Ireland is turning the world green – and not just for St Patrick’s Day. As the world turns green for St. Patrick’s Day, Enterprise Ireland is spotlighting Irish green innovators. From low carbon cement to using data to create more sustainable public transport, Irish companies are delivering low carbon solutions to tackle the climate challenge.
The global campaign ‘Ready for a Green Future’ focuses on the climate agenda, and as the world emerges from Covid-19 there is a need to build back better, prioritising sustainability and tackling the many environmental challenges that we face to deliver a green recovery.
The campaign showcases many world-leading Irish green innovators who are solving complex technical challenges and delivering sustainable and low carbon solutions to make renewable energy viable; reduce energy waste in our cities with smart technology; reduce agricultural waste and make construction cleaner.
Next generation cement maker Ecocem is enabling the construction industry to build much needed homes without relying on traditional carbon-heavy cement. Known in the trade as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), traditional cement is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions worldwide.
Ecocem’s innovative solution is Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS), which takes leftover material from steel mills and grinds it down to create a sustainable alternative.
OPC has a carbon footprint of 803 kg of CO2 per ton, compared to just 32 kg for GGBS.
Since 2003, Ecocem has saved over 12 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and, since the steel remnants would otherwise be headed for landfill, this low-carbon product also contributes to the circular economy.
OceanEnergy believes the most valuable renewable energy resource is yet to be harnessed: waves.
It has developed the world’s largest capacity wave energy device, to capture and convert wave energy into power.
Floating on the ocean’s surface, it extracts power from the water’s motion and turns it into electrical energy. Each device produces enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. Its energy can be sent back to the grid or used in other applications.
One multiple device 100MW wave energy farm, laid out across two square kilometers of open water, can produce enough low-cost energy for 50,000 homes in a compact space.
CitySwift, the data engine that drives modern transport networks, optimises vehicles such as buses, trams and trains, to maximise efficiency and minimise waste.
Using data collected about passenger numbers, peak locations, usage and delays, it enables transit authorities to boost performance and improve passenger experience.
With shared transit being the cleanest, greenest way to travel, boosting the number of people using public transport helps local authorities to meet sustainability targets too.
Agtech innovator Keenan has created animal feeder technology that paves the way for farms of all sizes to become part of a circular economy, maximizing efficiency, eliminating waste, and reducing methane emissions from livestock.
The Keenan MechFiber diet feeder creates a balanced diet for farm animals, right on site. While mixing, the machine assesses the animal feed and sends real-time data to off-site nutritionists who monitor the ingredients to optimise herd nutrition.
The system was validated by Carbon Trust as the world’s first environmentally sustainable diet feeder. It combines state of the art engineering with IoT technology to optimise feed and reduce methane gas emissions from herds by up to 25%.
The future is green
Ireland ranks 5th in the (MIT Technology Review) Green Future Index 2021, an index of 76 countries rated according to their progress towards building a low carbon future.
Ready for a Green Future showcases the early movers and trail blazers who are helping Ireland to achieve sustainability success.