Irish Trees – Providing a Sustainability solution for individuals and businesses to contribute to nature and biodiversity, through Corporate Tree planting at Ireland’s Largest Private Rewilding project at Dunsany Castle and Nature Reserve and through the planting of memorial trees at their Lakeside Memorial woodland.
By its nature, Irish Trees has a low Carbon output, with little waste, as most of the raw materials are organic and natural. The small amount of materials it does use, are locally sourced, recycled, or renewable. Eg – Bags / Tree Containers, Fence posts, Biodegradable tree guards and office stationery uses recycled paper.
Irish Trees are committed to having a positive environmental and social impact, equality for all, and creating everyday opportunities for our customers and theirs, to live and enjoy a more sustainable life.
How Many Employees – 4
What are the sustainability Technologies being used or want to use?
Platform – E-commerce Website – Powered by 100% renewable energy.
Sustainability measurement – Irish Trees engaged a sustainability consultancy to measure its impact across the full 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our projects meet 10 of the 17 UN goals.
Sustainability Awareness Training – Irish Trees work in partnership with a Sustainability Training Company
Governance – Irish trees live by and measure using an ESG policy framework and UN SDG Goals.
Social Measures – Irish Trees are Partnered with 4 National Charities and contributes 5 figure amounts annually.
Social Inclusion – Irish Trees engage with educational bodies and Local Social Partnership, sports clubs and not-for-profits.
Advocacy – Irish Trees hosts numerous groups and individuals to see the Rewilding project and support its efforts through Tree planting activity and education days.
Beyond the above-mentioned systems and activities, it is worth noting the following:
- Trees are planted by hand and not machine.
- Low environmental impact management of woodlands, zero chemicals.
- Business Transport/logistics – Postal Service is used rather than Courier as the routes are already serviced and additional items do not increase pollution and An Post has the largest national fleet of electric vehicles.
- Offices have been recently insulated and outbuildings are neither heated nor cooled.
1)Vehicles: Current Company machines include diesel jeeps which required as the cross-country nature of the enterprise currently doesn’t have an alternative 4 wheel wheel drive electric option that can handle the work required. However, the business would like to invest in an electric Farm buggy for cross-estate tree planting work.
2) Machinery: As Irish trees do not use chemicals, grass management surrounding trees needs to be done by petrol strimmers. The alternative is using a scythe but as trees can also be cut with this action we must accept this pollution level until an equally effective electric version is available.
3) Tree Guards: Most tree planting operations use plastic tree guards (7-year life) which are difficult to recycle and the petroleum-based product process is very damaging to the environment. We have opted for biodegradable tree guards with a 3-year life expectancy. But to counter the risk from grazing we plant the perimeter of Tree planting areas with long-thorned trees, whitethorn, and blackthorn so over 3 years of growth will form a protective perimeter by the time the tree guards degrade.
Recommendation on how businesses can adopt sustainability technologies
- Measure the business against the UN’s Sustainable development goals on an annual basis. Taking action each year on areas of weakness or potential
- Create an ESG statement, engaging all internal and external stakeholders and suppliers in helping the business improve the status quo through committed and measurable action.
- If current suppliers are unable to help with your ESG aims look for ones that do.
- Sustainability Awareness Training – All team members from the boardroom to the workshop floor need to understand what sustainability actually means, and how they can personally and jointly have a positive impact. Sign up with eg VYRA for CBT.
- Sustainability isn’t just about using less or reducing waste it can be about giving back to the planet. Engage teams in Tree planting, Beach clean-ups, Riverwalk clean-ups. Add roof gardens, rewild part of the carpark etc.
- If significant roof space perhaps engage a company like Urban Volt to fit Solar panels for reduced cost power with zero or low installation cost.
Full information on the Irish Trees – ESG Policy and how Irish Trees measures against the UN SDGs are set out below:
Irish Trees engaged a sustainability consultancy to measure its impact across the full 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our work meets 10 of the 17 goals.
We are committed to having a positive environmental and social impact, equality for all, and creating everyday opportunities for our customers and theirs, to live and enjoy a more sustainable life.
To this end Irish Trees have created an ESG statement on our commitments:
A. Definition of ESG
Sustainable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices are an integral part of our company’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility. For our tree planting services, this includes engaging in practices that protect and restore forests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, our ESG policies and practices prioritise local communities, creating jobs and providing economic benefits, and ensuring that operations are conducted in a safe, equitable, and responsible manner.
B. Benefits of ESG
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has become increasingly popular in recent years. With the launch of the European Commission’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, ESG activities are now viewed as mandatory and fundamental to our business operations. The tree planting sector is one area where ESG engagement and investing can have a positive impact. This policy will discuss the benefits of ESG engagement in the context of Irish Trees organisational management, strategic direction and impact.
