Keynote Speakers 2020

Aoibheann O’Brien – Partnerships Director – Food Cloud

FoodCloud is a not for profit which connects businesses who often find themselves with surplus food with charities who can use it.. FoodCloud have a solution for surplus food at every stage of the supply chain from farmers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers.  To date FoodCloud have supported the redistribution of the equivalent of over 70 million meals to over 9,500 charities in the UK and Ireland.

As a co-founder of FoodCloud, Aoibheann has been pivotal in the establishment of a food redistribution sector in Ireland. Aoibheann and her FoodCloud co-founder Iseult Ward, were presented with the EY Entrepreneur of the year 2017 Special Award. This award is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the island of Ireland through their entrepreneurial vision, innovation and commitment to excellence

Aoibheann O’Brien has a degree in Law and Accounting from the University of Limerick and an MSc in Environmental Science from Trinity College Dublin. After a stint with environmental consultancy ERM, a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, and social consulting,  Aoibheann completed her MSc Thesis “Surplus food redistribution: a potential solution to food waste and food poverty in Ireland”.


Ciara Sheehan – CSR Manager – Lidl Ireland

Working with and supporting CSR representatives across each region and international headquarters to achieve CSR Projects Goals and KPIs. Co-ordinating and organising CSR projects across the business, from responsible sourcing, food waste, energy management, community impact to charity projects. Managing lead charity partnerships, fundraising, initiatives, donations and reporting. Leading CSR project reviews, case studies and reporting, including GRI Standards.


Conor Molloy – AEMS – Event Chairman

Conor Molloy is an independent energy advisor, accepted as a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, CILT, FTAI, IMCA and EVO

With an MSc in Energy Management and Renewable energy from University of Ulster, he is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Measurement & Verification professional (CMVP) and trainer for ISO50001. 

In recent times, he has trained ESOS Lead Assessors in Transport Energy Auditing at the request of the UK Government’s Environment Agency, led the publication of EN 16247-4 Europe’s transport energy audit standard and contributed to ISO50004.

Since 2005, Conor’s day job has been helping business’ save fuel and manage their energy usage for profit and reduced emissions.


Dave Garforth – Program Director – Responsible Plastic Management

Dave is regarded and recognised as a sustainability expert and has recently left SAI Global Assurances where he was Global Sustainability Consultant for over ten years. Daves sustainability project work has spanned over 20 countries and has involved national and global multi-stakeholder assurance programs supported by leading retail and food service buyers. Dave championed producer group initiatives to develop organic, eco-label, ethical and responsible sourcing standards.

Dave has recently joined a team to establish the Responsible Plastic Management (RPM) Program. RPM is a Global Assurance Directory and Trust Mark for organisations that wish to make positive steps towards better management of plastic and reduce its negative impact on the natural environment. The Program is strategically aligned with Lloyds Registered and is on course to be regarded as the global go-to centre for plastic management recognition.

He is an IRCA ISO Lead Auditor with international experience leading audit teams in food production and processing. Dave has worked with Ireland’s long-established National seafood and organic certification schemes held by BIM. These continue to operate with international accreditation and market recognition.  

A masters graduate of UCC, Dave uses his scientific and business development experience to address the challenges of sustainable food development with an objective, measurable approach that can deliver value for the business and protect our environment.


Eleanor Meade – Business Operations Manager – Meade Potato Company

The Meade farm and food production facility bears little resemblance to their original family farm.  It has grown from a single packing store to include 150,000 sq. feet of packing facilities housing numerous state of the art production lines, with over 500,000sq. ft of loading and distribution space, all of which serve to make the journey from farm to fork as efficient as possible.  
The Irish agri-food industry has earned a great reputation as an anchor of the Irish economy and an important player in the development of our export markets.  Meade Potato Company is proud to be a part of an industry that has evolved so efficiently and employed so many, and most importantly, has served the Irish consumer so well with healthy, affordable food.


