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Driving sustainable transformation for a brighter future

As the climate crisis facing society continues to loom, one thing has become clear - business as usual is no longer an option.

Sustainability is becoming a strategic focus for leaders, with a growing understanding that those who embrace a full business transformation will reap the rewards.

Over the past year, our multidisciplinary team of experts across strategy, climate risk, regulation, technology and reporting have been supporting clients in navigating this constantly evolving landscape and developing end-to-end solutions across multiple sectors.

One of the largest scale transformations that will be required is within Ireland’s public sector. Ireland’s legally-binding Climate Action Plan sets out an ambition to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero no later than 2050. To do this, emissions must rapidly fall by 45% in commercial buildings, 40% in residential, and 35% across industry.

Setting a direction for the public sector

"The Climate Action Plan is very, very welcome in its ambition," says Aoife Connaughton, Strategy and Decarbonisation Lead. "But what we found in talking to our clients was that they didn’t know how to get going.”

Impacting everyone from local councils and their leisure centres, to the Department of Transport and its major road networks, we realised this was an opportunity to pool resources, share best practice and create a team spirit.

Our teams in Ireland collaborated to create the Climate Action Maturity Assessment, a questionnaire for organisations which is then used to create a bespoke report detailing how the client is currently performing against the five key areas of the Climate Action Mandate.

The report gives personalised recommendations to accelerate progress and outlines expected policy developments. Practical, supportive and non-judgmental advice is vital, Aoife says.

The team turns complexity and confusion into motivation by creating a to-do list for each client. Organisations are also benchmarked to add additional transparency around progress, allowing them to see how they compare to others and be inspired to take further action.

We are now building on this by creating practical workshops around areas where clients feel they need extra support, as well as roundtable events to discuss how to tackle the most complex challenges in new ways.

Enabling collaboration to tackle food waste

Food waste is another large-scale challenge facing society in Ireland. Every year, 753,000 tonnes of food are wasted – enough to fill 32,000 shipping containers. This could be used to feed millions of people and food waste also has a detrimental effect on the environment, being responsible for six per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Irish social enterprise FoodCloud has a vision to live in a world where no good food goes to waste and currently redistributes more than 13,000 tonnes a year to people in Ireland, the UK, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien wanted to define a long-term vision for FoodCloud, that would redistribute half of the country’s surplus by 2030 - in line with national targets.

Through our collaboration, we helped to develop plans for a FoodCloud HQ in Dublin to educate and inspire people. It will be used to demonstrate food waste solutions, stage events and provide immersive learning experiences for Ireland’s 1.2 million school children. There will be a space where food industry representatives can collaborate to solve the food waste problem.

“FoodCloud had connected with 90% of Ireland’s retailers and is engaging with manufacturers and producers through its warehouses, but the founders needed help figuring out the next step. We worked with FoodCloud to understand the food waste value chain.” 

explains James Logue of Deloitte’s Operations Transformation team.

In the establishment of the hub, our Financial Advisory, Risk Advisory, Office Transformation and Real Estate teams came together to help FoodCloud explore the funding options available, from grants to corporate donations.

Deloitte also supported FoodCloud scope and prioritise a range of initiatives to scale its operations, including creation of a new digital platform to connect retailers with community groups. We also worked with FoodCloud to develop the concept of the FoodCloud Network, shaping a structure around bringing together their expansive network of stakeholders from across the public and private sectors to develop a shared vision for talking the food waste problem.

“I’ve never worked on anything like this before,” James continues. “Right now, FoodCloud is a small part of the solution. However, by halving waste there is the potential to feed 2.5 million people a year – more than the population of Dublin – without increasing production. That alone is incredibly inspiring.”

Key contacts

Glenn Gillard

Head of Sustainability

Aoife Connaughton

Strategy and Decarbonisation Lead