Annual Report 2017

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Corporate Responsibility
3: Managing the environmental impacts of our business and operations

Sustainability is a primary focus for Bord na Móna in all our business operations. When we plan commercial uses for our land, our role as custodians of this land takes a leading role.

When we look at future rehabilitation plans and land use management we review how this will not only enhance our business growth but how it will also affect greenhouse gas emissions.

Future development has to be sustainable without damaging the environment and we are constantly looking at ways to improve our businesses to ensure we minimise any environmental impacts.

Key objectives

In September 2015, 17 United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) were agreed – goals that focus on climate action, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities’ work, and economic growth and life on land amongst others.

At Bord na Móna our CR efforts align with the delivery of these goals with a particular focus on five goals listed below:

7 Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

13 Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

15 Life on Land

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Key projects

Raised Bog Restoration Project

The main objective of the Raised Bog Restoration Project is to restore raised bog habitats at several locations throughout the country. Current restoration initiatives will support Ireland in meeting its biodiversity objectives including commitments under the EU Habitats Directive.

To date, over 1,000 ha of raised bog has been restored and Bord na Móna will continue re-wetting of other sites with a further 1,000 ha of bog identified for future work. This year also saw the completion of the raised bog restoration work at Clonboley bog and the construction of 8,200 peat dams.

We are fully committed to progressing our bog restoration programme across our landholding and we expect to significantly increase our restoration activity in the coming years as detailed in our Biodiversity Action Plan.

 


 

Irish Forum on Natural Capital

Bord na Móna is one of the founding members of the Natural Capital movement in Ireland, we sit on the steering committee of the Irish Forum on National Capital (IFNC) and ensure that our activity is in line with the IFNC vision and mission.

IFNC vision:

“for an Ireland in which natural capital and ecosystem goods and services are valued, protected and restored”.

IFNC mission:

“through the collaboration and leadership of our diverse members, to help to value, protect and restore Ireland’s natural capital and ecosystem services. We will do this by supporting the adoption of natural capital concepts in public policy and corporate strategy, promoting informed public and private sector decision-making and assisting in the establishment of a national natural capital accounting standard”.

Our Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2021 includes key actions against the Natural Capital objectives:

  • Develop a Natural Capital accounting system for Bord na Móna – to be based on the protocol currently being developed by the Natural Capital Coalition
  • Develop a map of the ecosystem goods and services of Bord na Móna lands
  • Continue to work as part of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital steering committee

 


 

Turning waste into energy – enough to power 8,500 homes.

Turning waste into energy

The ‘waste to energy’ project is an expansion of Bord na Móna’s portfolio of power generation assets and converts waste into energy at our state of the art engineered landfill site in Drehid, Co. Kildare. Methane gas is generated during the decomposition of waste within the landfill and is used as a fuel to generate electricity. Using landfill gas from the Drehid site, our power plant can produce 5.6 megawatts of renewable power – enough to power 8,500 homes.

Changes in waste processing methods across Bord na Móna means the nature of waste material that eventually reaches the landfill has altered considerably. Only pre-treated wastes are now permitted into the facility. Materials such as inert wastes, bulky wastes, waste with low calorific value and stabilised wastes are managed appropriately at the Drehid facility.

 


 

Biomass

Biomass is a reliable source of renewable energy and new technology means biomass can now meet many of the energy needs of Irish people. Biomass is Europe’s no.1 source of renewable energy and a key part of the EU strategy to tackle climate change. A well-managed biomass sector supports and maintains large, growing, healthy forests.

Bord na Móna is the No.1 user of biomass and supplier of biomass for heat and power in Ireland and is investing heavily in further developing our long term domestic biomass supply. Our biomass is mostly comprised of by-products from forestry management and is being used in a number of different ways to power and heat homes, communities and businesses.

We are developing a 100% sustainable biomass supply chain and continue to sustain and provide jobs in the growing Irish biomass sector.

Powergen

From December 2016 Edenderry power station operated as a Hybrid Plant and co-fired with approximately 42% biomass. This resulted in the station having net carbon emissions lower than a typical mid-merit generating unit on the Irish Grid – 744 kg CO2/MWh. The company’s growth in solar and wind farms has been significant in the last year as we work together to reach our renewable portfolio target of 1 GW by 2030.

Fuels

Bord na Móna continues to invest in the development of innovative renewable products to meet future market requirements. Significant progress has been made on the development of a new biomass briquette product. The Foynes ovoid plant, a smokeless coal facility, which secured planning permission in FY17.