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Uisce Éireann to help Waterford businesses make savings through more sustainable use of water

           

 

94% of Irish SMEs plan to increase or maintain their investment in sustainability

July 28 2023 – Nine out of 10 Irish Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) plan to maintain or increase investment in sustainability practices and solutions in the next 12 months to meet what many see as a growing consumer appetite for more sustainable products and services, according to the bi-annual Uisce Éireann SME Sustainability Sentiment Survey.

The majority (73%) intend to maintain current levels of investment, while over 1 in 5 expect to increase their spend in this area.

Satisfying customers’ desire for more sustainable products and services is now the second (43%) most important key driver influencing SME decision-making on investment in sustainability, ranking behind achieving cost savings (55%). More than half of Irish SMEs (52%) believe operating a sustainable business attracts more customers.

While 72% of SMEs continue to identify cost concerns and rising costs as the stand-out barrier to investing more in sustainability practices, three out of ten state a lack of information on sustainability practices and lack of Government support (45%) as problematic barriers. The survey found the majority of Irish SMEs (64%) are not aware or not sure where to access supports including information and financial guidance to achieve sustainability savings.

Commenting, Geoffrey Bourke, Business Operations Manager at Uisce Éireann, said: “The B&A research shows Irish SMEs fully realise the importance of offering sustainable products and services to their customers, with the vast majority planning to continue investing to introduce sustainable practices and solutions.

“However, the survey also found they feel there is a lack of guidance for businesses around sustainability, with nearly seven out of ten not aware or not sure where to access supports.”

Uisce Éireann offers a suite of easy-to-access and free initiatives to help SMEs reduce costs and become more sustainable when it comes to their use of water, including its first-of-its-kind-globally Water Stewardship Programme and Annual Certification Scheme.

Geoffrey added: “Uisce Éireann understands the concerns and challenges facing SMEs and this summer we commenced writing to all our 180,000 commercial customers, detailing their projected water costs and advising how they can achieve savings while also conserving water and becoming more sustainable. There is growing awareness among SMEs about the value of water to their business and the potential savings that can be made to their bottom line by becoming more water-aware.

“We also host a suite of free initiatives to help SMEs to thrive by reducing their costs and becoming more sustainable in their water use. These include our Water Stewardship Training Programme which helps organisations lower their water use, our Annual Certification Scheme, and the Uisce Éireann water conservation pledge, which enable businesses to demonstrate their commitment to water sustainability and avail of the great free resources on our website.

“We would encourage all SMEs to visit www.water.ie to find out how they can help conserve water and reduce costs.”

Conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes (B&A), the Uisce Éireann SME Sustainability Sentiment Survey interviewed over 350 SMEs, seeking their opinion on the importance of investing in sustainability for their businesses and customers and examining the barriers and that currently exist to investment in the area.

Waterford City and County Council recognised at Chambers Ireland Awards

Waterford City and County Council’s ‘Learn to Cycle Track’ in Dungarvan was announced as winner of the Health and Wellbeing category at the recent Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards.

The Health and Wellbeing category recognises best in class efforts by a Local Authority to promote the health and wellbeing of its community, with initiatives such as active transport infrastructure, outdoor recreational areas, or development of facilities that enable and promote physical activities.

Ireland’s first outdoor ‘Learn to Cycle’ track was officially opened in Fairlane earlier in 2022 and the track gives young children the opportunity to learn to cycle on a ‘real life’ road structure with lines, signs, and pedestrian crossing without the traffic.

The track forms part of a burgeoning leisure area that contains a playground, a performance area and skatepark with construction of a BMX pump track due to commence in 2023.

Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services and Dungarvan Town Manager commented, “Waterford City and County Council is delighted to have received this award and to be recognised by Chambers Ireland for its commitment in developing Dungarvan as a ‘Smarter Travel’ town.”

