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Minister Humphreys calls on Business Leaders to drive Corporate Social Responsibility for Ireland

Minister Humphreys attends the inaugural CSR CEO/Leaders’ Breakfast meeting in Iveagh House and urges more businesses to bring CSR to the core of their business operations

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys TD, today (Thursday 28th) attended the inaugural CSR CEO/Leaders Breakfast meeting in Iveagh House.  

The event, hosted by the CSR Stakeholder Forum in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is an initiative under the rollout of ‘Towards Responsible Business: Ireland’s National Plan on CSR 2017-2020’, and will be held on an annual basis until 2020.

The CSR CEO/Leaders Breakfast aims to drive further awareness of the importance of CSR in business today, and to share good practice amongst businesses, large and small. The Breakfast also marked the first year of implementation of ‘Towards Responsible Business’ with the publication of ‘CSR Check 2018’, which captures the activities of the CSR Stakeholder Forum and its Working Groups over the past 12 months.

Addressing the event, Heather Humphreys TD, for Business Enterprise and Innovation said:

‘Irelands National Plan on CSR is a call to action for businesses both large and small to consider their impact in their local communities and society, in the workplace, on the environment, and in the marketplace. I want to commend the leadership provided by the CSR Stakeholder Forum and its working groups over the past 12 months and I look forward to the successful implementation of the National Plan on CSR - bringing benefits for people, the planet and the business itself.

She added: ‘It is the Government’s ambition that Ireland be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices. The Government wants to build a strong economy and deliver a fair society, so that businesses and communities thrive, throughout Ireland and CSR is the way to achieve it.’ 

Mr David Donoghue, former Irish Ambassador to the UN and keynote speaker for the event highlighted the importance of business engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Minister stated

My colleague Minister Denis Naughten recently launched the Sustainable Development Goals Implementation Plan for Ireland. It is fitting that we highlight their importance for business today and are joined by the Irish official (David Donoghue) who successfully negotiated them in the UN. I know that the National Plan on CSR for Ireland calls for business to align their CSR activities to the SDGs. Many have already started doing this and I am hoping more businesses will do the same to help us achieve the Goals by 2030.’  

The CSR Stakeholder Forum is currently chaired by Ms. Catherine Heaney, founder and Managing Director of DHR Communications.

Addressing the event Catherine Heaney said:

‘I am delighted that the Forum has delivered so much in its first year.   In conducting our work, we have come to recognise that a CSR culture is embedded in many businesses, and that the small changes that businesses are making to reduce their energy consumption; support employee wellbeing; and support communities around them, are making a real difference to business sustainability’.

She added ‘In the past year, we have shared our experiences of CSR with other businesses through online and face-to-face interaction; we have examined and documented research and best practice on CSR; and we have worked to support policy alignment, including the National Implementation Plan for Ireland on the Sustainable Development Goals - none of this could be done without the voluntary support of the members of the CSR Stakeholder Forum, its Working Groups and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’. 

Over 100 leaders from the Government, private and public sector attended the Breakfast and listened to a panel of speakers which included multinationals, indigenous enterprises and the SME community, who shared their own CSR stories and expertise and discussed current issues in CSR including; the circular economy, plastics, diversity and equality, employee wellbeing and the SDGs. 

For more information about CSR please log onto www.csrhub.ie or follow @csrhubirl.

The CSR Check 2018 is available for download at CSR Check 2018.

ENDS 

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

Notes for editors

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby enterprises integrate social and environmental concerns into their mainstream business operations on a voluntary basis.

‘Towards Responsible Business: The National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility’ is an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The Plan is available at: www.djei.ie and www.csrhub.ie

www.csrhub.ie managed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and is a one stop shop for information on all aspects of CSR in Ireland. It includes guidance and resources on taking the first steps towards CSR, Case Studies, latest news, minutes from the CSR Stakeholder Forum Meetings and more.

The National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility, 2017 – 2020, “Towards Responsible Business”, sets out a vision that Ireland will be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practice through the adoption and implementation of best practice in CSR in enterprises and organisations across Ireland.

A key aim of the action-oriented Plan is to support businesses and organisations of all sizes and across all sectors to create sustainable jobs, embed responsible practices in the marketplace, embrace diversity in the workplace and encourage enterprises to consider their businesses’ impacts on the environment and the community.

The Plan sets out a number of actions for delivery across key areas, including Leadership, CSR for SMEs and supporting businesses to embed CSR or responsible business practices under the four core dimensions of CSR: Marketplace; Workplace; Environment and Community. The Plan is also set against the backdrop of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The CSR Stakeholder Forum chaired by Catherine Heaney (MD, DHR Communications) brings together the business community, public sector and Government Departments and Agencies to encourage businesses in Ireland to embed CSR in their core business strategies and operations, be they large multinationals or SMEs.

The CSR Stakeholder Forum will continue to work with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to deliver these actions and raise awareness of the benefits of embedding best practice CSR into day-to-day business operations. The Forum is a key vehicle to inform the development of CSR policy in Ireland and to ensure the National Plan remains relevant in the context of evolving best practice, both nationally and internationally.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact: Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Tel: 01 631 2200, email: press.office@djei.ie

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