Business diary . . . events coming up

Business Diary
Founder of the All-Ireland Sustainability Summit, Danielle McCormick, and Andrew Johnston, business development manager at Everrun at the launch of the All-Ireland Sustainability Summit which will take place on March 21 at LaMon Hotel & Country Club (Brian Thompson)

Ahead of the 2024 All-Ireland Sustainability Summit, a survey of businesses’ understanding and attitudes toward sustainability has revealed that 74% of businesses surveyed have set sustainability or climate related targets for this year.

Conducted by The All-Ireland Sustainability Summit founder, Danielle McCormick, ahead of the upcoming 2024 event, the survey of 70 individuals also revealed that more than half of those surveyed highlighted that reaching net zero (53%) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) (56%) are high priority areas for their business or workplace in the coming year.

Returning for its third year, the All-Ireland Sustainability Summit has partnered with Everun for its 2024 event which will take place on March 21 at the La Mon Hotel & Country Club in Belfast.

Organised by Triterra and spearheaded by founder Danielle McCormick, this industry-leading event will gather professionals from diverse sectors across the island of Ireland to engage with industry experts and peers on everything ‘green’, as businesses strive to remain at the forefront of sustainability.

All-Ireland Sustainability will be continuing its partnership with energy management specialists Everun in 2024 following its sponsorship of the All-Ireland Sustainability Awards in 2023.

This year’s Summit will feature two stages catering to a broad spectrum of sustainability topics with a series of speaker sessions, ‘lunch and learn’ workshops and panel discussions aiming to provide delegates with the knowledge and tools they need to address the complex challenges inherent in creating a more environmentally conscious and socially responsible future.

The Main Stage, sponsored by Everun, will host speakers delving into the wider sustainability agenda while the Net Zero Stage, sponsored by Carbonfit, a carbon reduction solution, will focus on discussions surrounding achieving net zero and carbon neutrality. There will also be a ‘Green Comms Session’ featuring a panel discussion on effective communication strategies for sustainability initiatives.

Key sponsors for this year’s event include Danske Bank, NIE Networks, InterTradeIreland and Geological Survey NI with a range of companies including Veri Connect, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, BiaSol and Circular Food Co exhibiting at the event.

As a keynote speaker at the event, renowned author of ‘The Choice Factory,’ Richard Shotton, a behavioural change marketer, will share his insight and experience around behavioural change and explore the challenges of and opportunities to effect widespread behavioural change to enhance sustainability and reduce carbon footprint and energy consumption.

The 2024 All-Ireland Sustainability Summit anticipates welcoming 250 attendees, bringing together industry leaders, experts, professionals and individuals passionate about advancing sustainability.

For further information, contact Danielle McCormick via email at or visit the official website at


A new partnership aims to bring more women into the hospitality and tourism sector to bridge the employment shortages by showcasing career development opportunities.

The Women Breaking Barriers initiative ( has teamed up with the Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) Network to explore issues such as the factors preventing more women from entering the industry and the excellent career opportunities available.

The partnership launches with a special online Employer Insight event on February 6 to look at the way the industry is changing in order to encourage more women to seek hospitality and tourism jobs.

Speakers at the event include: Una Burns, manager of Charlies Bar; Heather Graham, head of HR, Titanic Belfast; Caroline McComb, MD of McComb’s Coach Travel and Rob Rees, head of people and culture at Hastings Hotels.

Helen Crickard, from the Women Breaking Barriers Project, said the aim was to bring women and key employers together to see how they can help solve the employment shortages currently affecting the industry.

She said that employers were increasingly aware of the need to invest in people to ensure their businesses move forward.

“We will be exploring challenging areas such as women’s safety, childcare and perceived low pay. Women want employers who are able to offer a career path and progression but who are mindful of family commitments. It is important to them that there are good employment practices in place,” Helen said.

Roisin McKee, project director of HATS, which is hosting the online event, said this new partnership with Women Breaking Barriers was an important strand of the strategy to address staffing and skills shortages in the industry.

“HATS Network welcomes this partnership with Women Breaking Barriers to showcase tourism and hospitality as a viable and attractive career option for women. The sector is strategically important to the Northern Ireland economy in terms of its potential to generate growth and create jobs. And it’s bursting with some of the most exciting and diverse career opportunities imaginable.”

The employer-led Hospitality & Tourism Skills Network (HATS) funded by Invest NI, Tourism NI and the NI Hotels Federation brings together sector businesses, education and government to help address industry skills shortages and is committed to driving change to attract, develop and retain the future talent the industry needs.

Women Breaking Barriers is a collaborative project involving multiple women’s centres and network organisations across Northern Ireland. It provides education and support to equip women with the skills necessary to overcome personal barriers to employment. It is funded by the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Business Diary
Roisin McKee of HATS, which has formed a new partnership with Women Breaking Barriers to attract more women into the industry to help address employment shortages
  • BELTECH 2024

BelTech will return in March with its 11th annual conference aimed at Belfast’s growing tech community.

Taking place at Titanic Belfast on March 7 and 8, the conference will be attended by around 400 technologists working in the local tech industry.

In partnership with Allstate and Expleo, BelTech is curated by Kainos and supported by some of the region’s leading technology companies including Liberty IT, Options, Unosquare, Synechron, Belfast City Council and Women Who Code.

Pointed at a diverse and growing tech community, BelTech gives technologists the opportunity to immerse themselves in a day of learning and forge new connections with some of the sector’s finest leaders and emerging talent.

With a stellar line-up of leading technologists from AWS, GitHub, and Elastic, BelTech will offer a day of unparalleled learning and networking opportunities for technologists.

This year, the conference will focus on the themes of generative AI, developer experience and trust architecture and digital identity.

The conference will provide a platform for the next generation of female tech entrepreneurs with its ‘Dragons Den’ style pitching process.

BelTech ( encourages female founders with game-changing tech startups to step into the spotlight and pitch their revolutionizing ideas for the world of AI, apps, and tech engineering.

The sold-out BelTech EDU day will see 450 students gain insights from leading industry experts and hear from exciting guest speakers. Students will have the opportunity to discover the power of AI with live demonstrations and take part in an online app competition to design an app prototype for young people.

Business Diary
Pictured at the launch of Beltech 2024 are (from left) Kevin O’Connor, technical lead at Allstate; Colleen Murray, marketing executive at Options NI; Sharon Ross, technical engineer in quality engineering at Expleo Group; Síona O’Reilly, solution architect at Kainos; and Evan Blair, principal engineer at Synechron (THOMAS MCMULLAN)