Doran’s on the Pier is a family-owned business operating on the West Pier in Howth for over 60 years. Once a traditional fishing business operating trawlers from Howth, changes including Brexit have meant that the business is now land based, consisting of a fishmongers, Octopussy, Hooked and Oar House Restaurants, and Howth School of Fish. Always aiming to keep the local fishing culture of Howth alive, Sean Doran and his very enthusiastic green team has initiated a sustainability policy with ambitious targets now in place to achieve carbon neutrality in 2023.
Sean Doran is delighted that the efforts of his Green Team have been recognised for all their hard work. “Winning is not our ultimate goal although it is nice for the team to have their efforts recognised” said Sean. “We are very aware of our responsibilities to operate sustainably and reduce our carbon footprint, and will continue to share our knowledge with other businesses on the Howth peninsula. Our ultimate goal is for Howth to become a carbon neutral destination, where the community, businesses and tourists operate in harmony.”
As a small business, challenges in this process include staff shortages, limiting people’s time to attend our weekly green meetings, and finding time in our busy industry to develop new operating procedures and train our staff. Our route to carbon neutrality is complex, and we are focused on education, training and staff engagement to achieve our goals.
We have worked hard during 2022 to engage with our suppliers and educate our staff in what it means to operate sustainably. This involved several supplier visits to see how they are farming seafood in a sustainable manner. Two of our biggest suppliers, Goatsbridge Trout Farm and Carlingford Oysters delivered great presentations to our team on how they use the most sustainable methods possible in their production and growing processes.
IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
In our endeavours to reduce energy costs and usage, we embarked on an exercise to measure our use and to establish our carbon footprint. We participated in a carbon management workshop delivered by Sustainable Travel Ireland, and we now have our carbon footprint of our businesses measured and ready for benchmarking.
We decided to delay signing up to a carbon offsetting scheme, and instead focus on reducing our carbon emissions and by July 2023, we will hopefully have a lot less carbon to offset.
We are in the process of selecting a renewable energy supplier and have expanded this search to include a network of businesses on the Howth Peninsula. This is part of the “Greening of Howth” campaign through Howth Tourism, a committee of which our managing director, Sean Doran is the chairman.
Our energy leader is managing a process of energy saving across all departments. This includes use of timers, switching off lights and devices when possible and replacing old inefficient appliances and machines with new lower energy versions as machines become obsolete.
We have established the Howth School of Fish, a new social regenerative tourism project with an emphasis on protecting local aquaculture. The project employs retired and unemployed members of the local Howth fishing community. Our premises is located on the West Pier and will be open for the 2023 season offering biodiversity and aquaculture modules to tourists and Irish schools and colleges. www.howthschooloffish.ie