How much do you miss free plastic bags at the supermarket? How hard was it for you to transition to four rubbish bins instead of one? Are you still afraid of the eco setting on your washing machine? These are small decisions we can make in our day-to-day lives that can make a difference, but we need to put in the effort en masse to effect real change. The decision to go green isn’t just a catchphrase anymore, it’s a necessity, and leaders in the field who are making the big changes toward a greener future must share their hardships and successes with us so that we may carry the torch forward in our private lives and in our business dealings and strategies.
The Ireland Portugal Business Network is providing the platform for these game-changers in the political, social, technological, corporate, and academic arenas to shine some light on what it truly means to go green, as is tradition on St. Patrick’s Day. This year, as Portugal takes the Presidency of the EU Council and drives green initiatives to the forefront of the international agenda, there is real urgency to ensure a sustainable future. The IPBN’s three-day-long St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference from March 16 to 18 is a can’t-miss event for greener living through eye-opening talks and presentations, socially distanced cultural events, and other member activities focusing on projects and initiatives in building sustainable environments.
The speakers include Barry Andrews, an Irish Member of the European Parliament, Michael Naylor, IPBN Member and private equity investor in Green projects and companies, Sean Fleming is Ireland's Minister of State in the Department of Finance. Honorable Will Wynn, former Mayor of Austin Texas, and Dr. Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, part of the Ballymun Regeneration Project.
Barry Andrews MEP is serving as An Irish Member of the European Parliament representing the Dublin constituency as a member of the Fianna Fáil, part of the Parliamentary Renew Europe group. Among his other achievements, Andrews is the former CEO of GOAL, the International Development NGO, and the Director-General of the Institute of International and European Affairs. Andrews is a full member of the EU Parliament International Trade Committee.
Over a twenty-year career as an investor and board member in a number of successful sustainability-focused businesses, Michael Naylor is Chairman of the Board of Jupiter Green Investment Trust PLC in London, a board member of Sun Mobility Ltd, Verto LLC, and K Road LLC, and sits on the Advisory Board of XPV Water Partners LLP in Toronto, and Sylvera, an AI tech company focused on Carbon Market verification. He was a founding member of the non-profit NTR Foundation in Dublin, is a member of the Governance Board of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leaders (CISI), and most recently, he co-founded NHR Compassion Portugal, to raise badly needed funds to support the food banks in Portugal.
Sean Fleming is Minister of State in the Department of Finance. He was appointed to this role in July 2020. Sean was elected to represent the Laois/Offaly Constituency in the 2020 General Election, having been first elected to the Dáil in 1997. A charted accountant, he was educated at University College Dublin. Sean is a former Chairperson of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee. He was also previously Chairperson of the Oireachtas Finance Committee. Sean was Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform from 2011 to 2016. Sean was also elected as a Member of Laois County Council in 1999 and served in that role for 4 years. Fleming will speak on last month's Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2021 with particular reference to the plan’s Sustainable Finance pillar.
Currently working as a consultant to public and private entities on matters related to urban revitalization, energy policy, economic development, and sustainability, The Honorable Will Wynn served as a two-term mayor of Austin, Texas from 2003-09 and served on the Board of Directors of Austin Energy for nine years, the last six as Chairman. Wynn implemented Austin’s green-building program, created the U.S.’s most aggressive solar rebate program, created a city-wide climate protection program, and founded the GreenChoice renewable energy program. He has been awarded the Charles Percy Public Service Award by the Alliance to Save Energy, was named Energy Executive of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers and was honored for Outstanding Achievement at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2007 Climate Protection Awards.
Dr. Sarah Miller is an environmental scientist and business development manager with over 20 years of professional experience in the environmental services sector in the UK, Ireland, and Australia, working primarily with commercial, public sector, and social enterprise start-ups. As Environmental Manager with Ballymun Regeneration Ltd., she developed award-winning action-based, results-orientated projects to encourage sustainable living practice and support environmental services. As CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, Ireland’s National Centre for the Circular Economy, Sarah has developed a working model for social enterprise design, implementation, and management and has overseen the development of an ecological centre of excellence.
IPBN board members and Aoife Healy, Chair of the IPBN, will lead these esteemed guest speakers in conversations about their own innovations and the areas where we can continue to grow towards a more sustainable future. The virtual talks will be broadcast via Zoom to registered attendees.
On the last day, the IPBN will hold a virtual members meet members hosted by IPBN Board member Susan Cabeceiras. This year’s conference is sponsored by Konceptness, PAR (Passionate About Recycling), and KRA Renewables with our Executive partners Agreen Full Cycle Building Management and Dense Air, Ltd and supported by Media partners Essential business and Portugal Confidential. For all the details of the programme of the conference, please click here where you can register for free.