How can we build better bridges between the public and private sector? This was the over-arching discussion when iEER partners and stakeholders gathered in Belfast on 21-22 June.

Economic recovery from the Covid pandemic is well underway, but now, we are facing new challenges. Growing inflation rates, high energy prices, and the war in Ukraine are causing distrust and uncertainty about the future. Additionally, the lowest income households are affected the most – as it usually tends to be with economic crises. When tackling challenges, inclusion is therefore crucial.

Although there are policies and instruments seeking to mitigate these negative impacts, it’s difficult for the public sector to align them appropriately. Dialogue between the public and private sector is therefore crucial. How can we enhance this dialogue?

Sustainability improving resilience

When talking about resilience, it’s important to take into account long-term effects and not just the on-going crisis. In the current economic situation it becomes evident. Although we are recovering from Covid, we are facing new challenges, the effects of which must be countered.

Innovation, inclusion, and sustainability are key for a successful recovery.

- Sustainability is important, but companies do not need to do everything perfectly. When starting their sustainability journey, it is more important to do something rather than become paralyzed and not do anything, said Nichola Hughes from Sustainable NI.

For example the UN SDG’s are a great starting point, where companies can choose the SDG’s most relevant to them and use tools such as the SDG compass to measure their contribution to those specific goals.