The leading representative body for the digital sector says sustainability presents real opportunities for Irish businesses

The country’s leading representative body for online businesses and retailers, Digital Business Ireland, has today announced the launch of its recently published sustainability guide, which will highlight the opportunities adapting sustainability practices will present for Irish businesses.

Produced in collaboration with SustainabilityWorks, a consultancy on a mission to help Ireland unlock the financial, economic and social opportunities that come from sustainability, and proudly supported by permanent tsb, the publication comes at a crucial time; with consumer trends shifting, the demand for ethical and green products continues to grow. Coupled with these new demands, digital tools are empowering consumers to make more ethical choices when purchasing goods and services.

Since its foundation in 2019, Digital Business Ireland has worked to provide sectoral insights and industry-led research on corporate social responsibility and sustainability in business. The representative body believes that Irish businesses have the capacity to become leaders in this area if they can respond to these trends and leverage the opportunities that sustainability presents.

Speaking today, Damien English T.D., Minister for Business, Employment and Retail said: “Digital Business Ireland’s sustainability guide for SMEs is a timely resource for Irish business owners who wish to respond positively to the change in consumer behaviour patterns towards purchasing more sustainable goods and services.”
“Ireland supports the New Consumer Agenda of the European Commission in the area of sustainable consumption, and we will play an active part in its development including new proposals aimed at providing better information on sustainability to consumers and envisages that businesses, including SMEs, could play an important role in this transformation.”
“It is good to see so many businesses react to changing preferences by their customers and to offer goods and services which meet such sustainable demands, and everyone should continue to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability at every opportunity as businesses continue to transform the way they trade.”

Secretary General of Digital Business Ireland, Lorraine Higgins said: “Sustainability is one of the most crucial issues of our time and ensuring that Irish businesses are adequately prepared to make the shift towards more viable and ethical practices is of paramount importance.”
“At Digital Business Ireland, we are committed to finding innovative and pragmatic ways of helping businesses on their journey towards a sustainable future. In the past year, we have witnessed a considerable shift in consumer trends, with more customers seeking to engage with brands that align with their environmental and social values. This has been accompanied by a rapid acceleration in the digitisation of our economy. Now, more than ever, consumers are aware of the impact of their purchasing habits.”
“Irish businesses must stand ready to meet these new consumer demands, and in doing so, be prepared to access new market opportunities. Our guide provides practical and actionable tips on how to do this.”

Rose O’Donovan, Chairperson of the Digital Business Ireland CSR & Sustainability Committee, said: “With sustainability in business, there is often a perception that it is a challenge to conquer, or an obstacle to overcome. While the task of transitioning to more ethical practices can initially seem daunting, our guide outlines the many opportunities that sustainability offers to Irish businesses.”

“The significant growth of ecommerce as a result of the pandemic, combined with changing consumer trends in favour of sustainability, means that now is the opportune time for Irish businesses to harness the power of the digital economy. Every single business has the potential to benefit from the commercial opportunities that embracing sustainability brings.”

Courtnee Kyle, Senior Manager of Sustainability and Sponsorships at Permanent TSB said of the launch of the publication, “The onset of the global pandemic has elevated the Sustainability agenda not only in Ireland, but around the world. We see it in the continued shift in consumer trends and the growing demand for sustainable products and services – not only in the financial services industry, but more broadly across other sectors. The conversation is only getting started.

Now more than ever businesses, such as Permanent TSB, have a profound role to play in supporting communities to navigate this new, incredibly disrupted world and transformed society. We are proud to support Digital Business Ireland with the launch of their Sustainability Guide today, encouraging SMEs to harness the opportunity Sustainability brings to meet consumer demand, while supporting them to grow and scale their business in a responsible way.”


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