Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (172)

Jack Chambers


172. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount spent on bottled water and disposable coffee cups by her Department to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48183/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The expenditure incurred in 2019 to date by my Department and its Offices on bottled water and disposable coffee cups is set out in the following table.


Bottled Water

Disposable Coffee Cups


[across 3 Dublin based buildings]



Companies Registration Office including the   Registry of Friendly Societies

[across 2 buildings – Dublin & Carlow]



Labour Court, Lansdowne House, Dublin 4.



Office of the Director of Corporate   Enforcement,

16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1



Patents Office, Kilkenny



Workplace Relations Commission

[across 5 locations – Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Shannon,   Sligo. ]


€20 *

* Incurred in early January 2019 on foot of an order placed in late 2018, prior to the Government’s banning of certain single use plastics.

My Department has a very active “Green Team” with over 30 members spread across the Department and its Offices, and the members drive a range of green initiatives voluntarily in addition to their respective business unit roles.  

The work of the “Green Team” focuses on four pillars as part of our internal response to the climate action challenge. The four pillars span energy, water usage and conservation, waste management and plant life.

Bottled water coolers are typically provided across the various locations in areas which are accessed by members of the public such as reception and waiting areas, hearing rooms, meeting rooms and by Civil Service staff in our training rooms.

In 2019 we have reduced the number of water coolers in use across the Department offices in the Kildare Street, Dawson Street and the Earlsfort Centre buildings by over 60% and have replaced them with mains water filtration systems, where possible.

The Department does not purchase nor use disposable coffee cups. Staff are encouraged to use keep cups and reusable biodegradable bottles supplied by the Department.

Over the summer 2019, the “Green Team”, in conjunction with the Office of Public Works, undertook some adjustment works on the water flow system underpinning the toilet facilities in the Kildare Street building. Thus far, this has yielded a significant daily saving on water usage by reducing the unaccounted for water by over 50%. We are exploring such adjustments in our other buildings.

In many offices we have also consolidated the use of single waste bins per staff member and moved to centralised bins per floor including enhanced recycling bins and food waste bins. This has significantly reduced the level of general waste along with plastic bags being used for waste collection.   

More specific details on the Department’s internal green initiatives for 2019 can be found in our Resource Efficiency Action Plan 2019 published on my Department’s website at