Green Supply Chain

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA), the voice of the export industry in Ireland, in association with Rhenus Logistics Ireland, Iarnród Éireann – Irish Rail and media partner Fleet Transport Magazine have been holding a series of Green Supply Chain webinars as part of the 2020 Export Series. While COVID-19 is dominating the headlines, negotiations on a future partnership between the EU and the UK and efforts to address the climate crisis continue. The IEA’s priorities for 2020 have not changed. Brexit and Market Diversification, Climate Change and Sustainability and Trade Compliance are as relevant today as they were at the start of the year.

In this context, the IEA hosted its first Green Supply Chain webinar on 26th March with presentations from Romain Couture, Circular Economy Researcher, Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), Dr. Cera Slevin, Managing Director, Climate Matters Ltd., David Sadlier, Director of Customer Solutions, Rhenus Logistics Ltd. and Howard Knott, Logistics Consultant. The webinar participants were briefed on how to turn a manufacturing challenge into an opportunity, resource efficiency with a circular economy and on climate change risks and opportunities for their business and understand the impact of a green Supply Chain.

Romain Couture commented:

“The circular economy is a $4.5 trillion business opportunity and is at the heart of the new European Green Deal. Businesses should be looking at embedding circularity in their supply chains for environmental and economic reasons. This is why Irish Manufacturing Research has launched CIRCULÉIRE, which is a public private consortium whose vision is to accelerate the transition towards a zero-carbon circular economy in Ireland.”

Cera Slevin commented:

“Like pandemic risk, climate risk equals financial risk. Now is the time to build resilience into your business model against climate risk but also harnessing opportunities.”

David Sadlier commented:

“Long term Supply Chain Sustainability requires a multi-layered approach looking at environmental benefits, economic benefit to companies cost to serve, warehouse facilities and supply chain design. A green Supply Chain is an enabler to business growth via improved service offerings, lower cost base and greener credentials.”

On 23rd April, the IEA hosted a second webinar on a ‘Race towards a Green Supply chain’ with Maeve Morrissey, SME Programme Executive, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Kasia Steyn, Freight Services Executive, Iarnród Éireann – Irish Rail and Howard Knott, Logistics Consultant. Attendees were briefed on who are the main players in greening the supply chain, on the 2030 model supply chain and energy and climate change and where to get help on those matters.

Maeve Morrissey from SEAI announced the launch of an online energy academy to help businesses cut energy costs. Their online training is free, quick, and easy and can be completed by employees from home.

Kasia Steyn commented:

“I was delighted with an opportunity to present at the Irish Exporters Association Webinar on Green Supply Chains and highlight the great benefits of using Rail for moving freight. I am also thankful to Fleet Magazine for featuring an article on same in their Ezine. Rail freight is truly environmentally friendly mode of transport with so many other added benefits such as: punctuality, reliability, safety and efficiency. It’s worth noting rail freight is not affected by Covid 19 crisis and our dedicated frontline staff ensures supply chains remain intact.”

Howard Knott commented:

“My purpose in my presentations to these webinars was to explain to the participants just how quickly the different modes of freight transport are developing, each steadily reducing its environmental footprint. Manufacturing companies operating from Irish locations are under increasing pressure to ensure that the supply chains being used for both their export shipments and their raw material procurement operate with minimal climate impact.

In the discussions following the presentations it became clear that, despite the substantial availability and steadily dropping prices of fossil fuels, the progress towards a lower carbon world was relentless. The single most important development will be in the area of electric power generation. The production of significantly increased electric power both on the national and international grids and within individual enterprises will enable the use of battery propulsion for trucks, trains and ships, perhaps, even aircraft. It will also enable the production of Hydrogen to power vehicles of all kinds with zero carbon footprint”

“The webinar series is becoming a significant medium through with the IEA can develop its thoughts in this vital Green Technology area and contribute to the national discussion.”

The recordings of the webinars are available on www.irishexporters.ie/webinars/