Reasons To Be Cheerful

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Leave Your Ego at the Door

With the days getting shorter, the evenings drawing in and the country in the midst of a second Level 5 lockdown, you’d be forgiven for slumping into a pit of darkness and despair! To keep spirits up, this month’s newsletter is bringing you only GOOD news. Because believe it or not, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Here are just a few:

The first draft of Ireland’s Climate Action Bill is working its way through the Oireachtas, setting the country on course for carbon neutrality by 2050.

The EU is standing firm on its commitment to a green recovery, sticking to stringent emission reduction targets and directing 30% of the EU Recovery Fund towards climate action.

Honda is to stop selling new diesel cars in the UK this year and phase out petrol cars by 2022 – three years earlier than planned.

new coral reef has been discovered at the northern tip of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the first such discovery in 120 years.

You see, good things ARE actually happening amidst the crises. There are some flickers of light in the dark. So just for today, let’s look on the bright side and give ourselves some much needed hope.

P.S. We’re not even mentioning the US election – too busy holding our breath!

Our October Top 5

  • Drawdown Labs: Project Drawdown – the leading source of information on climate solutions – has launched Drawdown Labs, a consortium of visionary private sector partners who will experiment with collaborative ways to address climate change at an unprecedented scale both within and outside their own operations. This could be a game changer. (Drawdown Labs)
  • ESG funds forecast to outnumber conventional funds: According to research by PwC, ESG funds could experience a more than threefold jump in assets by 2025, increasing their share of the European fund sector from 15 per cent to 57 per cent. (
  • What China’s carbon neutral commitment means for the world: In September, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that the country would become carbon neutral by 2060. This article considers the monumental task ahead for the country that currently burns half the world’s coal but is also the largest investor, producer and consumer of renewable energy. (The Guardian)
  • Michael D’s rallying cry to Ireland’s Engineers: In his speech at the annual Engineers Ireland conference earlier this month the Irish President, Michael D Higgins, spoke passionately about the climate challenge, the need for a new economic paradigm, and the critical role engineers have to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. (
  • Irish people want deposit return scheme: A poll commissioned by environmental charity Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) found that 88 per cent of people in the Republic of Ireland are in favour of an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme (DRS) which would enable them to return a wide variety of drinks containers from plastic and glass bottles, to cans and coffee cups.(

Quote of the Month


Communications Inspiration: No Small Plan

Every so often a clever marketing campaign comes along that reminds you of the power of good communications to drive change. This one from Australian consumer goods company, Thank You, certainly captured our attention. It’s called ‘No small plan’ and it’s seriously good. A clever idea and compelling story, brilliantly executed. But…will it lead to the world-changing partnership with Unilever or P&G that the Thank You team want? All will be revealed in a few days time. Check out the video on their website. Inspiring stuff.

Report: Financing the Circular Economy

This excellent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation offers new analysis on the rapid growth in circular economy financing and investment across asset classes and sectors. It’s packed with powerful, positive stats, such as how the resale market for second hand clothes is expected to outstrip the market for fast fashion by 2029 and how the sharing economy is expected to grow twentyfold by 2025.

Spotlight: Climate-KIC Accelerator

The EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, which takes place in 14 countries across Europe, is a 12-month programme giving cleantech start-ups the knowledge, resources, tools and mentoring they need for success. Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace runs the Irish programme and SustainabilityWorks helps to deliver it and provide mentoring to the start-ups. This year’s cohort are an impressive bunch. They include a company with a solution to cigarette butt waste, one with a mobile digital recycling facility, and one offering an innovative solution to the environmental impact of online fashion retail.

What We’ve Been Up To

The SustainabilityWorks team have had a busy month! In addition to our client projects we’ve been taking part in various virtual events. Karen spoke on a panel at the Responsible Innovation Summit. Laura’s been delivering weekly lectures for the Institute of Banking’s sustainable finance course. And Aideen ran a webinar for the Climate-KIC startups about aligning their business with the SDGs. We also wrapped up the five-week MODOS circular economy training programme with a fabulous and motivated group of SMEs.

What We’re Watching

Purple Mountains is a documentary worth a watch. Professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones has seen winters change drastically during his 45 years spent in the US mountains. In this film he explores the differing views on climate change among Democrats and Republicans and seeks to find common ground, through an appreciation of the great outdoors, in the heart of America’s purple states.

We also loved My Octopus Teacher on Netflix, a beautiful and touching documentary about the relationship forged between a film maker and a curious octopus. If you need any reminding of the sheer breathtaking wonder of the natural world, watch this film.

Sustainability Jobs