Ornua has announced a partnership with the Irish social innovation fund, Rethink Ireland.

The Irish dairy exporter has pledged €100,000 to Rethink Ireland projects “to drive innovative and ambitious thinking in the key areas of sustainability and rural development”.

The Department of Rural and Community Development will match the funding by Ornua, equating to €200,000.

L-R: Pádraic Vallely, business development and political engagement manager, Rethink Ireland; and Yvonne Cooney, head of sustainability, Ornua. Image source: Marc O’Sullivan

To celebrate the partnership, Ornua and Rethink Ireland have launched the Glas Communities Fund.

This fund will seek to support projects achieving an impact in climate action education, increasing efforts in recycling, the circular economy, community and rural development, and waste awareness, according to the partners.

The fund will award five high-performing projects from the Rethink Ireland programme, helping them expand with a clear focus on scale, growth and driving positive impact.

The Glas Communities Fund is now open to existing Rethink Ireland awardees with a closing date of Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

The winning awardees will be announced in September.

At this, projects will be given a cash grant and will be supported in the areas of strategic planning, communications, leadership, and social impact management, giving them the tools they need to scale their impact.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Yvonne Cooney, head of sustainability, Ornua, said: “The Glas Communities Fund awardees will benefit from a cash grant and non-cash support in the form of workshops, mentoring, and volunteering.

“On behalf of everyone at Ornua we are extremely excited to partner with Rethink Ireland and look forward to working with the winning awardees.”

Pádraic Vallely, business development and political engagement manager, Rethink Ireland, said:

“Building sustainable communities is critical to rural development as part of a just and green transition, and this is exactly what this fund sets out to do.

“We call on all Rethink Ireland awardees working in this area to apply to this fund. We very much look forward to working with successful awardees again to scale their impact across Ireland.”