Tara Shine in the running to become Ireland’s sustainable leader of the year

Tara Shine in the running to become Ireland’s sustainable leader of the year

Environmental scientist, policy adviser and science communicator Tara Shine is among the nominees to become Ireland’s Sustainable Business Leader of the Year at this year’s PwC/Business Post Sustainable Business Awards. Highfield Energy’s Peter Kavanagh, chartered engineer Laura McMahon and conservationist Randal Plunkett have also been shortlisted in the hotly contested category.

In a rigorous assessment process, individuals are judged on their overall understanding of environmental sustainability within the sector and the role they have played in addressing challenges which have presented themselves as well as in leading change.

Plunkett is the founder of Dunsany Nature Reserve, in Co Meath. Dunsany Estate is Ireland’s largest privately owned nature reserve and at present, Ireland’s only recognised large scale rewilding project. He inherited the estate in 2011 and took on the ambitious rewilding project in 2014. Since then, he has made it his mission to reintroduce native flora and fauna to the land in a natural and organic way. Of the 1,600-acre estate, some 950 acres of tillage farmland is rented to local farmers and the remaining 650 acres are dedicated to the nature reserve.

Under Kavanagh’s leadership, Highfield Energy is active in the wind, solar and battery areas and attracts significant investment into Irish renewable energy infrastructure. The company is also active in the US market, and has brought forward very significant projects to accelerate the energy transition. Since its inception, Highfield has originated and deployed over €400 million of capital into Irish renewable energy assets.

With McMahon leading it, Lawler Sustainability aims to be a one-stop shop for sustainable advice and action. Using sustainable engineering solutions, development and innovation are at the core of Lawler Sustainability. McMahon’s award-winning team of building services and sustainability engineers are headquartered in Kilkenny, with offices in Dublin and London, and a client base that stretches across Ireland, the Britain, Europe and the Middle East.

With Shine as its leader, Change by Degrees (CbD) started trading in April 2018 as a sustainability consultancy offering services ranging from strategy and advice to employee education and sustainability communications. It grew from two co-founders to nine employees and five associates by 2023. Shine is a regular contributor to radio, TV and print media. She is a climate columnist with The Currency and regularly contributes to RTÉ Radio 1, 2 FM, BBC Radio 5, BBC Radio Ulster and Newstalk, among others.

The awards, now in their third year, seek to highlight achievement in large and small, private and public companies in the area of sustainability. The entrants are also being judged on the company’s efforts to tackle its environmental footprint or the footprint of its customers and how the company’s nominated sustainability team integrates environmental measures into the overall firm’s decision-making.

A total of 66 entries have been shortlisted for the third annual edition of the PwC Business Post Sustainable Business Awards and the gala ceremony will take place in Dublin on Thursday, March 21. The awards received a record number of entries this year, garnering more 150 submissions from 100 businesses active in Ireland.

Article originally published on the Business Post website.

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Tara Shine

Tara Shine

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