Professor Jane Stout – Ecologist – Trinity College Dublin

Professor Jane Stout is an ecologist at Trinity College Dublin, and member of the Nature + Steering committee.

Prof. Stout research specialises in plant-animal interactions and how they are important to and affected by human activity. Understanding these interactions and managing them efficiently is key to ensure sustainability of food chains in the future (i.e. one third of today’s foods depend on the action of pollinators).

More broadly, she is interested in how nature matters to human industry, society and well-being. The food industry is a vulnerable sector to the current degradation of natural assets as they mostly underpin the food supply cycle. We need to ensure viability of natural stocks (i.e. freshwater, fish, forests, wildlife) which are currently in decline and they need to be restored, rehabilitated, rescued or re-established.

It is been recognised by numerous global organisations such UN, OECD and EU that nature-based solutions approach is an ideal way to tackle this global challenge. The idea of nature-based solutions is to co-engineer solutions in conjunction with natural chemical, physical and biological laws that rule the economy and societies to do it in a more integrated manner, thus providing a more sustainable, cost-effective, multi-purpose and flexible alternative to current practices which are dated, inefficient and un-sustainable.

Prof. Stout is a Director of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital and co-lead of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.


Johnathan Reddin – Energy Lead – Dawn Meats

Johnathan Reddin  as group environmental project co-ordinator and energy lead is responsible for the management of Dawn Meats Irelands energy management system (EnMS) and the coordination of all environmental projects relating to energy, water and waste. Johnathan began his role in Dawn under the graduate programme as a trainee environmental manager in Charleville Co. Cork, one of Dawn Meats largest primal beef slaughter and de-boning facilities. Johnathan later played a leading role in deploying the fundamentals of ISO 50001 to 8 of the Irish sites.

Johnathan has a BAgrSc in Agri-Environmental Science and is currently in the process of completing a masters (MSc) in Environmental Sustainability both from University College Dublin.


John Durkan – Sustainability and Environmental Manager – ABP Food Group

John Durkan holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science, a Master of Science in Waste Management and an MBA in Business Management.

John is the Environmental and Sustainability Manager for ABP for over 20 years and has developed ABPs’ Sustainability policy over the past five years.  ABP views sustainability as a key business metric, one that provides positive outcomes, improves competitiveness and makes sound business sense.

John has implemented many accredited systems within the processing sites to deliver sustainability e.g. ISO 14001 to good effect.

In today’s business environment, resource inputs are costly and their efficient usage is warranted. ABP’s campaign ‘Doing More with Less’ has commenced the decoupling of resource inputs to productivity. These resources include water, electricity, fuels, and other inputs.


Paul Boylan  – Technical Director and Co-founder – Vivid Edge

Paul is an experienced, pioneering, corporate real estate executive, with a particular interest in sustainability, now Technical Director/Co-Founder at Vivid Edge, a company that is stimulating smart cities and energy efficiency through its Energy Efficiency as a Service solution. Their mission is to help organisations gain access to cutting edge energy efficiency technology to realise immediate cost savings, increased operational resilience and reduced emissions with no capital outlay.

Paul is a grounded individual with a passion for all things Green. He is a chartered engineer, certified energy manager and auditor with an MSc in the Green Economy and has won multiple energy, environmental and CSR awards. Secretary for the AEE Ireland Chapter, Paul is also an elected council member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce council, is a member of the Chambers Sustainability Taskforce and sits on the Dublin City Council Climate Action, Energy and Environment Strategic Policy Committee

I am deeply passionate about sustainability in business and how it can deliver a positive bottom line impact while embracing a low carbon economy. I have considerably reduced the energy bill for some multinationals I have worked with while improving operational resilience and delivering an enhanced working environment. I am interested in practical steps that make sense. Climate change is real and we need to act now. If we don’t, the socio-economic costs whether it’s taxes, levies, utilities, insurance, business interruption, material damage or personal loss will continue to escalate.