Bord na Móna has been involved in the management of Ireland’s natural resources since the early days of the State’s existence. In the decades since it was established, the company has expanded beyond that part of the original mandate, focusing on the management of the nation’s peat resources, into other businesses built on its extensive land bank of more than 80,000ha. With a workforce of more than 2,000 people, in various locations throughout the country, the company has a large footprint across the Island and understands the duty it has to the people and communities in which we operate.
Today, Bord na Móna businesses encompass electricity generation, peat harvesting, heating products, resource recovery, growing media and biomass product . Each and every part of our business is involved in delivering on our sustainability agenda.
A Contract with Nature underpins Bord na Móna’s mission, objectives, strategy and values and sets out a clear sustainability path for the company. It means that all of our business activities, both direct and supporting, are becoming increasingly sustainable from an environmental and social point of view while continuing to yield profits. It outlines how the company is transforming itself into a leading provider of sustainable products and services, both in Ireland and abroad and comprises of three fundamental pillars; people, planet and profit. Bord na Móna’s drive to decarbonise is itself informed by the transformation in European policy, which has firmly embarked upon a pathway to a low carbon future with the ambition of reducing carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. This not only drives demand for innovative solutions to the sustainability challenges facing the current activities of each of our operating business units, but also acts as a necessary filter for screening new business development opportunities to ensure ultimate strategic fit.
In Ireland, because of the abundance of sources of renewable energy, in particular wind power, we are in the fortunate position of being able to pursue a renewable generation policy that isn’t significantly more expensive than that generated from conventional sources. As a State entity, Bord na Móna has a specific responsibility to deliver in a commercially and environmentally sustainable manner. The company’s land bank of 80,000 hectares is situated in a part of Europe that has an abundance of one of the most cost-effective renewable energy sources on the planet. The land bank includes many areas that are now coming to the end of their commercial productive life for peat-based energy production.
This production was the bedrock of Ireland’s energy security for many years and involved tens of thousands of employees, building and sustaining communities across Ireland. The company’s legacy of developing national energy assets in close association with local communities is key to understanding Bord na Móna’s past and present success.
The Group’s latest renewable electricity facility, an 84 MW windfarm at Mountlucas, Co Offaly, was recently opened by Mr. Alex White, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Sited on 1,100 hectares of cutaway bog that exited peat production in 2004, the wind farm became the first facility to be built on the midland’s vast cutaway bogs.
Building on its legacy of close community co-operation, Bord na Móna pursued a policy of ongoing engagement with local communities around Mountlucas. During the development of the facility the company met with community groups, held open days, community meetings and established a community benefit scheme.
Everything we do is consistent with our focus on People, Planet, and Profit. At Bord na Móna, we see it as our duty to play a leading role in shaping a better future for all of us. We live in an ever changing world. As the developed world’s economies move towards a low carbon platform, significant opportunities exist for Bord na Móna to become a strong player in the provision of sustainable products and services, which helps us deliver on our sustainability agenda.