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Press Release

Grant Thornton Irish Funds Sustainathon 2020 winner announced

All-female Green Team to lead new Irish Funds Green Pledge initiative

Green Team Network, an initiative to progress a new Irish Funds Industry sustainability forum, was today announced as the winning pitch in the inaugural Grant Thornton Irish Funds Sustainathon 2020 competition.

With backgrounds in Funds, Investment Services, Not For Profit and investment consultancy, the team behind the proposal is an all-female team from BlackRock, SS&C and the Irish Youth Foundation.  

The initiative proposes establishing a new Green Network to connect and empower the Irish Funds Industry to support change towards a sustainable environment. This includes exploration of a series of Green Pledge options tailored to firms of all sizes and at all stages of the decarbonisation journey, with a new online hub planned to act as a cross-industry resource.

Grant Thornton and Irish Funds will now work with the Green Team Network to implement this initiative across the industry. Furthermore, the team will present their proposal at the Irish Funds Annual Conference in October. 

Commenting on the Sustainathon initiative, Pat Lardner, Chief Executive, Irish Funds, said:

“The Grant Thornton Irish Funds Sustainathon 2020 competition has been a huge success due to the quality, diversity and commitment of those who collaborated so well in the midst of real challenges to produce imaginative and thought-provoking proposals.  The competition has encapsulated a groundswell of support for ensuring sustainability is at the core of what our industry does.  It also shows the power of creating connections between the great professionals working in our member firms, those from other disciplines and in 3rd level education, to produce platforms and projects for innovation and sustainable change.” 

Stephen Tennant, Head of Asset Management, Grant Thornton, added:

 “What I liked about the ‘Green Team Network’ was the research that had gone in to demonstrate why such a programme is needed within the Industry. It also has tangible and measurable targets, which will have wide spread appeal across the funds industry. The Green Team Network offers the ability for everyone to play their part in sustainable business practices.’.

The new competition was set up to promote collaboration across the Irish Fund ecosystem - including firms and 3rd level colleges - and to create solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by the Industry.

This year’s focus was on two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals - Affordable and Clean Energy, and Climate Action. The 2020 edition attracted entries from over 40 companies and three colleges.