Green Restoration Ireland is an Irish Cooperative Society founded in 2019 by a group of scientists, farmers, and business people. We take direct actions to fight climate change, loss of wildlife and rural communities.
A Cooperative fighting climate change
Unsatisfied with the current carbon offsetting market, founding member Douglas McMillan gathered a few like-minded people who were willing to act. The proposal was to set up a Cooperative in order to achieve our individual climate goals. We created the Green Restoration Ireland Cooperative.
The aim of our work is to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and help revive rural economic activity here, in Ireland.
I looked into at various channels for offseting my business’ CO2 emissions. I explored institutional, NGOs and other more commercial offerings. But I was really not satisfied with the projects that were presented to me.
One NGO wanted me to fund rangers to protect jungle in Vietnam. Another global institutional site would promote projects driven by private limited companies where tonnes of CO2 (tCO2) would be sold for anything between USD 0,80 and USD 30 per tonne.
It did not add up and it did not make sense to only use projects far away just to benefit from “cheaper” tCO2.Umberto di Venosa – Co-Founder
Why a Cooperative you might ask?
Not for charity, not for profit, but for service.
NGOs are dependent on public or private funding. When those funds are available the work can be done but then when they are gone then things can get difficult.
Private companies are great and most of our members are either self-employed or work in regular companies. However, for the purpose of fighting climate change, we do not believe that this is the appropriate structure. As private companies are by nature for profit they will always look to increase margins. This motive makes them more likely to exploit people’s lack of understanding and take shortcuts to boost short-term profits.
As far as we are concerned, with something this critical only the highest quality service will do.
That’s why a cooperative is the best option for this project. All its members and suppliers work together to take responsibility for guaranteeing the transparency of our service to our clients.
In a cooperative, it is ‘one member, one vote‘. Profits or dividends are issued but only according to the amount of effort or investment that members put in and the levels of these are decided by a majority vote. This guarantees that the work mission and objectives of our cooperative prevail over short-term earnings.