Gripping Environment Conference 2022
Category : Ellen Brophy
Environment conference in the capital:
Croke Park was the prestigious setting for Environment Ireland’s Conference taking place on the 4th and 5th of October. This event has been in the calendar for a long time. The decision to attend was made with ease. Conferences are the perfect place to connect with decision makers all under the one roof. That opportunity to have direct conversations with clients and deepen existing relationships is worth the effort that it takes to get a team to the capital. There was great anticipation and the team were looking forward to meeting people in different fields all sharing an underlying environmental goal.
Yosef was eager to hear the biodiversity awareness talk by Virginia Teehan in order to broaden his understanding of the hurdles we face as a society when facing the reality of biodiversity loss/crisis.The Public Health talks and the work of Caitriona Carlin was of special interest to Lizet. ‘Connecting with nature for health and wellbeing’ is Lizet’s role in the delivery of Wild Work and it was assuring to see that such a soft approach to environmental discourse is forming part of the discussion. Lizet also enjoyed the talk by Andrea Carroll from the Dublin Airport Authority where she illustrated the strategy of the small sustainability team that is changing the culture of a company so central to our international travel network.
One story that will stick with Lizet for many years came from the public health talk by Elaine Mulcahy. Elaine used a comparison between three nine year old girls, one growing up in the 1970’s, one growing up during the covid pandemic, and one that did not make it to her 10th birthday, because of respiratory problems caused by the air quality in her neighbourhood. It almost sounds unbelievable but this is the reality of the environment that so many people are living in.
It was also great to see people who we have had the pleasure of working with in our daily lives. Fran Igoe from LAWPRO who have been gracious in their support of the delivery of our water quality training courses and our citizen science endeavours. Also Derek McLoughlin who we met through our work with NoreVision in our hometown of Kilkenny.
More action needed
Compared to other conferences attended by the team this event appeared to be under attended which is quite disappointing considering that we are undeniably in the middle of a climate crisis. Also our preconception was that the environment conference would be attended by more environmental/sustainability consultants but the attendees were from a range of local government organisations, and academic institutions.
Although the talk and speakers were engaging there was an overall lack of innovation and action based planning. The same subject matter is being discussed since the UN Sustainability goals (2015). Ireland’s policy makers and governance are working towards turning directives into laws yet on the ground, Irish land and sea protection is rated very low in Europe.
Our team is delivering biodiversity and water quality management courses all over the country. We have a new product that we are preparing to launch with our LANTRA accredited course titled Climate Action 101. The course focuses on the potential for companies to improve sustainability with projects on biodiversity in their business. Not only are our ecologists experts in their fields, they are passionate about the environment.
Moving forward the team agreed that they would welcome more conversations around topics such as food waste and overpopulation. It would be ideal to see events like this run in a more sustainable manner. The big take home is that more action is needed. We know from our connection to the communities that we work within that there is a willingness to make a change. However people need guidance, training, resources and leadership to make their actions effective.
At Veri Connect the software is only the beginning…….We enable effective programme delivery and compliance in a sustainable way through digitisation. Sustainability is core to our work. By removing paperwork from compliance and training delivery, we are passionate about making the communities and businesses we serve more environmentally responsible . We supply training management software for businesses in the public and private sector who need to capture data about their existing programmes. We also have an in house development team who build industry specific custom training solutions for large organisations who need something more bespoke. Finally, we provide training programme management and deliver training for large training programmes. Our key areas are employability, mentorship and biodiversity.