability Development Goals developed by the UN and played a clip of the rap version of the explanation. They explained how Britvic is incorporating the SDGs into its’ targets and delivering through the Healthier People Healthier Planet strategy. They spoke about work being done to reduce carbon footprint, plastic consumption and water usage. Finally, they shared with students what a household Carbon footprint may look like and what we can do as individuals to reduce our impact by changing our behaviours and challenging the status quo.
Liberty IT & Pobalscoil Iosolde & Palmerstown Community School, Dublin – World of Work programme
Liberty IT delivered an excellent session to the 2nd year students in Palmerstown Community College on sustainability and diversity and inclusion. Colleagues joined online from Belfast and Dublin and spoke about all the initiatives that Liberty IT have undertaken to improve their environmental stewardship around planting for biodiversity and keeping the office’s carbon footprint low. They also spoke about their Women in Tech programme and how the company celebrates sustainability through people and community, including running Pride Ally trainings in the office and celebrating the diversity of the Liberty IT team.
Cisco & Ringsend College, Dublin – World of Work programme
The students’ creativity was pushed to its limits at a design thinking session where the students were tasked with a problem statement which was a general question around how they could improve the lives of residents local to the school within the theme of sustainability. They learnt a little about what being sustainable involves and then identified a problem, developed solutions, selected one of these and developed the idea with a target audience in mind. One group proposed an app that would support keeping streets clean and another looked into recycling sports equipment. All had to present their ‘product’ which also honed their presentation skills.
Avolon & James Street CBS, Dublin – World of Work programme
The students got a special insight into the future of sustainable air travel during the workplace visit to the Avolon offices when they learned about Avolon’s newest venture called E-VTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) which is a fully electric aircraft that relies on electric power source and can land and take off vertically (like a helicopter). The students were enthralled by this glimpse into the future of aviation, with these aircraft being designed to make short hops in traffic congested cities such as London, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro. The students saw visualisations of how these would operate and had plenty of questions for the Avolon presenters.
Norton Lifelock & New Cross College, Dublin – World of Work programme
The sustainability session during the World of Work programme saw Norton’s Senior CR Manager give the students an overview of what sustainability means for companies and communities and then they were put to work on a task in groups. The students were given scenarios in the supply chain process for food retailing and were asked to consider how sustainability could be improved in day-to-day practices, which included paying fair wages to farmers, using more sustainable means of transporting goods and having low-energy supermarkets. It was a real learning exercise into the challenges and possible solutions for companies who are operating sustainably.
Telus International and St Colman’s Community College, Cork – World of Work programme
During the World of Work programme, Telus’s Horticultural Therapist and Sustainability Representative, Ciara Parsons demonstrated to students how to sow seeds. Students each sowed a sunflower seed and took them back to the school to grow and flourish. Ciara also showed the students the fruit and vegetables growing in the biodome on the company grounds, which include tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, grapes and a fig tree. Raised outside beds provide fresh salad and vegetables that are used in the canteen and available for employees. Employees find huge benefit from tending to the plots and enjoying the seasonal bounty. They have their own beehives and produce Telus honey.
By Aoife Drinan, BITCI
For more information on how to get involved with our programmes, click here.