IEA launch new Institute of Sustainable Trade (IST) to support a more sustainable future

  • IST to drive sustainable and ethical change across trade sector 
  • Initiative strengthens Ireland’s sustainability credentials 

 The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) has launched a new initiative to drive sustainable and ethical change across the international trade sector. The Institute of Sustainable Trade (IST) is a new professional membership and education institute, with a focus on preparing individuals and companies for a more sustainable future. The IST aims to ensure Ireland can continue to compete effectively on the world stage while meeting a high degree of ethical standards – where participants can develop the skills, they need to drive sustainable change in their organisations to meet the high expectations of consumers.  

To meet Ireland’s ambitious and challenging sustainability targets, companies must enact significant changes that ensure environmental stewardship, decreased damage, and ethical and sustainable sourcing, manufacturing, and product distribution. Through membership of the IST, international trade professionals will have an opportunity for their skills and expertise to be expanded while also gaining standardised recognition. This will allow for the development of a more ethical approach to business activities in the future.  

 The IST provides a platform for learning and professional development through a series of formal and informal learning opportunities and will offer a Professional Certificate and a Professional Diploma to members who wish to build a pathway of accredited micro-credentials across the three IST learning areas of Leadership, Sustainability, and International Trade. 

 Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association, commented:  

 “Consumers are more conscientious about what they buy than ever before. They expect organisations to meet a certain set of ethical standards, and no company is exempt from scrutiny. With that in mind, we are delighted to launch the Institute of Sustainable Trade.  

 This new initiative will support companies foster sustainable business practices to meet the demand from consumers, and ultimately support the international trade industry to meet its domestic and international sustainability goals.” 

Mairead McGuinness, EU Commissioner for Financial Services, commented:  

“The dynamics of international trade are complex – sustainability issues are now part of the agenda. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, human rights, water scarcity, issues related to land use, toxic waste, water pollution, deforestation, air quality and energy use are concerns. 

I welcome the establishment of the Institute of Sustainable Trade. The introduction of a more ethical and sustainable approach is good practice for any business. The work of the IST will help companies improve regulatory compliance, enhance business branding and reputation, reduce waste and overheads, and lead to responsible, ethical, and sustainable sourcing which benefits everyone.” 


For Media Enquiries: 

Karl Picard, Communications & Public Affairs Lead  

086 142 3310