Article

The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

The vibrant hues of Ireland extend far beyond its iconic green landscapes. At HORIZONS by Tour Partner Group, we’re aiming to redefine the essence of events and incentives through a deep-rooted commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles and sustainability. We invite you to work with us in enjoying the beauty of this magical destination while championing sustainable and responsible tourism. Below we outline some of the Irish business we’re working with and the initiatives we’ve encountered which have made an impression on us.

Empowering Local Communities: The Power of Partnership

Our journey is not just about exploring; it’s about making a positive difference. At Horizons, we prioritise partnerships with organisations that leave a lasting impact on local communities. A prime example of such collaboration is with Secret Street Tours, a commendable non-profit social enterprise in Dublin. This initiative trains and employs individuals affected by homelessness, providing them with a platform to lead insightful walking tours of Dublin. This unique experience not only offers a fresh perspective on the city but also supports a meaningful cause, directly benefiting those involved.

Dublin Walking Tours |  The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

See Secret Street Tours Top Picks for eating establishments which positively contribute towards our environment and society: Secret Street Tours – News & Blogs

The Sustainability Journey in Food & Drink

When it comes to the culinary experiences we offer, we are seeking out partners and initiatives which make sustainability a key goal. We are actively exploring collaborations with food banks and food share initiatives to reduce food waste at our events. By thoughtfully curating our menus and managing leftovers, our goal is to host events that leave a lasting impression on our guests, not on the planet.

Food and Drink | The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

One such partner is Foodshare Kerry which supports over 35 community groups and 10,000 individuals in Kerry who are experiencing food poverty. We are currently collaborating with them to see how we can create sustainable, and waste free menus at our client’s events. To reduce food wastage, we are considering smaller portion sizes, sourcing local, in season ingredients, while utilizing the same ingredients for different meals. We’re also investigating food waste audit and management systems and providing guests and delegates with the ability to take their leftovers home.

This initiative is a testament to our dedication to not just talk about sustainability, but to actively practice it in every aspect of our events.

Leading by Example: The Killarney Coffee Cup Project

Ireland’s commitment to green initiatives shines brightly in the picturesque town of Killarney. Known as a jewel in Ireland’s crown of tourism, Killarney has taken a groundbreaking step by becoming the first town in the country to ban all takeaway coffee and teacups. Through the Killarney Coffee Cup Project, local coffee shops and hotels have ceased offering single-use disposable cups. Instead, they’ve introduced a collective disposable system for those on the move, setting a new standard for sustainability in Ireland. This initiative is more than just about reducing waste; it’s a powerful statement on the importance of sustainable practices in tourism.

Killarney Coffee Project | The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

Sustainable activities for a greener experience

Below we outline a selection of activities that Ireland offer which respect the environment while enriching your soul.

Live in the slow lane

Experience the serenity of Northern Ireland’s Sperrin Mountains with a Cycle Sperrins tour. Guided by Far and Wild instructors, this journey offers a deep dive into nature at your own pace. You’ll explore vibrant habitats and natural formations, culminating in a meeting with local producers for a taste of traditional, local foods—a perfect reward after an adventurous cycle.

Get your blood pumping

Sustainable living isn’t all about slow-paced activities; it can be thrilling too! Donegal Climbing takes advantage of Ireland’s rugged northwest coast, offering rock-climbing and abseiling courses in breathtaking locations. They also provide Leave No Trace training sessions, promoting environmental responsibility. For a different kind of adventure, Sheans Horse Farm on the Antrim coast offers off-road and beach equestrian experiences, blending excitement with eco-consciousness.

Take to the midnight waves

Imagine kayaking under the moonlight in West Cork, where the air is filled with the scent of wild honeysuckle and the waters glow with bioluminescence. Atlantic Sea Kayaking offers this magical experience, allowing for a deep connection with nature while emphasizing the importance of environmental stewardship. They are at the forefront of developing sustainable kayaking trails and Blueways along the Wild Atlantic Way.

© Gareth McCormack

Try a trip to a sheep farm

Witness the harmony of nature and tradition at a sheep farm, where the grace of sheepdogs and the stewardship of shepherds are on full display. Atlantic Sheepdogs in County Sligo, Irish Working Sheepdogs in County Wicklow, and Glenshane Country Farm in County Derry~Londonderry offer a glimpse into the soulful world of pastoral life, providing a soothing retreat for the spirit.

Sheepdog Experience | The Emerald Isle’s Journey to a Greener Future

If you would like to include any of the above activities in your next incentive programme in Ireland or would like us to help you make your next meeting or event is kind to the environment and local community, contact us on [email protected]. Together let’s explore, impact, and inspire. Let’s make choice which uplift communities and redefines what it means to travel and gather responsibly. Join us as we embark on this journey, where every step we take is a step towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.