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Bord Bia Announces Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme coinciding with celebrating 10 years of Origin Green

  • Date: Tue, Jun 28, 2022

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Tuesday 28 th June 2022: Bord Bia has today launched a new Executive Programme in partnership with Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin (UCD) to accelerate sustainability capability at Board and C-Suite level in Irish food, drink and horticulture businesses. 

The Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme was unveiled at an event marking 10 years of progress under Origin Green, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme, and comes as Bord Bia reports that 80% of its client companies would like to receive more training for senior leadership teams to better understand and embed sustainability across their businesses. 

Designed and delivered in partnership with the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School, the new programme will focus on senior members of organisations’ leadership teams and will develop skills at board level and amongst senior management to build capability around sustainability and climate literacy while also helping them to establish sustainability as a key value proposition driver for their business.

Origin Green currently collaborates with more than 55,000 farmers and 300 company members across Ireland and represents 90% of Ireland’s food and drink exports. 

Speaking today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. said: “Ireland has long been a leader in sustainable food production – from our dedicated farmers, and producers to our innovative manufacturers, our €15.5 billion total food and drink export industry has forged a hard earned, global reputation as a leading producer of high- quality sustainable food, drink and horticulture. As the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme, Origin Green has been instrumental in monitoring and driving improvements in sustainability and demonstrating this to trade customers and consumers. I am delighted that this new Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme will support companies to accelerate their progress in fostering a thriving agri-food sector that is responsive to the future needs of people and our planet.” 

Michael Murphy, Interim CEO, Bord Bia said: “Since its launch a decade ago in 2012, Origin Green has supported huge progress in the Irish food and drink industry’s journey to a more sustainable future. The Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme in partnership with UCD is an important next step in the evolution of Origin Green, as Bord Bia advance and embed the sustainability agenda across businesses by developing expertise and growing skills at Board and C- Suite level. Sustainability has become a key issue for our client companies’ entire executive teams and their Boards. 

“The sustainability expectations and requirements of global consumers are accelerating, and the food, drink and horticulture industry must embed the knowledge and ambition for companies to meet these standards. A survey of Bord Bia clients found that eight out of 10 firms wanted more training for senior leadership teams to understand sustainability, so we’re delighted to be able to offer this programme to business leaders to help them establish sustainability as a key value proposition driver for their businesses.”

Dean, Professor Anthony Brabazon Smurfit University College Dublin said: “UCD is delighted to launch this Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme in partnership with Origin Green, which will be the only programme of its kind in Ireland focused on board and director effectiveness for sustainability in food, drink, and horticulture organisations. The programme will empower leaders to embed sustainability across all functions of their business and will target C-Suite staff and senior management to ensure that sustainability is established as a key priority and guiding principle in their organisations.”

At the event, Deirdre Ryan, Director of Sustainability and Quality Assurance, Bord Bia, also unveiled Origin Green’s new three-year strategy; Powered By Partnership, which is a commitment to strengthen and empower the Origin Green programme over the period 2022 ̶ 2025 by developing and building on new and existing relationships with other State Agencies, leading academic institutions, and international stakeholders, platforms and customers. Strengthened by those relationships and reflecting the new dynamics in sustainability, Origin Green will support an acceleration in progress through a structured programme that places greater emphasis on science-based targets, nature-based solutions and the integration of circular approaches.

Click here to apply for the Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme.

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