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11th December 2017

SME Case Studies showcasing CSR from Business In The Community Ireland.

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Click link to view case studies.

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28th November 2017


The National CSR Stakeholder Forum Meeting in Doolin, Co Clare

The second meeting of the CSR Stakeholder Forum, since the publication of the CSR Second National Plan ' Towards Responsible Business', was held in Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co Clare on the 28th November 2017.

28112017 - Catherine Heaney

Catherine Heaney, MD, DHR Communications chaired the meeting.  Membership of the Forum can be found on CSRhub.ie.


Along with updates from the Chairs of the Forum’s four Working Groups on the outcomes of their recent meetings, Sarah Coughlan, Enterprise Ireland updated the Group on the Microsoft Voluntary Mentoring Programme and Dr Máiread Moriarty gave a presentation of the work of the University of Sanctuary.


CSR Stakeholder Forum meeting minutes are uploaded to CSRhub.ie

 

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28th November 2017


SME event in Doolin, Co Clare, urges SMEs to develop CSR strategies.


The National CSR Stakeholder Forum met in Doolin, Co Clare on 28th November and hosted a CSR event to support SMEs in adopting CSR and responsible business practices.

Speaking at the event Catherine Heaney, Chairperson of the CSR Stakeholder Forum and Managing Director of DHR Communications said:

 “CSR is not just for large corporates, it is also for small businesses, like my own. There is excellent work already being undertaken by SMEs in this sphere but I want to ensure that all SMEs see the benefit of embedding CSR into their business practices. The Stakeholder Forum is about sharing best practice so that all business can benefit. CSR initiatives can help improve sustainability, competitiveness, ability to attract and retain talent, whilst also fostering social cohesion and protecting the environment.”

SME EVENT 28112017

L-R Biddy O’Neill, Department of Health, Aine Martin, Hotel Doolin, David O’Flynn, Dawn Meats, Fergal Smith, Moyhill Community Garden, Catherine Heaney, Chairperson, CSR Stakeholder Forum


To show how effective CSR can have on business a range of speakers from organisations such as Dawn Meats, Hotel Doolin, Moyhill Community Garden and the Department of Health conveyed their CSR journey. At the event Hotel Doolin said: “We are delighted to host the National meeting of the CSR Stakeholder Forum and to be given an opportunity to show the benefits of CSR to our business and to our local community. “

The event also included a networking session for local SMEs to talk to members of the CSR Stakeholder Forum.

 

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CSR Stakeholder Forum held its first meeting since launch of 'Towards Responsible Business'

19th September 2017


The first meeting of the CSR Stakeholder Forum, since the publication of the Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility, was held on 19th September 2017 in Bank of Ireland, Mespil Road.

The Forum, which was established in 2014, is a voluntary body tasked to oversee and implement the actions set out in the CSR Plans. Its membership comprises of representatives of the business sector, key Government Departments and agencies and the wider community. The Chairperson of the Forum is Catherine Heaney, MD, DHR Communications.

Four working groups have been established to assist the Forum in their work and the Chairs of each group (Audrey Nolan, Bank of Ireland, Catherine Curran on behalf of Celine McHugh, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Lorraine Corcoran, Afanite and Bernadette Phelan, Business in the Community Ireland) gave an overview of their first meetings.

Sinéad Hanafin, Research Matters gave an overview of the CSR Baseline Study and its key findings and Catherine Curran, (DBEI) advised the group of the Electric Vehicles Grant for Business Scheme.


CSR Stakeholder Forum meeting minutes are uploaded to CSRhub.ie


Towards Responsible Business: Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020 Launched by the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation

26th June 2017

Towards Responsible Business 2nd National Plan

The Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Ms Frances Fitzgerald TD, today (Monday 26th) launched “Towards Responsible Business”, Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020.

The Plan articulates a vision for Ireland to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices. It also supports the Government’s objective of building a strong economy and delivering a fair society, so that businesses and communities thrive, throughout Ireland.

At the launch event the Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald said:

“Businesses who communicate openly and transparently about their practices, who tell their story and recognise their impacts on society, foster a culture of trust with their workforce and their customers. CSR is no longer an optional ‘add-on’, but is becoming a necessary part of mainstream operations.

