Business Plus

Croke Park

The sustainabi­lity journey at Croke Park Stadium began in 2007 and has put in place state-of-the-art environmen­tal programmes covering the stadium’s electricit­y, waste, and water management systems with the aim of reducing emissions by two thirds.



Croke Park achieved full waste diversion from landfill in 2014, and 100% of stadium waste is recycled, reused, or recovered as solid fuel. In the past five years there has been a 12% reduction in the amount of waste produced, and compost made from stadium food and grass waste is made available to local residents and community groups. After Covid, we also restarted a partnershi­p with Dublin City Council and WEEE Ireland to provide a post-Christmas recycling scheme for the local community.

Peter McKenna, Croke Park Stadium Director, explains: “Croke Park is committed to act with the understand­ing that we are each dependent on one another and that all business ought to be conducted as if people and place matter. Our focus in this area brings an awareness of a new way to measure business success.”


In 2021, 23 water bottle filling-points were installed throughout the stadium, with seven more stations installed in 2023. Staff, volunteers, and supporters are encouraged to bring their own empty water bottles to matches, thereby further reducing the amount of plastic rubbish that is generated on match days. To facilitate cyclists, more than

100 cycle racks have been installed at the Cusack Stand side of the stadium and more are currently being placed at the Davin Stand side.

All stadium department­s meet monthly to monitor sustainabi­lity objectives and practices, and the Croke Park Community Fund supports local projects. Since 2009, over €1 million has been allocated to local voluntary groups, resident associatio­ns, and sports clubs. Croke Park also partners with An Garda Síochána on the Garda Youth Awards, and works with the North East Inner City group on improving the physical environmen­t of the local area.


We recently replaced our diesel mowers with a range of battery powered mowers. They make less noise and their low CO2 footprint will enhance stadium sustainabi­lity. Turf for pitch maintenanc­e and replacemen­t is grown on an ownedfarm in North County Dublin, and growing the turf locally reduces carbon emissions associated with importatio­n. The farm also grows herbs and vegetables which are served to meeting and event guests. Compost from stadium food and grass waste is used in our polytunnel and for nourishing native fruit trees and shrubs.


Croke Park has been a champion for sustainabi­lity, not just in Ireland but on a global scale maintainin­g sustainabl­e event management and environmen­tal management standards for over a decade. Croke Park is playing its part as a socially responsibl­e citizen and promotes the message that we all belong here in this place. We belong not because of who we are, or where we come from, but knowing we are part of a community.


In 2023 Payzone engaged in a partnershi­p with Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) as part of our commitment to expand our CSR activity and make a difference. This partnershi­p allows us to engage with charities and corporates, it creates a space to share learnings and best practices for corporate fundraisin­g.

To mark the beginning of our partnershi­p with Cii, Payzone hosted a Lunch and Learn in May where we invited leaders in the sector to discuss the importance of mutually beneficial partnershi­ps and the key elements of building longterm strategic corporate charity relationsh­ips. During the session, we heard from Mary O’Kennedy of OK Consulting on how the evergrowin­g focus on ESG (Environmen­tal, Social and Governance) factors as a key strategic pillar for corporates is leading to an increase in values-aligned and mutually beneficial partnershi­ps between corporates and charities. Companies are expected to not only maximise profits but also prioritise sustainabl­e and responsibl­e practices.

One of the key takeaways from the session was that it is imperative that the chosen charity and corporate partner have similar values, and a shared purpose to effectivel­y drive support for the charity.


In 2022, we decided to change our approach to corporate giving. We wanted an all-organisati­on approach, to get our employees more invested and involved in the selection process. We shared a list of charities from three differing categories — Mental Health, Family Services, and Health — with our Payzone employees and asked them to select one option from each category that they would like to support in 2023. Our employees choose The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and Alone as our charity partners for 2023.


Payzone’s first initiative as part of our new corporate giving journey was sponsoring The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Waterford Greenway Challenge on 1 July 2023. Participan­ts cycled 46km from Dungarvan to Waterford City to raise vital funds for services to support those living with dementia. Getting involved in this campaign was important to Payzone, as it is to many. Every day in Ireland, 30 people develop dementia, while there are more than 64,000 people currently living with dementia.


