Articles tagged with: Gerard Doyle

The Role of Social Enterprise in Renewable Energy Production

on Thursday, 01 October 2015. Posted in Issue 77 Caring for Our Common Home, Environment

PdfIconThe Role of Social Enterprise in Renewable Energy Production

Gerard Doyle

Introduction 

Natural resources – water, energy and fertile soil – are fundamental to our life on earth. Many environmentalists – for example, Tim Jackson1 – believe that at the heart of the environmental crisis we are experiencing, and which is manifesting itself in so many ways, lies over-consumption of the earth’s resources. In 2009, for example, it was estimated that humans were extracting and using in excess of 50% more natural resources than was the case thirty years previously.2 

This level of consumption is leading to deforestation, species extinction at an alarming rate, shrinking of our natural water resources and climate change. In order for people in both developed and developing countries to live fulfilled lives, there is need to reduce over-consumption wherever it occurs and, in essence, to live more sustainably. Failure to do so will lead to increased pressure being exerted on ecosystems and may ultimately result in large swathes of the earth becoming uninhabitable.3

In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis documents the relationship between environmental degradation and global inequality.4 He speaks of the requirement to replace the culture of consumption with a more humane and ecological model of economic development which meets all of humanity’s essential needs.

This article asserts that social enterprise can play an important role in addressing many aspects of the environmental crisis. The particular focus of the article is the contribution which social enterprise can make towards combating climate change through the development of renewable energy projects.

What Next for Social Enterprise in Ireland?

on Friday, 14 March 2014. Posted in Issue 73 The Rights of Workers – Then and Now, Poverty & Inequality, Economics

 Gerard Doyle and Tanya Lalor

Introduction

AlternativeEnerg

Wind and solar enegy farm.       © iStock Photo

Since the 1990s, the concept of ‘social enterprise’ has gained momentum throughout Europe as a mechanism of addressing unmet community needs,1 providing employment, and stimulating local economic activity. Social enterprises have their origins in the co-operative and self-help sectors, and often strive to ensure local communities have a degree of economic self-determination. Social enterprises are part of the ‘social economy’ or the ‘third sector’ which includes an array of community and voluntary organisations. Some social enterprises are involved primarily in trading or enterprise activity, bringing a product or service to a market, but differing from a private enterprise in that any profit accruing is directed to the benefit of the community.

Social Enterprise – An Untapped Resource

on Wednesday, 06 October 2010. Posted in Issue 64 What Direction for Recovery?

Gerard Doyle

October 2010

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise – An Untapped Resource

Introduction

Across Europe, social enterprises are making a significant impact on communities, particularly those blighted by high levels of unemployment, poverty and disadvantage. According to the European Commission, there are 2 million social enterprises in the EU (representing 10 per cent of all European businesses) and they employ over 11 million people (the equivalent of 6 per cent of the working population of the EU).  In EU Member States, social enterprises are present in almost every sector of the economy, including banking, insurance, agriculture, crafts, various commercial services, and health and social services.