Waterford Council worked in collaboration with Waterford Sports Partnership (WSP) to bring the track to fruition.  WSP delivers Cycling Ireland courses including balance bike training, disability cycling, sprocket rocket and Cycle Right in a completely accessible and traffic free environment.

Peter Jones, Waterford Sports Partnership also commented, “This is a fantastic initiative to be involved with from Day One.  To be recognised nationally for an amenity that ensures children, of all abilities, have a safe and accessible environment to learn to cycle safely, is testament to the vision and dedication of all the stakeholders in bringing the cycle track to Dungarvan.”

Oren Byrne, President of Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber of Commerce added, “It’s a wonderful addition to the local landscape and judging by the number of children, their parents and schools who use the track, it really is giving our young cyclists the skills to safely cycle on our roads and encourage the use of sustainable transport methods, which will benefit the climate and environment.”

The overall cost of the cycle track was €50,000 with Waterford City and County Council receiving funding from the Local Government Fund and the Capital Grant Scheme for Play and Recreation administered by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

The Excellence in Local Government Awards showcase best practice in local government and recognise the skills, hard work, innovation, and enthusiasm within local government that can often go unrecognised and are held in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Waterford Libraries host Healthy Ireland Video Series

As part of Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative to improve health and wellbeing, Waterford Libraries will host a Healthy Ireland at your Library Video series, placing a focus on prevention, individual awareness and keeping people healthy for longer.

Throughout September, Waterford Libraries will deliver a Healthy Ireland online programme with contributions from healthcare professionals.

Coping with Grief and Loss – September 4th at 11am

Clare McKenna will talk to Mr. Breffni McGuinness, National Bereavement Development Specialist (workplace & community), National Hospice Foundation on coping with grief and loss. This video will be available to view on Waterford City and County Libraries Facebook Page.

Advice for Parents/Guardians of Young Children and Adolescents – September 11th / September 18th at 11am

Clare McKenna will talk to Mr. Peadar Maxwell, Senior Psychologist, HSE on Advice for Parents / Guardians of young children. On Saturday, September 18th at 11am, Mr. Peader Maxwell will discuss advice for parents / guardians of adolescents. These videos will be available to view on Waterford City and County Libraries Facebook Page.

Emotional Eating – September 25th at 11am

Clare McKenna will talk to Dr. Mary Hynes, Senior Psychologist, HSE on Emotional Eating.  This video will be available to view on Waterford City and County Libraries Facebook Page.

For further information visit www.waterfordlibraries.ie

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About Healthy Ireland at Your Library
Public libraries are currently delivering the nationwide Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme that will establish libraries as a valuable source within the community for health information.

Funding granted by Healthy Ireland has enhanced health and wellbeing book collections, and provides for staff training and events.

The Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme will continue to build on this and contribute to improving the health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life of communities and individuals at all life stages.

Be Alert to Water Safety

As Sport Ireland and key stakeholders have come together to encourage everyone to be alert to water safety this summer, Waterford City and County Council is actively supporting the message to keep  safe in and near water.

Over the last few months there have been many successful campaigns and initiatives in regards to educating the public on water safety. While all stakeholders of this campaign have particular responsibilities and objectives, the overriding priority is the safety of all participants in outdoor physical activities. By pooling resources and collaborating on this campaign, the hope is to spread the message on water safety, and encourage people to be safe on the water and save lives.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly said, “We can’t emphasise enough the need for vigilance in and around water.  Unfortunately, throughout the years Waterford hasn’t escaped the suffering and distress caused by drowning, however our aim, in association with Sport Ireland and key stakeholders is to prevent such tragic incidents happening in the future.”

“Our coastal areas are patrolled by skilled lifeguards who have made countless rescues in the last few months.  While it’s only natural that families would wish to escape to the seaside, after the uncertainty of the last year, we can’t stress enough the need to be vigilant, be aware and never take the power of nature for granted.”

