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Quick facts

Located in Dublin, Ireland

Situated in a iconic, repurposed house saved from demolition

SDGs impacted by the companies’ activities:  3 , 4 , 8, 9 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15

The Rediscovery Centre is  the National  Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. A creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support greener low- carbon living. The Centre is a creative social enterprise that supports research and education for the circular economy. It brings together the skills and expertise of artists, scientists, designers and craftspeople united in a common purpose of sustainability.

How does the organization address societal challenges in an innovative way?

The Rediscovery Centre is both an Education and Research Center and it’ s the umbrella organization of four social enterprises:  Rediscover  Furniture, Rediscover Fashion, Rediscover Paint and Rediscover Cycling. These enterprises use unwanted materials for new product development and design demonstrating effective resource efficiency, reuse and low carbon living.

Rediscover Furniture brings new life to old furniture that would otherwise be disposed. Rediscover Furniture team uses traditional methods and environmentally friendly products and practices in their work.

Rediscover Cycling is dedicated to building & reconditioning bicycles whilst providing training and employment opportunities. Bikes donated are refurbished in the Cycling Centre and then sold in Eco Store located in the same building.

Rediscover Paint is a social enterprise that collects paint from recycling centres and recycles it to create new colours. The paint is then sold in the Eco Store or online for  the  price  of  €1 . 50  per  1  litre.  The humble revenue collected through paint selling allows Rediscover Paint to provide ongoing training opportunities to people distanced from the workplace at the Rediscovery Centre.

Rediscover Fashion is Ireland’ s leader in circular fashion and it is also located in the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Dublin. It was established in 2008 as a social enterprise to produce 100% redesigned and repurposed, clothing, accessories and homeware ranges. At Rediscover Fashion, circular fashion model is brought to life through training, lectures and by developing innovative products that are then sold in the Eco Store.

Lastly, the Rediscovery Centre actively participates in research, particularly in the f ields of sustainability, behavioural change, resource efficiency and waste management.

What societal benefit does the organization create?

The Rediscover Center Ballymun creates social benefit in numerous ways and it claims to create more opportunities and jobs through their different programs at the centre while inspiring for a more sustainable way to live.

First and foremost, the organization is an accredited Discover Primary Science and Maths centre. Their education team offer interactive and experiential workshops for primary, secondary, and third level students which cover wide- ranging environmental and STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) topics. The Centre is also home to a unique Eco Store located on the f irst f loor that sells sustainably made products from over 20 independent Irish suppliers and from their own ‘ Rediscover’ social enterprises present on site.

Last but not least, The Centre’ s translational research activities support national waste prevention and climate action policy and advocate for a more resilient and equitable society.

What new urban trades are created in the project?

The Boiler House in Ballymun, which is the premise where the Rediscovery Centre is located is perfect for meetings that require a unique setting and that have a focus on sustainability and the protection of the environment. The facilities are suitable for conferences, workshops, meetings, team-building events and exhibitions. The centre really enables people to work and create together aiming at circular economy.

Furthermore, for the running of the project involved in the Rediscovery Centre different  jobs  are  created:  Education Facilitators, Front of House Assistant, Eco Fashion Trainee Gardening & Facilities Assistant, Business Admin Assistant,Circular Economy policy and research assistant, Furniture Programme Manager. One of the social enterprises within the Rediscovery Centre, Rediscover Fashion creates training opportunities for the long term unemployed and all revenue generated from its activities are reinvested in the enterprise. This programme highlights that an estimated 93 % of all textile waste in Ireland is sent to landfill and it aims to counteract this by teaching members of the public repair and reuse skills through interactive workshops, demonstrations and talks.

What makes the organization particularly interesting as an example?

The Rediscovery Centre is located in the repurposed Boiler House in Ballymun, a building that has undergone a major green revamp and it is now a state of the art facility with a focus on sustainability and reuse. Completed in 1966 , the Boiler House in Ballymun was the largest civic heating scheme in Ireland and the United Kingdom, which supplied heat and  water to 3 , 000 f lats in the town. In 2014 the house has been saved from demolition and repurposed to host the Rediscovery Centre. The reuse of the old Ballymun Boiler House showcases the environmental and economic benefits that come from seeing waste as an opportunity. The building has a number of iconic sustainable features such as a passive design for optimized orientation for solar gain, rain water harvesting and grey water recycling and green roofs and a green living wall.

The re- imagined building resulted in an exemplar eco- centre which won the National ‘ Green Construction Award’ in 2017 and SEAI’ s Green Building award in 2018. It is now the Rediscovery Centre’ s headquarters and an international eco- destination.

Quick facts

Founded in 2013

Based  in  Amsterdam, Netherlands 2 , 650+ partners connected in their global network

Goal:  transform  100  million  hectares of degraded land into thriving ecosystems, economies and communities by 2040

SDGs  aligned  with  the  4  returns:  2 ,  5 , 6 , 8, 12 , 14 , 15 & 17

Our Commonland Foundation is a not- for- profit organization that works for large-scale landscape restoration. Since the world’ s ecosystems and landscapes are degrading at unprecedented speed, the organization works to build resilient landscapes, restore ecosystems and create regenerative businesses for future generations. Because revitalizing communities and regenerating landscapes offers tremendous opportunities for society and business.

How does the organization address societal challenges in an innovative way?

The organization' s mission is to be an initiator, catalyst, and enabler for large-scale and long- term restoration initiatives to ultimately transform degraded landscapes into thriving ecosystems. To do so the Our Commonland has created a practical holistic framework – the 4 returns. Through the 4 returns framework farmers, landowners, entrepreneurs, communities, nature organizations and legislators are brought together to create real returns on investment per hectare. The international team of specialists helps their partners through support tools, advice, guidance, and a global network to maximize the 4 Returns.

The 4 Returns: 4 Returns is a science-based framework that has been used and proven in practice. It was developed in close collaboration with leading scientific institutes, business schools, farmers, and experts. The 4 Returns framework transforms degraded ecosystems by focusing on 4 key returns over the course of a single generation, or 20 years.

What new urban trades are created in the project?

Our Commonland partners up to develop business cases which are based on regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and rotational grazing. These new businesses or projects then again create new job opportunities in those fields. In 2021 about 350 jobs were created directly or indirectly through the work of our  Commonland. 

What societal benefit does the organization create?

Commonland contributes to long- term and holistic landscape restoration programs and thus works to create a thriving ecosystem, community and economy for everyone. The emphasis on social capital within the 4 returns ensures that all of the projects of Commonland are directed at increasing the overall societal benefit.

What makes the organization particularly interesting as an example?

Our Commonland works as a facilitator for landscape restoration and partners with different organizations to restore landscapes. However, Commonland is not directly involved in the restoration process but rather contributes with its knowledge, tools and networks. The following image explains how the organization works in more detail.

Do you want to learn more about landscape restauration?

On Coursea. Org one can f ind the free online course created by Our Commonland and the Erasmus University  Rotterdam:  “A  Business  Approach to Sustainable Landscape Restoration".

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