Site Visits, Cork – IRELAND

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11th, 12th and 13th September 2012  

Macroom E

Macroom E is a dynamic community enterprise centre, dedicated to helping start up & growing businesses in the Lee Valley region. Macroom E is an initiative of a number of public bodies and the building can accommodate many types of businesses in a supportive & friendly atmosphere and the team at Macroom E will help all of the clients in the building to develop their business. The building offers a wide choice of office space ranging from hotdesks and small offices to industrial units, the aim of this is to suit any requirements new or expanding companies may have. The Enterprise Centre is housed in a modern with a number of environmental features such as:
  • Solar water heating system
  • Mobility sensors and energy saving light bulbs
  • Collection of rain water from the roof to be used as grey water for low-water toilets cisterns
  • High efficiency electrical equipment
  • Wood-chip boiler and geothermal system to provide heating
  • Passive solar heating from a number of south facing windows
  • Use of mirrored light tubes and roof lights with northern aspects to increase natural daylight and decrease the dependence on artificial lighting
Macroom E was a finalist in the 2004 Sustainable Energy Awards in the category of “Excellence in design & specification”. Macroom E educates its client companies about the importance of sustainable value creation with a focus on incorporating environmental sustainability into the client companies operations. In keeping with its core mission of promoting best environmental practices, Macroom E runs a number of environmental projects such as Wastematchers, Eco Business Ireland Awards and SMILE Resource Exchange. SMILE is a free service for business that encourages the sharing and exchanging of resources in order to reduce costs and help the environment. Based on the concept that “one’s waste could be another’s resource”; businesses have opportunities to identify potential partnerships through networking exchange events and an online exchange facility. All resources offered are either free of charge or below market value. Wastematchers is another initiative organised by Macroom E, the aim is to divert waste from landfill and encourage reuse over recycling or dumping. It is aimed at members of the public who want to get rid of something by giving it away to someone who needs it instead of sending it to a landfill.  

Sean Murphy, Cork Chamber

Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive Sean Murphy made a presentation to the DESUR group about Chambers Ireland’s work with SME’s and promotion of CSR actions within SME’s. Chambers Ireland is Ireland’s largest business network with 60 member chambers representing more than 13,000 businesses on the island of Ireland. Chambers Ireland’s mission is to represent the interests of member companies; to promote business competitiveness in Ireland and to enable the development of the chamber movement throughout the island. Chambers Ireland highlights the role that business plays in society by actively engaging and consulting with stakeholders in a manner that goes beyond its financial and legal commitment.  They promote the idea that responsible and transparent behaviour towards stakeholders play an important role in ensuring continued success of the company to their companies within the context that there is a growing expectation of stakeholders that businesses contribute to communities in which they operate. The chamber work with SME’s who have an interest in CSR and they help them to understand the benefits such as enhanced reputation, customer attraction and retention, enhanced efficiency and staff productivity for their company of introducing CSR actions into their business operations. In the Chambers opinion CSR should be undertaken on a voluntary basis. They believe that responsibility is a choice and mandatory activity will destroy goodwill and remove motivation to go beyond basic requirements of law. The voluntary action of CSR also promotes innovation within SME’s which could have positive effects in other parts of the Company.The Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards were established in 2004 to recognise the work being carried out by Irish and multinational companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate.  

Scally’s Supervalu Clonakilty

SuperValu is part of the Musgrave Group, Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributor. There are 193 independently owned SuperValu stores throughout Ireland. Scally’s SuperValu is a good example of an exceptional SuperValu and it has been nationally recognised for this. Scally's SuperValu is a family run business and has been serving the community of Clonakilty since 1984. In November 2004 they opened a new shop which afforded them the opportunity to offer an even higher level of service through the development of wider aisles, better variety and faster service. In response to consumer demand they have gone back to basics and have a full working kitchen preparing handmade meals using only the best natural ingredients. They also set up an Artisan Bakery, which produces freshly made bread in store every day. Manager of Scally’s SuperValu was recently the recipient of the prestigious ‘Management Award for the large store category' at the Shelf life GRAM management awards.  The award is presented to the manger who can demonstrate that they professionally manage their store and their team to the highest standards. That through in-store innovation, staff motivation and strong leadership they have brought their store to a new level of excellence and success. For many local producers Scally’s SuperValu provides security of demand for their product. By supplying to Scally’s the producer reduces their risk of not selling all its produce at the traditional farmers. Scally’s SuperValu also stocks local fish and meat producers and can provide information as to where their meat and fish has been farmed. They also provide their customers with an option of purchasing fresh organic meat from a local farm. In 2011 the store received two accolades from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) for their fish stock. They received the BIM Supermarket Seafood Counter 2011 for a second year in a row and the Award for Product Innovation 2011. Scally’s SuperValu also does a lot of work with the community outside of the store. Members from the Scally’s team visit local schools to educate staff and students about the importance of a healthy diet and promote the benefits of eating from local sources.  Helping the local community is at the heart of Scally’s mission and drives their CSR strategy and actions. Scally’s have developed a close relationship with their suppliers through this community interaction. As a result of their efforts, their customers also know that they are always guaranteed the very best locally produced fare. Scally’s SuperValu values their employees and recognise that their success is a direct result of everyone that makes up the SuperValu team. The team members in Scally’s are credited as being the greatest asset of their business and as a group they all strive towards the goal of providing the best value, range and service for their customers. As part of the CSR in Scally’s Supervalu they facilitate flexibility in hours for parents and have an ‘open door’ policy where all members of the team can freely approach a manager if they have any concerns or any ideas they would like to put forward to develop the store.  

Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa Hotel

Supporting environmentally sustainable good practices is one of the primary goals which support the ‘triple bottom line’ of sustainability, which includes environment, society and economic aspects. Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa Hotel is an example of good practice in environmentally sustainable construction and business operation. The Hotel is situated about fifty meters from the beach, with all rooms facing the Atlantic in Inchydoney Bay.  It is medium sized over four floors, with restaurants, spa, swimming pool Gym and other facilities. The Hotel has been building a very good reputation as a high quality, eco-hotel. And while some of the environmental improvements have yet to be delivered, the upgrading thus far is quite impressive. These include:
  • Replacement of heating and cooling systems (fossil fuel – gas) with renewable fuel (wood pellets) from renewable forests in the region. New and energy efficient boilers fitted. Payback on costs three years. There is spare boiler capacity and natural gas back-up if necessary.
  • Water is pumped from the sea and heated to a suitable temperature and circulated in the spa and swimming pool. The water is returned to the sea and replaced as required (there has been no chemical treatment in the process).
  • The sea-water is heated using solar panels on the swimming pool roof, which may be supported from the general renewable fuel system.
  • Lighting systems are in the process of retro-fit using low energy and LED lamps
  • Special training is given by the plant services eco-manager to all personnel, including the four sub-managers, so that all know how the system works and the part they must play. E.g. The booking desk personnel are trained to manage the guest room distribution at off-peak, such that if guests are only say 25 or 50% of capacity then one or two floors will be used, rather than spread the guests over the four floors (the rooms are not as yet individually heated) and the corridors and ancillary areas on each floor occupied must be heated.
Elevated satisfaction levels both by staff and consumer, especially in the ‘feel-good’ factor. Higher incentive by employees to lower the Hotel’s footprint (all have undertaken appropriate training). Local and wider community benefit from reduced emissions, and take pride in having a ‘green’ hotel in their community. Customers and guests are happy to support the green initiatives.