#BeatClimateChange

Bord na Móna reinvents itself as climate solutions company

James Cox

Bord na Móna has announced its transition to a climate solutions company after three years of work.

The semi-state company has been transformed from a fossil fuel to a climate solutions company.

The transformation means 80 per cent of all Bord na Móna employees now work in ‘green’ areas of the company, from renewable energy production, to recycling, peatland rehabilitation, and sustainable products.

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By 2030, Bord na Móna is aiming to supply a third of Irish homes with renewable energy.

Climate focused projects

Last year, the company announced its plan to raise €1.6 billion to fund a series of major climate focused projects.

These include projects such as wind, solar energy, battery storage, biomass, renewable gas and demand-side assets for delivery in this decade.

The company has also made significant investments in domestic waste recycling infrastructure, Littleton farm plastics facility (on the site of a former briquette factory) in Co Tipperary and the expansion of operations of its tyre recycling facility in Drogheda.

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At the end of 2020, Bord na Móna launched the €126m, including €108 million in Government funding, Peatland Climate Action Scheme, which will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100 million tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions, and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years.

In addition to securing employment for the 350 employees previously engaged in peat harvesting activities it will play an important role in delivering the national policy objective of a carbon neutral Ireland by 2050.

In January Bord na Móna announced that it has permanently ended all peat extraction activities.

Improving biodiversity and the development of amenities are also key aspects of the company’s vision for the future.

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Much of the work on peatland rehabilitation will help the company meet important objectives concerning the improvement of habitats for native plants and animals on its peatlands.

Bord na Móna chief executive Tom Donnellan said: “Bord na Móna is an iconic Irish company with a new purpose. Our new purpose is to help Ireland achieve net zero Carbon by 2050. Our new brand identity will help us tell our story and show the different ways we are doing this.

Battle against climate change

“The battle against climate change is often portrayed negatively, in terms of all the things we have to reduce, give up, or cut back on. Bord na Móna’s story of change is actually a very positive one. It shows that there are massive gains and opportunities to be found in climate action for the country and small communities.

“In the past three years we have ended peat harvesting and are again hiring people across our businesses, creating high value, sustainable jobs in renewable energy, recycling operations, peatland rehabilitation and carbon farming and developing new sustainable horticulture and heating products.”

Mr Donnellan added: “Bord na Móna’s success is being shared with communities through these new jobs, far greater rates contributions supporting local services, and a range of community gain schemes that by 2030 will likely be worth in excess of €20million to localities in the midlands.”

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