Embedding responsible business practices has the potential to help build a more inclusive Ireland; help make Ireland a better place in which to do business and benefit local communities and the environment. For businesses, the benefits include: attracting and retaining talent; building reputation and market share and creating a competitive advantage.”
Towards Responsible Business is an action-orientated plan aimed at supporting businesses and organisations of all sizes and all sectors to adopt responsible business practices. This is intended to improve the competitiveness and the ability to attract talent of businesses operating in Ireland while fostering social cohesion and protecting the environment. The plan will be supported by a work programme implemented and overseen by the CSR Stakeholder Forum.

Speaking at the launch today, Chairperson to the CSR Stakeholder Forum Catherine Heaney, said:

“The commitment of our business leaders in embedding CSR is the cornerstone to successful and sustainable responsible growth in Ireland. With a stronger focus on stakeholder expectations, business leaders need to implement responsible business practices from the top down”.

Download a PDF of Towards Responsible Business: Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017-2020



Consultation on the Healthy Workplaces Framework

Healthy Ireland Logo

A Healthy Workplaces Framework is being developed as part of the Healthy Ireland Framework for Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025. Development of this Framework is being led by the Department of Health and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. It is intended to provide flexible guidance that can be adapted to any workplace setting to help create and sustain healthy workplaces throughout Ireland.

Work is being guided by a Steering Group and has been informed by reviews of the international literature on healthy workplaces and relevant Irish policy and legislation. The development of the framework is supported by the Health and Safety Authority and reflects the ethos of the Healthy Ireland Framework and the National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility.

At the recent launch of the Healthy Workplaces Framework, which included representatives from across the public and private sector, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion said:
“We know work is good for our health and the workplace offers the perfect opportunity to promote health to a large audience. With almost two million people in employment in Ireland, this message can reach over half the population”.

Consultation on the Healthy Workplaces Framework began on the 28th of March and the online process is open until the 26th May 2017.


The consultation process is now closed. Thank you to those that participated.


National Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility Underway


The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation have commissioned a national study on Corporate Social Responsibility which is being conducted by Research Matters, a Tipperary based research company.

This study will inform the development of Ireland's Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility and will assist us in ensuring Ireland's international commitments in this area are met. As such, consultation with the private sector through this study is extremely important.
The survey has now closed. Thank you to all who took part.


Ulster Bank Publishes 2016 Sustainability Report

Ulster Bank, a member of DJEI's CSR Stakeholder Forum has launched its 2016 Sustainability Report. This condensed report captures the bank’s approach to building a more sustainable business, and the steps taken to add value to customers, colleagues and communities across Ireland. 


Chambers Ireland's CSR Awards 2017 Launched

The Lauch of the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards 2017

On Thursday 9th March Chambers Ireland launched the 2017 CSR Awards at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. MC for the launch was Newstalk presenter Dil Wickremasinghe who chaired a panel discussion about businesses supporting NGOs through collaborative partnerships. The CSR Hub live tweeted the event so to get a flavor of this discussion and the various speakers take a look at our tweets compiled in a Twitter moment.

The awards are open to businesses of all sizes and the categories for this year's awards include Excellence in Workplace, Excellence in Supporting Youth Employment and Excellence in CSR by an SME.

Chambers Ireland have created a new online application platform for this years awards and the deadline for applications is 12pm, Thursday 20th April. Learn more and apply online through the Chambers Ireland website. 


Recent Award Winners

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The Philanthropist of the Year award 2017 Winners

The winners of the Community Foundation for Ireland's Philanthropist of the Year awards were announced in Dublin on the 8th February 2017. This year’s winners are Maurice Healy as National Philanthropist of the Year for his significant support for a number of charities including Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI), An Cosán, and Anam Cara. Applegreen won Corporate Philanthropist of the Year for generating over €1million in support for a number of children’s charities and SAP were awarded International Philanthropist of the Year for their African Coding Week initiative which has supported over 400,000 young people in Africa.

Killary Adventure Centre in Galway was the recipient of the Sustainable Energy Award at the Small Firms Association’s National Small Business Awards 2017 in February. JPK Fencing also from Galway was highly commended in the same category. The award is sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and open to companies with up to 50 employees. The awards were presented by Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, TD

Lastly, the winners of the HR Awards were announced on Thursday, March 2nd at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin, with over 300 industry figures in attendance. Good HR practices are central to the Workplace pillar of Ireland’s National Plan on CSR and many of the awards relate directly to this pillar including Best Health & Wellbeing Strategy which was awarded to Bank of Ireland for their Be at Your Best initiative, Best Learning & Development Strategy which was won by the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform, and Best Use of CSR in HR won by HedgeServ.