1. Environmental Benefits: Tree planting has a positive environmental impact. Trees help to reduce air pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, and provide habitat for wildlife. By investing in tree planting, companies can help to ensure that more trees are planted and that existing forests are maintained.
2. Social Benefits: Tree planting employs local communities and provides them with jobs and income. This can help to reduce poverty and improve living standards in the local area. Additionally, tree planting requires engagement with local communities to ensure that their operations are sustainable and beneficial for everyone involved.
3. Governance Benefits: Our company is committed to sustainability and social responsibility through robust governance practices which lead to improved decision-making, better outcomes for all stakeholders and quality assurance across our organisational activities.
II. ESG Policies
A. Corporate Governance
Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. Our corporate governance policies are in place to ensure that our company is being managed in an ethical and responsible manner. This section will provide an overview of corporate governance in place within Irish Trees.
The primary purpose of corporate governance is to protect the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders. This includes ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of the company, that executive management is held accountable for their actions, and that all stakeholders have access to accurate information about the company’s performance. Additionally, corporate governance policies can help to ensure that the company complies with applicable laws and regulations.
Governance Principles will include
1. Board of Directors: The board of directors is responsible for the overall direction and management of the company. It is composed of individuals with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds who can provide independent oversight and guidance.
2. Executive Management: Executive management is responsible for implementing the decisions made by the board of directors. They are also held accountable for their actions by the board.
3. Shareholders: Shareholders must have a say in how the company is managed and have access to accurate information about the company’s performance.
4. Stakeholders: All stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and other interested parties, are taken into consideration when making decisions about the company’s operations.
5. Transparency: The company strives to be transparent in its operations and provide accurate information to shareholders and other stakeholders.
6. Accountability: The board of directors, executive management, and other key personnel are accountable for their actions by shareholders and other stakeholders.
7. Compliance: The company complies with all applicable laws and regulations in its operations.
B. Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is the practice of managing resources in a way that meets the needs of the present operations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves reducing waste, conserving energy, and using resources responsibly. Additionally, it involves taking steps to reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change. Environmental sustainability is an important aspect of our business and is fundamentally taken into consideration when making decisions about how our organisation is positioned to grow over the coming years.
Minimising and managing key environmental impacts is fundamental to good environmental stewardship and is core to acting as a responsible business. Irish Trees takes on the responsibility for spreading awareness, building environmental capacity via education offerings, and providing opportunities to other businesses to offset their carbon footprint. Therefore, we focus on making changes in the following impact areas:
Digital Optimisation of our online presence for lowering our carbon footprint.
Articulating Land Skills Education offerings via communications campaigns.
Networking for partnerships and donations to support our rewilding project.
C. Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is the practice of taking into consideration the social, economic, and environmental impacts of decisions and actions. It involves taking steps to ensure that all stakeholders are taken into consideration when making decisions and that those decisions are made in a way that is beneficial for everyone involved. Additionally, it involves taking steps to reduce poverty and inequality, protect the environment, and promote ethical business practices. Social responsibility is an important concept that should be taken into consideration when making decisions about how to use resources.
A deep commitment to social responsibility is core to who we are as a company. We believe people are at the heart of our business as we strive to address Irish community needs both at home and abroad, enticing a sense of belonging while serving the land. We strive to be an optimal partner, collaborator, and employer to our workforce and clients, as well as to our communities.
We believe that developing appropriate people policies that focus on respecting and investing in employees will contribute towards an engaged and healthy workforce. Where possible we encourage to:
Provide flexibility to employees in managing their work-life balance;
Offer opportunities for learning and development;
Identify and invest in talent;
Operate open two-way communication with employees;
Ensure the health and safety of all employees.
D. Disclosure and Reporting on our ESG Statement
Disclosure and reporting is a key component of our ESG policy. We maintain a transparent process about our ESG practices and provide accurate information to customers and stakeholders. This includes providing detailed reports on our environmental and carbon impact, social responsibility initiatives, and corporate governance policies. We maintain regular updates on our progress in meeting our ESG goals, allowing our stakeholders to hold the company accountable for its actions and ensure that we are following through on its commitments. This is achieved by:
1. Developing a comprehensive ESG engagement strategy that outlines the company’s commitments to relevant stakeholders, customers and public sector actors
2. Establishing a system for collecting and tracking data related to ESG performance.
3. Regularly review and update our ESG policy in line with policy changes.
4. Ensure that all employees and partners understand and comply with the ESG policy.
5. Create a process for responding to feedback from stakeholders about the company’s ESG metrics.
6. Develop an internal audit system to ensure compliance with the ESG policy.
A. Establishing Goals
When it comes to ESG, it is important to set goals that are measurable and achievable. These goals are based on the company’s values and aligned with its overall mission. Additionally, these goals are communicated to all stakeholders so that everyone is aware of what is expected.