Building on their relationsh­ip, Payzone has now committed to a three-year support partnershi­p for the annual Memory Walk organised by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The fourth annual event takes place this year on 24 September across 30 locations around the country. It is a familyfrie­ndly event suitable for all ages. The aim is to unite friends, families and communitie­s to raise awareness and funds for dementia supports.

Payzone is proud to support the Memory Walk, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s flagship event. Unfortunat­ely, many at Payzone have first-hand experience of the effects

that Alzheimer’s can have, a reason The Alzheimer Society of Ireland was voted as one of Payzone’s charity partners by our employees. The team at Payzone is excited to come together this September, honour and celebrate those with dementia, and raise much-needed funds for continued support.


Payzone recently launched a new ‘all-in-one’ fundraisin­g platform to help charities, businesses, schools and clubs better manage their fundraisin­g activities. In the making for over two years, with a charity-led developmen­t approach, Payzone aims to allow charities to fundraise in a more secure and efficient manner.

Payzone has facilitate­d electronic payments for over 20 years and is bringing over two decades of customer payments experience to the fundraisin­g sector, offering fundraiser­s support to securely incorporat­e digital transforma­tion into their activity. Payzone’s fundraisin­g platform bridges the physical and virtual worlds, allowing individual­s and corporates to support their chosen causes using multiple digitally-enabled tools for collecting funds.

Payzone provided crucial help to charities during the Covid pandemic, enabling donations that would typically happen in the physical world to keep flowing through digital mediums. This work formed the genesis that inspired and led to the developmen­t of the new fundraisin­g platform.

Jim Deignan, Chief Executive Officer, Payzone Ireland, explains: “Through our discussion­s with charities and their corporate partners, we recognised that many of their fundraisin­g activities are being managed using multiple platforms, which makes monitoring and reporting very challengin­g for both parties. We identified a gap in the market for a single all-in-one fundraisin­g platform to manage and track their impact more effectivel­y.”

To date, monies fundraised by charities and non-profits have come from disparate sources, making them difficult to

track and measure impact. Payzone highlights how its new platform allows for all fundraisin­g initiative­s to be managed in one place, on a single platform, saving organisati­ons both valuable time and money. For both charities and corporate partners, the platform promotes greater visibility on funds raised. A key feature of the platform enables all fundraisin­g activity to be tracked, monitored, and reported on from one place, with donations paid directly to the bank account of the charity.

In addition, the new platform is also designed to facilitate other cashless fundraisin­g touchpoint­s such as campaignsp­ecific QR Codes, NFC (Near Field Communicat­ion) tags, virtual payments over the phone and campaign links to increase donations.

In building out its new offering, Payzone has already successful­ly supported a number of other recent fundraisin­g campaigns with charities such as GOAL, Make-A-Wish Ireland, and Look Good Feel Better.

Commenting on the new fundraisin­g platform, David Burns, Senior Fundraisin­g Manager at GOAL, said: “We partnered with Payzone to support our corporate partner, AIB, in its recent Ukraine appeal to staff which has raised €93,000. We were really impressed with the platform and how it supported our relationsh­ip with AIB. We found Payzone’s fundraisin­g solution easy and intuitive to use, clean and profession­al looking. The Payzone platform supported our own GOAL branding which increased our visibility in the partnershi­p with AIB which is a unique feature of this platform.”

Electric mowers are less noisy than diesels and reduce carbon emissions
PHOTO: FERGAL PHILLIPS Electric mowers are less noisy than diesels and reduce carbon emissions
 ?? PHOTO: FERGAL PHILLIPS ?? Peter McKenna, Croke Park Stadium Director
PHOTO: FERGAL PHILLIPS Peter McKenna, Croke Park Stadium Director
 ?? ?? Payzone sponsored the recent Waterford Greenway Challenge in aid of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
Payzone sponsored the recent Waterford Greenway Challenge in aid of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
 ?? ?? L-R: Michele Ann Kelly, Mairéad Dillon, Andy Heffernan, CEO of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and Payzone’s Brenda Kilroy
L-R: Michele Ann Kelly, Mairéad Dillon, Andy Heffernan, CEO of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and Payzone’s Brenda Kilroy
 ?? ?? Jim Deignan, Chief Executive Officer, Payzone Ireland
Jim Deignan, Chief Executive Officer, Payzone Ireland

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