Guinness Enterprise Centre and Techies Go Green aim to create new jobs in the sustainability space over the coming years.
GEC, a global incubator that is home to more than 160 innovative start-ups, will become the new home of Techies Go Green, a movement of more than 300 IT and tech-oriented companies which are committed to decarbonising their businesses. Techies Go Green will use the facility as its base of operations, as well as for educational events for signatories.
“We want to be at the forefront of the circular economy and create a space where like-minded companies can work and grow in tandem”
Recently nominated by Government as a Circular Economy Hub, the GEC currently houses 10 innovative organisations working in the sustainability space, who met with Minister Ryan at the event to discuss their work.
Creating a climate tech cluster
The centre wants to further grow this sustainability cluster, which promotes and embraces green business practices, and attract more innovative start-ups. This includes companies which are developing green technologies and sustainability solutions that will make a positive impact on the planet. In launching this initiative, the GEC also hopes to support further jobs in this space over the coming years.
“Together, the GEC and Techies Go Green want to lead the sea change towards a more sustainable and greener future,” said Eamonn Sayers, the GEC’s manager. “We want to be at the forefront of the circular economy and create a space where like-minded companies can work and grow in tandem.
“That means broadening our own climate agenda and placing sustainability at the heart of everything we do. Education is the first step, followed by action. Through Techies Go Green, we will be able to bring the best in global sustainability thinking to our 160 client companies, and through the sustainability cluster, we will give companies more access to networks, knowledge, collaboration and empower change and innovation. In turn, this will help Ireland to meet its goals and create a better world.”
Furthermore, the GEC is building on its own green strategy, investing €500,000 in making its premises more sustainable. The majority of the funding – made available through an Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS) grant – has already gone towards numerous upgrades across the building including more heat-efficient windows, a new heat pump system and sensor-controlled LED light fittings.
“We are thrilled to partner with an organisation that is internationally recognised as one of the best new business incubators in the world, and one that has sustainability as one of its core objectives. We see the GEC as a key partner and sustainability evangelist,” said Michael O’Hara, Co-Founder of Techies Go Green and managing director of DataSolutions.
“The actions it has taken to date, together with the actions it has planned over the next 24 months, will position the GEC as a sustainability leader and role model for the innovative start-up businesses based there.
“Techies Go Green partnering with the GEC provides access to more skills that will help businesses identify and achieve tangible results when it comes to being sustainable and reducing the impact of climate change. It’s a shared passion and one that requires people and businesses to collaborate and innovate.”
The upgrades will also cover the installation of electric vehicle, e-bike and e-scooter chargers. The GEC plans to create a changing room facility to encourage workers to travel by foot or bike and is exploring a major solar panel installation on the roof – which is currently home to 18,000 bees in 15 beehives, encouraging biodiversity in the heart of Dublin city.
The development of the sustainability cluster was welcomed by Environment and Climate Minister Eamon Ryan, TD.
“What’s happening at the GEC right now is also a preview into the future of smart business and innovation in Ireland. There are two inter-related, clean industrial revolutions going on at the moment – one is happening in the response to our climate crisis and the shift to renewables in particular. The other is happening in technology and digitalisation.
“The GEC sustainability cluster encapsulates both, providing a hub for young, creative technological and green start-ups with a new base for Techies Go Green, while also embedding sustainability and the circular economy in everything that happens on site itself. It’s clever. It’s collaborative. It’s the way forward,” Ryan said.
Image at top: Eamonn Sayers, manager, Guinness Enterprise Centre; Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for the Environment and Climate; Michael O’Hara, co-founder, Techies Go Green; and Dr Mary O’Riordan, CEO, HaPPE Earth