B. Measuring Progress
Once goals have been established, it is important to measure progress toward those goals. This involves tracking metrics such as energy usage, waste production, and employee satisfaction. Additionally, it involves conducting surveys or interviews with stakeholders to gauge their opinion of the company’s progress.
C. Reporting Results
Once progress has been measured, it is important to report the results to all stakeholders. This involves publishing reports and providing updates on the company’s website, as well as additionally, holding meetings with stakeholders to discuss the results and solicit feedback.
D. Review and Adjustment
Finally, it is important to review and adjust the company’s ESG goals on a regular basis and update the ESG Statement. This involves evaluating the effectiveness of existing goals and making adjustments as needed, as well as setting new goals that are more ambitious and align better with the company’s values and mission.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Irish Trees is dedicated to delivering on our Sustainability commitments through close alignment and emphasis on the UN SDGs. We have chosen the 10 SDGs that best represents our vision for helping both people and the planet.
Our ESG Implementation Plan / ESG Statement been designed and approved by the company’s leadership, board advisors and external consultants. The plan comprises a wider document, detailing the individual steps and considerations across operational and commercial activities including Health & Safety, Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility.
AS well as an ESG Statement, Irish Trees have also aligned with 10 of the UN’s Sustainable Development goals and more can be read on that here.
Detailed breakdown of how we meet these goals:
Good Health & Wellbeing | SDG #3
Woodlands significantly contribute to health and well-being by providing natural restorative spaces for leisure, education and reflection.
We were originally ‘forest people’ as we are at our most tranquil in nature. Planting trees heals the heart and the planet.
“The Irish Trees” is a way of giving back from the heart, creating a legacy of belonging to our heritage, our land and sharing moments of immersing in nature, which is good for our hearts and minds.
Quality Education | SDG #4
Our focus is on empowering the community and developing more inclusive environments through events such as family nature day, corporate away days, and community programmes.
By bringing people together in a natural environment, we take the opportunity to raise biodiversity awareness, teach youth the life skills that they’ll need to be global citizens and many ways to celebrate life with nature.
Clean Water | SDG #6
Fresh water represents 3% of our planet’s total water. Tree roots rebalance the water cycle.
To keep the balance of the water cycle, rainwater must be absorbed by the soil and not just run off to rivers and the sea: soaking into the soil is how it reaches the water table, our freshwater reserves.
For the water table to be topped up, the soil must be aerated and porous and tree roots do that. Otherwise, the water will be “lost” and just pours away into streams and rivers, creating silt and into the sea or simply lost to evaporation.
Decent work and economic growth | SDG #8
Decent work, employment creation, social protection, rights at work, and social dialogue represent integral elements of Irish Trees philosophy.
The Irish Trees approach is to bring about sustainability by creating a balance in ecological and economic growth, creating opportunities for jobs and careers in a sustainable enterprise.
Innovation and Infrastructure | SDG #9
Irish Trees is an innovative approach to bringing about environmental sustainability through a commercial model, by creating a balance in ecological and economic growth.
Our operations are a hybrid of digital and hands-on activities with tangible results and service availability across the globe.
We use the natural infrastructure of woodlands to create an impactful business.
Sustainable Communities | SDG #11
Our vision for a sustainable community.
Our work is oriented towards bringing the community together to co-create a natural legacy that everyone can enjoy now and in the years to come.
Our woodland rewilding project at Dunsany Castle is where our clients can see the tangible result of this work while enjoying the clean air, their heritage, and the culture of sustainability.
Our connections in the community support education, climate awareness, and active participation in sustainable community development.
Responsible Consumption & Production | SDG #12
Our customer-facing processes are completely digital and require zero paperwork.
We maintain strict monitoring on materials usage and prioritise sustainably sourced products. This, coupled with a conscious and responsible operations process allows us to have zero waste.
Our active contribution to thousands of tree plantings per year significantly offsets any carbon impact created by our businesses, making us a carbon-positive enterprise.
Climate Action | SDG #13
The core of Irish Trees is in being climate positive, meaning that we go beyond net-zero and actually create an environmental benefit by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide to grow and while releasing oxygen, they provide 30% of the global temperature solution we need.
Our solution regenerates, recovers and reinforces biodiversity and climate resilience.
Life on Land | SDG #15
Irish Trees is a universally available solution to maintain the balance of life on land.
By creating the native tree ecosystem, we are protecting the soil from erosion, silting, mitigating floods and contributing to natural water filtration.
That in turn supports micro organisms, flora and fauna and protects Irish biodiverse habitat and waterways.
Partnerships for the Goals | SDG #17
Irish Trees works in co-creation with the local community and the Irish diaspora abroad, while actively looking to create a wider network for collaboration.
We connect with active individuals, artists and businesses through the ethos of giving back for a sustainable future.
We offer multiple ways for organisations and individuals to collaborate and develop sustainable impacts through partnerships.