The Awards and Certifications section of the CSR Hub contains more information about awards for good CSR practices for which you can nominate your organization. 


InterTradeIreland Public Tendering Workshops

Go-2-Tender, is an award winning programme provided by InterTradeIreland. Go-2-Tender aims to give businesses the confidence, knowledge and practical skills to tender successfully for public sector contracts in their own jurisdiction and on a cross-border basis. The all-island public procurement market is worth approximately £10.4bn/€12.1bn and represents an untapped market for many SMEs to increase their sales. The programme consists of two parts.

Introduction to Tendering Seminars are half day events aimed specifically at small business owners who are new to public sector tendering, have limited knowledge and/or experience of the market or simply want to refresh their knowledge of the public sector on the island. Targeting the micro sector (<10 employees), these seminars focus on low value/under threshold opportunities.

Go-2-Tender Workshops are based over 2 days and will provide a company with the necessary skills to bid successfully for public sector contracts in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Training is delivered by experienced bid specialists with a half day tailored mentoring support offered to each SME participant. Eligible participant companies can also apply for up to a further 2 days of mentoring from an experienced consultant.

The InterTradeIreland website provides a full list of Go-2-Tender workshops


New Initiatives to Improve Gender Balance in the Civil Service

civil sevice renewal plan

A range of initiatives have been announced to ensure the composition of the workforce of the civil service reflects a better gender balance in the future, particularly at senior levels.

The new measures are informed by the Civil Service Renewal Plan which has a focus on achieving greater equality of opportunity, diversity, and gender balance across the civil service. One of the actions set out in the Plan is ‘to improve gender balance at each level and this is particularly important at senior management levels where women are under-represented.

The measures include a target of 50/50 gender balance in appointments at senior levels and research into why women are under-represented at senior grades of the civil service.

The merit based approach of ‘best person for the job’ will continue to apply. However, in such cases, where candidates who compete for senior positions are of equal merit, then priority would be given to the female candidate if they are under-represented on the Management Board of the Department/Office in question.

The Economic and Social Research Institute will be undertaking in depth quantitative and qualitative research to provide a more complete picture of the factors influencing the under-representation of women at the senior grades of the civil service.

Equality and diversity in the workplace is an important part of Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility under the Workplace Pillar.


 Subscribe to Our New CSR Newsletter

CSR Newsletter Header

We have just launched our quarterly CSR Newsletter providing news and info relating to corporate social responsibility to your email inbox. The newsletter is designed in a four page A5 format that can be downloaded and printed double sided on A4 paper.

Subscribe to Our New CSR Newsletter and download previous issues here


CSR Related Awards: Upcoming Deadlines for Submissions 

Green Awards Banner 

The Green Awards reward green business practices in Ireland and offer awards for businesses of all sizes. The deadline for nominations for the 2017 awards is 21st December 2016. The awards ceremony takes place on Tuesday, February 21st and offers a unique opportunity to celebrate industry excellence and network with its influential figures and leading organisations in the green sector.

Enter your business or organization at GreenAwards.ie

The deadline to submit your business to the SME Awards is 4th January 2017. There are two award categories relating to Corporate Social Responsibility. They are the best Community Minded Company and the best Environmentally Minded Company.

Enter your small or medium sized business at SMEawards.ie


Online CSR Tool for SMEs Launched by Minister Pat Breen

 CSR Hub Screengrab 

The CSR SME Online Tool was launched on the 7th December 2016 by Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State for Employment and Small Business. This Tool is an initiative of the CSR Stakeholder Forum which was set up to drive the objectives of the National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility which was published by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in 2014.

The aim of this quick and easy online tool is to help SMEs to appreciate the relevance of CSR to their business. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is largely associated with big companies and can be challenging for smaller businesses. However, CSR is important for enterprises of all sizes and there are many benefits to reward the effort including new business won, attracting and retaining talent, financial savings through energy efficiency, and engagement with the local community.

This collaborative project by the CSR Stakeholder Forum and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will help SMEs recognise that many of the activities they already engage in represent best practice in CSR, will inspire new ways of operating responsibly, and will help towards understanding the benefits of embedding CSR into their day-to-day business operations.

To appreciate the relevance of CSR to your business, why not take the quick survey on the CSR SME Online Tool.


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