We are privileged to live on an island with an abundance of water to enjoy and we are spoilt with the choice of activities or enjoyment that people of all ages and abilities can derive from the water. The outdoors has acted as an escape for many during the last year and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking to the water and enjoying water based activities.

It is however critical that everyone respects the dangers that exist around water and that that people know how to be safe around, on and in the water.

Everyone is encouraged to familiarise themselves with and follow these key water safety messages:

  1. Check weather, water conditions and tides before going on or in the water
  2. Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
  3. Do not go alone, even if whoever you bring doesn’t get on or in the water
  4. Have a method of calling for help. In emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
  5. Use an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are doing activities on the water
  6. Ensure you are visible in the water and do not go in or on the water during reduced light
  7. Do not use inflatable toys in open water

It is important that parents and guardians educate children on these key water safety messages and that people are aware of the many hazards of swimming in undesignated areas.

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast dial 112/999 or use VHF Ch 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Follow the links below to find out more about education and water safety advice for specific water based activities or learn about general water safety education from the key stakeholders.

This Statement is endorsed by:

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For Further Information:

David Gash, Communications Manager, Sport Ireland
087-2277643
dgash@sportireland.ie

Online ‘Physio-Pilates’ classes

Colette O’Flynn from PhysioNow Ireland will show you how to stay energised, fit and healthy during the pandemic, with this free introduction to Physio-Pilates on Wednesday 21st April at 12.30pm.

To register for free, please click here.

The exercises are ideal for house-bound people of any age or fitness and can be done at any time with little or no equipment. There is no need to change into gym gear. All you need is a mat and some space.

PhysioNow is a network of chartered physiotherapist clinics, operating across Dublin and online. During the lockdown, they developed a series of online ‘Physio-Pilates’ classes, which combined the principals of Physiotherapy and Pilates and has since become very popular with companies and individuals.

This webinar is part of the Waterford Healthy Ireland at your Library initiative. For more information, please go to our website, here.

For more information, please phone 0761 102141 or email library@waterfordcouncil.ie

#KeepWell #BeWell #HealthyIrelandatYourLibrary #HealthyWaterford #HealthyIreland

Digitising our Local Heritage: Europeana in focus

Europe Direct Waterford and Waterford Libraries in partnership with Waterford Archives, the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) and Europeana are delighted to organise a free webinar Digitising our Local Heritage: Europeana in focus on Tuesday 20 April from 10am – 11am.

Europeana works with thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to share cultural heritage for enjoyment, education and research.

The Europeana website gives access to millions of books, music, artworks and more – with sophisticated search and filter tools to help researchers find what they are looking for with many features such as online exhibitions, galleries and blogs to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in history and cultural heritage.

Join our expert panel and find out more about Europeana and how to use it. Learn how Europeana strives to empower the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation and how you or your organisation can get involved.

Expert Panel:

Adrian Murphy, Collection Engagement, Europeana Collections Manager Europeana Foundation

Killian Downing, Europeana Members Council Member, Archivist Dublin City University

Dr. Kathryn Cassidy, technical team at the Digital Repository of Ireland

Joanne Rothwell, Waterford City and County Archivist (Chair)

This webinar open to the general public, teachers, educators, librarians, archivists, local authorities, cultural and heritage organisations.

Book your free place at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/digitising-our-local-heritage-europeana-in-focus-tickets-148761763439

Age Action Ireland – An Audience with Tomi Reichental

An Audience with Tomi Reichental

Join us on Wednesday 31st March 2021 at 10.30am to hear Tomi tell his story

Tomi Reichental was born in 1935 in the village of Merašice in rural Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).

In 1944 he was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp along with his mother, brother and grandmother. He survived the camp and since 1959 he has lived in Ireland.

Tomi is known for his talks about his experience of the Holocaust as a child.

He gives talks in secondary schools, colleges and at various other events across the country and his aim is to educate people about what happened during the Holocaust so that we can remember the people who died in it and so it never happens again.

For more information go to https://hetireland.org/

Enquiries to events@ageaction.ie