New five-year plan to help Irish businesses get Climate Ready

7 Apr 2021

Image: © artrachen/

Led by Skillnet Ireland, Climate Ready will train companies on reducing energy waste, expand the Water Stewardship programme and deliver online courses for staff.

A new Government-backed programme is aiming to help Irish businesses respond to the climate emergency.

The Climate Ready initiative was launched today (7 April) by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD. It comprises a five-year national initiative that looks to prepare companies and employees for the challenges and opportunities that the climate crisis will bring for business.

Skillnet Ireland has partnered with Chambers Ireland, Wind Energy Ireland and Sustainable Finance Ireland to bring the programme to more than 1,100 companies and 3,000 workers initially. It will train companies on reducing energy waste, which will help them save on costs and protect the environment.

It will also expand the Water Stewardship programme, helping businesses reduce their water consumption, and deliver online courses for staff at all levels to highlight the importance of sustainable action. A series of educational engagements with experts will complement this, discussing best practices in sustainability.

Making Ireland Climate Ready

Harris said that while Irish businesses have seen “significant upheaval” over the past year because of the pandemic and Brexit, leaders must keep preparing for the “radical changes” the climate crisis will bring.

“Businesses will need new skills to respond to these challenges,” he said. “Skillnet Ireland’s Climate Ready programme supports our climate goals by providing every Irish business with the opportunity to build the skills they need to prepare for this challenge and capitalise on the many opportunities the green economy will offer.

“We will start with over 1,000 businesses and seek to expand this further over the next five years.”

Ryan also highlighted how important it will be for businesses to take action under the Climate Action Bill, in which the Government has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Practically every industry, business and job will be impacted by climate action in some way over the coming decade,” added Skillnet Ireland chief executive Paul Healy. “Working side by side with industry, we have developed Climate Ready to ensure Irish businesses have access to the leading-edge supports they need to build sustainable operating models and develop the talent to respond to this shift.

“Taking action now is critical to ensuring our businesses remain resilient and competitive as we tackle the challenges posed by climate change.”

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021