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SustainIQ perfectly positioned as ESG comes to the fore in 2022

Fantastic piece on SustainIQ by British Business Bank Northern Ireland on its efforts to bring ESG to the fore in 2022 and beyond through its platform that can measure and report on ESG impacts. Keep up the good work Liam McEvoy and Maria Diffley!

It's great to have the continued support of British Business BankBritish Business Bank Northern Ireland and British Business Investments in our own Co-Fund NI too.

(Image showing: SustainIQ co-founders Liam McEvoy and Maria Diffley.)

SustainIQ co-founder, Liam McEvoy has been working in the sustainability sector for two decades, but he has never witnessed a sea-change like the one we’re seeing now.

“With the Paris Agreement and the UK government really stepping out in front and taking a lead on Net Zero through its ambitious targets, sustainability is something which all businesses, regardless of their size, need to be placing front and centre in their strategic decision-making.”

Liam and fellow co-founder, Maria Diffley hatched the idea for SustainIQ at an awards ceremony in 2017. Both worked in sustainability, albeit different sectors, but both were encountering problems with capturing data in an efficient way.

SustainIQ now works with a portfolio of companies including the SHS Group, Coca Cola HBC Ireland & NI, Belfast Harbour, Translink and Gilbert-Ash.

Liam explained: “Very early on we took part in the Springboard Programme at Catalyst. This was a programme for start-ups and entrepreneurs who were ready to scale and raise investment. This gave us access to the world of investors and we received funding from four private investors and Co-Fund NI which is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.”

In December 2020, British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, committed £10m through its Regional Angels Programme to Co-Fund NI to help provide growth capital to early stage, high potential smaller businesses in NI. Invest NI, which established Co-Fund NI, also contributed £6.1million to the programme.

Mark Sterritt, the British Business Bank’s UK network director for NI, stated: “Co-Fund NI was established to help smaller businesses with growth aspirations access equity finance to assist them in reaching their potential. It’s about helping those businesses really develop and succeed.

The Co-Fund NI investment came at the start of 2021 and helped fast-track the company’s development.

Liam explained: “It was a game-changer for us. It allowed us to bring our tech in-house and establish customer success and marketing teams as well as helping us build our profile and our brand. It has allowed us to accelerate our growth, which has been so important due to the direction of travel of ESG and the increase in Net-Zero commitments. We are now on over 600 sites across the UK and Ireland within multiple sectors and 2022 is looking very bright for us.

Liam insists the ESG and Net-Zero focus provides opportunities for businesses to grow. He added: “Just look at public sector tenders. Increasingly we’re seeing these contain sections on sustainability which can carry a weighting of 20% towards your overall score. When it comes to tenders it’s not always about price, instead being able to demonstrate your sustainability record can help you win contracts. This is all happening now, it is easy to think we have another decade to get up to speed but we truly don’t.