CSR Ambassadors present at National Sustainable Development Goals Stakeholder Forum Meeting in Dublin

Deborah Dignam, Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, recently presented on Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020 ‘Towards Responsible Business’ at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s National Sustainable Development Goals Stakeholder Forum Meeting on 19th October 2018, Hilton Hotel, Dublin.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the UN on 25th September 2015, is a global vision for Sustainable Development by 2030, ensuring that no one is left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGS (with 169 targets) is just one of four elements of the 2030 Agenda. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has lead coordination of the SDGs with all Government Department’s contributing to their implementation.

Deborah provided an overview of the Department’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative including; the National Plan and the CSR Stakeholder Forum. In particular, she highlighted the 17 actions in the National CSR Plan, across four CSR Dimensions - Marketplace, Workplace, Environment and Community. She also spoke about the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s awareness of the broader impacts of businesses on society and the importance of the SDGs for business. Action 17 specifically encourages business to ‘align their CSR Strategy and activity to the Sustainable Development Goals’. The CSR Stakeholder Forum, established in 2014, drives the implementation of Ireland’s National Plan on CSR. A copy of Deborah's presentation can be found on csrhub.ie.

The audience also heard from David O’Flynn, Group Head of CSR, Dawn Meats and CSR Stakeholder Forum member, who provided an overview of Dawn Meats. David spoke about the value of sustainability to the company and what it is doing to tackle SDGs 2, 6, 7, 12 and 13. A copy of David’s presentation can be found on csrhub.ie.

Elisha Collier O’Brien, Policy Manager, Domestic Affairs, Chambers Ireland, another member of the CSR Stakeholder Forum, outlined how Chambers Ireland engages with CSR. Chambers Ireland hold an annual CSR Awards and in 2018 - 68 companies entered (12 SMEs), with 133 projects in 9 category themes. The overall 2018 winner for Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility was Lidl (CSR Stakeholder Forum Member). Elisha said that the top three SDGS covered by business in the Awards were SDGs 3,4 &10 with the top two for SMEs being SDG 5 &11.

For more information on the SDGs and the National SDG Stakeholder Forum check out dccae.gov.ie.