Thursday, October 14, 2021

By Joe Barrett

Accenture, the global services and consulting company and ChangeX, the social innovation platform are offering grant aid of up to €5,000 to communities in Laois to take action against climate change with sustainability.

The funding is coming through the Accenture Sustainability Challenge which is an initiative designed to provide the vital resources required by communities to kickstart sustainability projects in their own locality.

Niamh McKenna from ChangeX said: “It is our ambition to enable and to support local community groups, schools, and organisations in Laois to take action against climate change and start innovative but doable environmentally-focused projects in their own areas.

From experience, we know that community-led projects have proven hugely successful for communities across Ireland and we are looking forward to seeing even more groups and organisations come together to roll out more of these green initiatives across the country.”

Grants of up to €5,000 are available plus a starter resource pack, mentorship and technology tools for teams across the country to start a sustainability project within their own community. Entrants can choose from a portfolio of six ideas that have already been tested and proven to have a positive social or environmental impact within communities in Ireland.

These include a Garden Pocket Forest aimed at increasing biodiversity and green space within local communities; a Repair Café, a meeting spot equipped with tools, materials, and volunteers to repair clothes, furniture, and other household items; a Community Fridge a communal place where surplus food is shared with the local community by local businesses and individuals; an Open Orchard to provide free fruit to residents and greenery to urban environments; a Plastic Free 4 Kids initiative aimed at helping primary schools become plastic-free and a Pollinator Plan to support biodiversity with an all-Ireland pollinator plan.

To apply log onto, explore the six ideas, register your team and receive more information on the steps to complete the challenge.

Deirdre Murphy from Accenture in Ireland said: “Climate change is increasingly affecting living and working conditions around the world. Now is the time to act. Communities hold the power to be a catalyst for change and as a business operating in Ireland for over 50 years we believe that one of the most important things we can do is support the communities we live and work in.

We’re committed to embedding sustainable practices across all elements of our own business and we’re making strong progress towards achieving our net-zero goal. There are six fantastic ideas for local communities to choose from, all of which can help them make a real and positive environmental impact.”

The fund will support up to 15 teams across the island of Ireland. Groups, individuals and organisations who are passionate about building a thriving community are encouraged to apply to roll out one of the six initiatives for their community.

Applications will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis once applicants successfully complete a 30-day challenge to kick-start their idea and take their first steps towards making their project a reality.

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