Irish Water scientist and Offaly native Charlie Coakley discusses his vital role in ensuring that our water and wastewater services are delivered in a sustainable manner as part of Science Week 2021
The science behind protecting the environment
04 November 2021 - Irish Water is delighted to take part in National Science Week 2021 which runs from 7 - 14 November. This year Science Week will focus on Creating Our Future, a national conversation between the general public, the research community and policy makers
Ensuring that our water and wastewater services are delivered in a sustainable manner is a top priority for Irish Water and we are already implementing energy efficient design for all projects as well as energy efficiency measures into the operation of our treatment plants where possible.
Throughout Science Week, we will be highlighting these energy efficiency projects as well as profiling a number of our scientists and the role that science has in their role in safeguarding our water supplies and the environment.
Charlie Coakley is an Environmental Scientist who leads the Sustainability Policy Team in Irish Water which is responsible for developing and integrating sustainability related policies and strategies aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Charlie is a proud Offaly man and he and his team of scientists in Irish Water are dedicated to making a real contribution to the National Climate Action policy. Speaking about his role with Irish Water, Charlie said: “I lead a dedicated Sustainability Team in Irish Water, developing and integrating strategies to support sustainability aligned with the UN Sustainability Goals, Irish Water’s sustainability focus includes energy efficiency, climate change, circular economy, supply chain and environmental protection. The definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Speaking about his passion for sustainability, Charlie added: Sustainability is about doing more with less and with a social conscience thus balancing social, environmental and economic aspects. For example, improving energy efficiency reduces costs, which in turn lowers our carbon footprint and the associated climate change impacts on society and our planet.
Speaking about his scientific career to date, Charlie said: “I love working with Irish Water as I feel we’re delivering real impact and supporting national sustainability goals. Before that, I completed an Environmental Science degree in the 90’s when the environmental agenda was just starting to gain traction. I started my career in the Agri-Food sector as an Environmental Manager and, as society and business started to look beyond just purely environmental issues, the role developed over time to encompass all aspects of sustainability and I was responsible for implementing and managing sustainability for sites across Ireland and UK.”
To read more about our scientists, their insights into their careers in the water industry and the role science has in safeguarding our water supplies and the environment, visit www.water.ie/scienceweek