Chambers Ireland welcomes Mary Robinson in an address to members of the business community, calls for more urgent action in the transformation of Ireland into a sustainable competitive low carbon economy

As the official sponsor and host of the event, Gavin Kelly CEO Retail Ireland Bank of Ireland said,

“Conducting our business in a responsible and sustainable way is fundamental to enabling our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive.
Our research shows that Irish people are increasingly concerned about environmental issues impacting their lives and believe that banks need to do more.  Customers want practical ways to help them make greener decisions and earlier this year we launched a suite of green loans and interest rates to encourage and reward homeowners and businesses to be more energy efficient.

We have also made strides in transforming our own operations and reducing our property and carbon footprint. By signing the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking our path towards greater sustainability is clearly defined, and we are proud to be making progress against these goals.”

Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,

“Over the past two years Chambers Ireland and our members have been working to identify ways that we can collaborate to play our part in building a sustainable Ireland. This dialogue has culminated in our Network collectively pledging to support and advocate for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This pledge, however, is just a first step.

As Chambers of commerce, working towards the goal of decent work and economic growth comes naturally to us. But as a Network, we must go much further. Business organisations like ourselves must speak with a much louder and clearer voice on the actions we will need to take to address climate change, achieve gender equality and build more sustainable cities and communities.

But words alone will not be enough. We must hold people to account to drive those actions and their implementation. The ability of our economy and our country to compete and thrive into the future is dependent on it.

This morning’s address to our Network by former President Mary Robinson is therefore timely. Her work in advancing human rights and climate justice is an inspiration and her leadership on these issues is unparalleled. We are honoured that she has chosen to meet with our Network, and we look forward to hearing from her on how the business community can play a much bigger role in driving the sustainable development agenda forward.”