Ireland could be world leader in tackling climate change

22nd October, 2009 title

According to the SEI,  Ireland could become a world leader in tackling climate change by growing our energy management industry, potentially creating thousands of new jobs, according to a joint announcement by National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI).

Speaking at the launch of World Standards Day today (October 14th), whose theme is “Tackling Climate Change through Standards”, Mr. Billy Kelleher, T.D., Minister for Trade and Commerce, said, “A key element of Government plans is to build a smarter, greener economy. There are huge global business advantages to developing more expertise in energy efficiencies and standards.  Standards offer the world's governments and industry the best possible benchmarks and allow all countries to take advantage of the knowledge and experience gained in more advanced economies. For example, NSAI’s Irish energy standard, I.S.393, was used as the base for the development of the new European energy management standard, EN 16001, for use among 27 EU counties, as well as Iceland, Switzerland and Norway.”

At the launch, Maurice Buckley, Chief Executive, NSAI, said, “All over the world, the environmental and energy management sector is increasingly regarded as a potential field to create new employment, from providing energy advice services, to energy auditing and energy education. We already have considerable experience in developing world-class standards in energy management and have a growing an industry around energy, well ahead of Europe. Ireland can play a leading role in climate change solutions through developing energy standards and innovating in energy management, potentially creating thousands of jobs.”

Professor Owen Lewis, Chief Executive, SEI, said; “We have one of the highest take-ups in the world for certified energy management, with more than 80% of the largest energy-using companies in Ireland already committed to the energy management standard I.S.393.  These companies have avoided more than €50 million in energy costs in 2007 and we expect equally positive results in 2008. With the recent publication of the new European Energy Management Standard EN16001, a group of Irish-based companies are the first to implement this new standard in Europe. Companies such as Diageo in Dublin and Heinz in Dundalk are now exporting their energy efficiency expertise to sister plants worldwide, which shows that Ireland is truly leading the way in energy management in the global arena.”

Since 1970, World Standards Day has been celebrated throughout the world. Its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of international standards and their role in helping meet the needs of all business sectors and, this year’s theme, “Tackling Climate Change through Standards”, aims to highlight how standards can protect and preserve the environment.

There are hundreds of standards that deal with energy and environmental management, the sampling, testing and analysis of air, water and soil and contain information and recommendations on environmental aspects like materials, industrial processes, recycling and waste disposal. Through independent certification, such as that offered by NSAI and other bodies, industry can demonstrate its achievement of environmental standards and secure significant operational and financial benefits.

“From rising energy prices to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to supporting sustainable buildings, one of the important  public challenges today is how we can  protect and manage our environment better,” concluded Buckley. “Irish and international standards have for many years been a primary tool in helping to resolve a number of environmental issues. Standards can make essential contributions to Ireland’s economic growth and stability, as well as helping to tackle climate change issues.”

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