By Chamber Press Office, 04 March 2021
This afternoon (Thursday 4th of March), over 200 business leaders tuned in to Dublin Chamber’s virtual AGM event and heard from Malcolm Sheil, Chief Commercial Officer, Kerry Group, how “the single biggest opportunity that currently exists for companies is sustainability”.
Attendees heard from a stellar list of speakers including a keynote address from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD. Other speakers included Catherine Moroney, Dublin Chamber President and Head of Business Banking Market, AIB, Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY, Malcolm Sheil, Chief Commercial Officer, Kerry Group. The event, sponsored by EY, focused on the challenges of the current business climate and the need to focus on resilience and sustainability in rebuilding the economy post-pandemic.
Chamber President Catherine Moroney highlighted the initial findings of a business survey, carried out by Dublin Chamber with Amárach Research, that the most common barriers facing businesses in becoming more sustainable are ‘Getting distracted by other priorities’ (40% of respondents) and ‘Not having a specific person responsible for sustainability’ (34% of respondents).
Ms Moroney urged attendees to prioritise taking steps to improve their businesses' sustainability credentials as these will be essential in a greening and recovering economy. Stressing the increasing importance of business action on sustainability, she said: “Requirements for strategic investment, procurement and tendering, supply chain, and consumer demand will all see sustainability as a ‘must have’ across all businesses and the timeframe for achieving these outcomes is accelerating”.
This message to attendees was reiterated by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD during his address: “Beyond Brexit, and Covid, as a country we are on the precipice of a decade of enormous change. The green and digital transitions which have already begun, and are in many ways accelerating, will fundamentally alter our economy and our society in the years ahead.”
Opening the AGM Event, Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke spoke of the current economic uncertainty but also the determination and reliance of the Dublin business community in responding to challenges. She said: “It is vital that we, as leaders in the business community, take steps now to ensure that our businesses and our cities are more resilient and can withstand future shocks and crises through future planning”.