Corporate Social Responsibility
Running a business in a responsible manner is essential for the continued development of a sustainable business for present and future generations. At Shannon Heritage, we believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goes well beyond our environmental impact.
Shannon Heritage places a strong emphasis on working responsibly and actively engaging with our local community. As a commercial semi-state, we understand that our work has an impact on the environment, the communities in which we operate and our stakeholders. We believe in carrying out our duties in a socially responsible way ensuring that we are contributing to the locality.
We have an ethical labour practice which treats our team members fairly and ethically and every staff member throughout our company is empowered to engage with our Corporate Social Responsibility ethos.
Shannon Heritage strives to strengthen the skillset within our company, and create a culture that makes a difference to our customers’ experience and maximises the outcome of their involvement with us. We are also committed to carrying out our legal and administrative responsibilities in a way that delivers benefits for all stakeholders, including employees, the environment and the community around us.
Shannon Heritage and its Community
Shannon Heritage takes great pride in the communities in which our attractions operate. The company regularly gets involved with and supports community clean up initiatives, works with local schools on heritage education projects and engages and supports local festivals and events.
Shannon Heritage and it's Environment
Shannon Heritage recognises it's responsibility to minimise the impact of our attractions operations on the local environment by means of a programme of continuous improvement.
Green Practices currently in place on the farm at Bunratty Folk Park
- We are very conscious of the unique environment in which many of our attractions are situated. At Bunratty Castle and Folk Park we have created a Wildlife Habitat where birds and insects can live undisturbed.
- In addition manure produced by the animals at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is used in our gardens for the fertilization of plants and flowers
- Ground to Green promotion where all our ground coffee beans are given out to our site customers for personnel use on their lawns & gardens
- Reusable Cup Initiative – visitors who present reusable cups at our dining outlets receive a percentage off their purchase.
- Pre-set controlled dosing pumps in machines such as dishwashers.
- Waste oil taken away by approved vendor for reprocessing.
- LED lighting is used across attractions, where possible, to reduce energy costs.
- Food Wastage is kept to a minimum by feeding any suitable leftover food from visitors to the pigs.
- Fallen branches & Christmas trees are collected and mulched to be used for animal bedding etc.
- Fertiliser spreading is kept to a minimum & any fertiliser that is spread is protected. Protected urea achieves the benefits of protecting nitrogen (N) loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while yielding as well as CAN (Calcium Ammonia Nitrate) over the growing season.
- All our paddocks are established grassland pasture which sequesters massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form. Grasslands can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) during growth of grass plants and store it in different tissues. Above ground biomass (grass) is eaten by grazing animals and the carbon will eventually return to the soil as manure or to the atmosphere via enteric fermentation. The remaining grass and roots will eventually decompose and the carbon will then be stored in the soil.
- Established grassland is also very beneficial for soil quality as soils with high carbon generally have better soil structure, water holding capacity and provide more nutrients.
- Our grasslands have high plant diversity can enhance soil organic C. Increasing species in some grass swards can improve sequestration and reduce inorganic N inputs. This also benefits earthworm activity in soils and biodiversity in our paddocks.
- Bunratty Folk Park is comprised of many habitats such as hedgerows, field margins, stone walls, ponds and streams. An array of biodiversity is essential for healthy ecosystems. Biodiversity benefits us in 3 main ways on the farm.
- 1) Pollination: pollinating insects such as bumblebees, solitary bees are vital for the pollination of crops and wildflowers.
- 2) Soil health: earthworms are essential for good soil fertility. Soils are home to over a quarter of living species on earth.
- 3) Pest control: insects and birds can be used as part of an integrated approach to pest management.
- Bunratty Folk Park encourages native Irish woodland which is a haven for biodiversity. Native woodlands support a rich ground flora and fauna in a symbiotic relationship to each other. Native trees such as the oak tree support hundreds of species of animals and insects. Having a native woodland cover brings many benefits, including: increasing the biodiversity of native plant and animal species; offsetting emissions and providing carbon dioxide sequestration, two of key goals of climate change mitigation;providing immense cultural, social and health benefits for the community;and providing a safe haven for people including children to connect with nature.
- Our stocking rate is quite low here in Bunratty. This allows us to limit damaging impacts our animals have on soil including compaction, destruction of soil structure (poaching) and loss of vegetation. These impacts can reduce infiltration of water into the soil, resulting in pooling and water logging with consequent impacts of denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions. Soil compaction will also increase the risk of run-off with consequent impacts on water quality and flood risks.