Advertising Feature
An advertising feature is created, supplied and paid for by a commercial client and promoted by the Irish Times Content Studio. The Irish Times newsroom or other editorial departments are not involved in the production of advertising features.

Ireland’s greenest companies collect their gongs at the Green Awards 2024

DGD Shredding walked away with green business of the year

Ireland’s greenest and most sustainable businesses and individuals came together in February to recognise top-flight achievements at the Green Awards 2024, now in their 16th year. More than 800 people came to the Clayton Hotel to see which firms, from the 140 that had entered, would walk away with each of the 28 prizes. Their host for the evening was columnist, broadcaster, comedian and author Colm O’Regan.

The winners and the runners-up are the heroes who will step up to the challenge and try to help Ireland’s economy switch to a more sustainable footing. It’s a tough challenge.

European Commission sustainability experts in the Environmental Protection Agency have warned that Ireland will only achieve a reduction of 29 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It said Ireland would miss its target of 51 per cent “unless all sectors of the economy deliver sustainable emission reductions in the short term”. The awards celebrated those getting to grips with this.

The winner of the green leader award knows a thing or two about cutting emissions. Marie Donnelly, chair of Renewables Energy Ireland, spent 30 years in the European Commission. She developed key elements of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package designed to put energy efficiency first and boost renewable energy, while not penalising consumers.


The Green Awards stretch through all sectors of the economy, from construction and the public sector to services industries. The green financial and professional services award went to accountancy firm Grant Thornton Ireland. Áine Keogh, head of sustainability, said: “Receiving this award has presented a pivotal moment for reflection and celebration for Grant Thornton, reinforcing the impact the professional services industry can have in inspiring others through our commitment in improving the sustainability of our business.”

Natalie Kelly, partner at accountant and tax adviser, Crowleys DFK, said: “To be among the impressive shortlisted nominees underscores the sustainability strides of Irish companies in the finance and professional services sector. This Green Award nomination inspires us to further our journey towards a greener future, driving innovation and positive change.”

Title sponsor Bord na Móna champions helping Ireland hit its green targets. Tom Donnellan, chief executive, said: “As a renewable energy and climate solutions company, leading Ireland towards a climate-neutral future, Bord na Móna were delighted to return for a third consecutive year as title sponsor of the Green Awards 2024.

“The Green Awards recognise the contribution and commitment made by companies to create a greener future, and it is very encouraging to see tangible action and innovative solutions being developed to support Ireland reach its climate goals. We are proud to again be part of an event that highlights and commends leadership and sustainability in green practice in Ireland.”

The awards ranged from the green micro enterprise of the year, which went to Emma Plant Veterinary Practice, to companies with more than 1,000 employees. In that largest category, agricultural produce co-operative Tirlán won the overall prize, with sustainability team of the year going to airport and travel firm DAA Group. The ESG Best Performer with more than 1,000 employees was utility firm Energia Group.

Just making the shortlist was seen as a great achievement. Mike Curran, chief executive, veterinary group XLVets Ireland, said: “Being recognised as a finalist at the Green Awards 2024 is an affirmation of a positive impact when we prioritise environmental responsibility. XLVets Ireland is proud to champion sustainability, and this recognition inspires us to continue our journey towards a more sustainable future for all.”

One of the judges, Jean Callanan, chief executive of strategy consultancy Momenta Hub, highlighted the impact of the awards on sustainability champions within. She said: “These awards help companies to focus the mind, reflect on how they are doing in the different areas of sustainability and commit to do more. They also play an important role in giving the sustainability team profile and status across the organisation.”

The Green Awards 2024 impact ambassador was 20Fifty Partners. Ken Stockil, chief executive, said: “Our role as impact ambassadors at the Green Awards allowed us to honour and celebrate the efforts of a diverse range of firms and individuals working hard to mitigate the effects of climate change. Supporting this event reflected our ongoing industrywide commitment to transformative change and to empowering such change for a sustainable future.”

This was echoed by finalists on the night. Garrett Ghee, plant manager at construction materials firm Breedon Group, said: “At the Green Awards, we were reminded of the pressing need for sustainable practices. Breedon Cement Ireland’s commitment to alternative fuels and carbon reduction underscores the imperative for all industries to prioritise environmental responsibility.”

Vivienne Keane, operations executive at Healthcare 21, said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted in two categories, among such big players, in our first year of entry. It was an inspiring evening surrounded by best-in-class companies and we are very proud to continue to play our part, demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and a greener future for all.”

Laura McMahon, director of sustainability consulting at Lawler Sustainability, said the evening had been inspiring. “The Green Awards were a fantastic demonstration of the efforts that business, industry and local government are making to collectively ensure Ireland achieves its carbon reduction targets. It was both inspiring and uplifting to attend,” she said.

