The Irish Times – Friday, April 6, 2012
Greening the business ecosystem for the better
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NIALL DUNNE describes himself as “not a traditional greenie”. Though he runs to work, has a worm farm at home and sources his food locally, he’s mindful that his green credentials don’t frighten anyone off.
“I believe that if you paint yourself as part of the green movement, you don’t get the opportunity to work within the heart of business and really drive change,” he says. Appointed chief sustainability officer at BT last year, the Dubliner is all about changing things from within.
Dunne first left Ireland in 1994 when, having represented his country at athletics, he was granted a scholarship at Manhattan College to study finance. There followed a Masters in computing at Colorado State University, but Dunne admits: “At that stage in life, all I cared about was running.”
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To crown his green credentials, Dunne has just been nominated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He describes this as “quite humbling” but also an opportunity to network and get things done.
So has the emigration experience been positive for him?
“You look back at the Angela’s Ashes era and you think, ‘wow, how difficult was it for those people’,” but with cheaper travel and Skype, he says things have fundamentally changed.
“The world has come a long way from emigration being the end of relationships, in a way it can be an enhancement.
“I think I’m a lot more interesting to my friends than I was before I went away – I certainly have a lot more to talk to them about. I would just say follow your dreams and take a global view.”
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Dunne, Niall (MC1998)
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