CSR: A step in the right direction

Talk the talk, walk the walk

Green is the new Black!

 

More and more, we talk about climate change in the context of future proofing our City region. Justifiably, this is the biggest global threat to our current modus operandi in how we live, work and play.  We need to work from the ground up with our actions, as well as from the top down with government level policies. There are the persistent challenges of increasing congestion and flooding which we engage with on an ongoing basis, but what about what we can do locally as a business, as a stakeholder in our local environment?

The actions that we can accomplish across our current operating practices are intrinsic in linking to the broader policy direction. That is why we decided as a team to review our own daily practices to see where we could identify actions to green these practices.

Our journey so far

Since introducing this review, we have made a few small changes. Last year we introduced our Cork Chamber reusable cups to staff for using on the go. We’ve registered staff for the Cork public bike scheme, promoting this as the preferred and healthier option for traveling between meetings in the City.

Most recently, we became involved in the EcoMerit certification scheme for businesses.

Step by step

EcoMerit is an environmental certification supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other partner organisations including the Southern Waste Region and kicks off with an environmental ‘health check’. The certification is focused on empowering a business or organisation to become more sustainable.

Without a dedicated environmental manager it can sometimes be difficult to monitor energy, waste and water costs to bring about performance and cost-saving improvements. And here begins the journey of Cork Chamber and EcoMerit. The EcoMerit certification is designed specifically to assist smaller organisations to identify improvement opportunities.

Cork Chamber undertook the certification process earlier this year. This involved a commitment to implementing a number of practice and procedural changes towards achieving environmental improvements. We are being more conscious in our purchasing considerations. Our focus has increased on waste prevention and segregation for reuse and recycling. We also made a commitment to pollution prevention. We’ve consciously increased our energy saving and water saving efforts and are looking to continue in these improvements year-on-year.

Commencing with a site review and improvement plan, we worked hard to achieve the improvement actions identified, and to get certified.

What you can do

With a strong commitment to helping change Cork for the better. You too can utilise CSR in big ways and little ways to help Cork become a better place to live, work and play. A great starting point is to check out the EcoMerit website here and/or alternatively partner with a charity organisation to share skills, fundraise or promote.

Here’s to walking the walk.

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