Speaking at the awards, Kevin O’Driscoll, director partnership programmes at event organiser Business River, said: “Events like this are made possible through the support of sponsors. We are thankful to our 2024 sponsors and professional partners, which include Bord na Móna, 20 Fifty Partners, Diageo Ireland, ESB’s Smart Energy Services, Calor, Uisce Éireann, Panda, Energia Group, Davy Horizons, Davy Group, CPL, Codex Office Solutions, Schneider Electric, Enterprise Ireland, Verde Energy Group, Veolia, Lumen Search, Green Ocean Coffee. Their investment in the awards underlines their commitment and support of this key business area.”

We extend our sincere thanks to all the partners and supporters who played a vital role in the success of the Green Awards 2024.

A special mention goes to our adjudicating partner, the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork. Their expertise and dedication significantly contributed to the integrity and prestige of the awards.

We also want to express our deep appreciation to Amárach Research and The Irish Times for their unwavering support and commitment to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness. These collaborations not only enhance the impact of the Green Awards but also help to foster a community of like-minded organisations striving towards a greener future for Ireland and beyond.

The awards were judged by a distinguished panel of experts and drawn from all areas of the green community.

Full list of judges

  • Dr Paul Bolger (judging coordinator) Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork
  • Tanya Fitzgerald (judging coordinator) Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork
  • Anna Ozolina (judging coordinator) Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork
  • Daragh Anglim, head of impact, Broadlake
  • Mark Bennett, chief executive, Ambie
  • Jan Peter Bergkvist, senior sustainability advisor, SleepWell AB, Sweden
  • Aidan Byrne, sustainability and utilities manager, Aviva Stadium
  • Jean Callanan, chief executive, Momenta Hub
  • John Cunniffe, director, G4S FM Ireland
  • Supriya Foster, sustainability Officer, South West College
  • Nicholas Holden, professor, University College Dublin
  • Karen Kennedy, sustainability senior manager, PepsiCo
  • Matt Kennedy, European sustainable development leader, Arup
  • Maria Kirrane, head of sustainability and climate action, University College Cork
  • Frances Lucy, head of department of environmental science, Atlantic Technological University
  • Robbie McGrath, head of sustainability, D/RES Properties
  • Elaine Neill, head of sustainability and innovation, Gilfresh Produce Ltd
  • Robert O’Mahony, head of sustainability, global operations, Logitech
  • Kathleen O’Regan, senior executive, sustainability, renewable energy and agtech department, Enterprise Ireland
  • Katherine Valery, senior sustainability engineer, Jacobs
  • Sian Young, director of sustainable business, Britvic Ireland

Full list of winners

Green business of the year (sponsored by Bord na Móna)

Winner: DGD Shredding

Green leader 2024 (sponsored by Bord na Móna)

Winner: Marie Donnelly

Green large organisation of the year (1,000+ employees) (sponsored by ESB’s Smart Energy Services)

Winner: Tirlán

Green large organisation of the year (sponsored by Sustainable Enterprise Skillnet)

Winner: Walls Construction

Green medium sized organisation of the year

Winner: Hotel Doolin

Green small organisation of the year

Winner: DGD Shredding

Sustainability team of the year (1,000+ employees) (sponsored by CPL)

Winner: DAA

Sustainability team of the year (sponsored by Skillnet Climate Ready Academy)

Winner: Breedon Ireland

The ESG best performer of the year (1,000+ employees) (sponsored by Davy Horizons, Davy Group)

Winner: Energia Group

The ESG best performer of the year (sponsored by Davy Horizons, Davy Group)

Winner: O’Brien Fine Foods

The green life sciences award (sponsored Sponsored by Veolia)

Winner: AbbVie

The green manufacturer award

Winner: Aurivo

The green construction award (sponsored by Lumen Search)

Winner: Cairn

The green food & beverage award (sponsored by Calor)

Winner: Meade Farm

The green retailer award (sponsored by Verde Energy Group)

Winner: Brown Thomas Arnotts

The green financial & professional services award (sponsored by Green Ocean Coffee)

Winner: Grant Thornton Ireland

The green tourism and entertainment award

Winner: Hotel Doolin

The green logistics & transport company award

Winner: McCulla Ireland

Green public sector organisation of the year (sponsored by Schneider Electric)

Winner: An Post

The green ICT, media & telecommunications award (sponsored by Enterprise Ireland)

Winner: JCDecaux Ireland

The excellence in waste management award (sponsored by Panda)

Winner: Wisetek

The sustainable water achievement award (sponsored by Uisce Éireann)

Winner: Wyeth Nutritionals Ireland

The green technology award

Winner: CoolPlanetOS: Decarbonisation Management Software

The green collaboration award (sponsored by Codex Office Solutions)

Winner: IES and Dublin City Council

The sustainable energy achievement award (sponsored by Energia Group)

Winner: AbbVie Team Evergreen

The green energy provider award

Winner: Thorntons Recycling

The green transformation award (sponsored by 20Fifty Partners)

Winner: The Killarney Coffee Cup Project

Green micro enterprise of the year (sponsored by Bord na Móna)

Winner: Emma Plant Veterinary Practice