Note: As a business from the tourism industry, we know you may have lots of questions about the Fáilte Ireland Climate Action Programme, how it works, and how it might help to navigate your sustainability journey. 

These FAQs are designed to help you you find answers to the most common questions which arise.

However, if you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact our dedicated Climate Action Team at climateaction@failteireland.ie 

  • 1. What is the Fáilte Ireland Climate Action Programme?
  • Like all sectors of the economy, tourism must play its part in responding to the global climate challenge. The Fáilte Ireland Climate Action Programme will offer dedicated supports for tourism businesses to become more sustainable. 
    With rising costs impacting the sector, reducing your carbon emissions is a smart way to save money and boost your reputation as a sustainable tourism business. The Climate Action Programme will offer hands-on support and investment advice to help drive real change for your business, in line with Ireland’s target to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050. 
    The programme is delivered by Fáilte Ireland and an expert team of sustainability Advisors who will mentor and guide your business over a three-year period. This dedicated Advisor will assess your business’ existing baseline and develop a tailored Action Plan to reduce your carbon emissions, lower costs and improve your business’ overall sustainability credentials.  

  • 2. Why should my business participate in the Climate Action Programme?
  • We understand that when it comes to climate action and sustainability, it can be overwhelming to know where to start or, if you have already implemented some changes, where to go next. That’s why Fáilte Ireland has launched this ambitious programme which will allow you to access a dedicated expert Advisor who will work directly with your business over an initial three-year period. 
    The Climate Action Programme will serve as a one stop shop supporting your business to navigate this complex area. By signing up and committing to this Programme, this will help to support your business by cutting costs, improving efficiency and reducing consumption, enhance your brand’s image and reputation, and help you to secure business, while in tandem futureproofing your own business.  
    Participation in this Programme will also unlock bespoke training opportunities to upskill your staff, as well as offering an improved mechanism to access capital grants and green finance opportunities.  
    We appreciate this is a long-term commitment, but we are ready to partner with you on this journey.  

  • 3. How Do I apply?
  • You can express your interest in the programme on the Climate Action section of the Fáilte Ireland website.

  • 4. Who is eligible to apply?
  • Prospective applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the Fáilte Ireland Climate Action Programme: 
    • Applicants must have a demonstrable tourist experience or product, targeting domestic and / or international visitors (for example, but not limited to, one or more of the following: the ability to provide services through multilingual channels, proactively targeting both the international and domestic markets, alignment with one of Fáilte Ireland’s regional brands i.e. Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Wild Atlantic Way.)  
    • Applicants must have a tourism business with an owned or leased building. 
    • Applicants must spend at least €10,000 on energy (exclusive of transport energy costs) per year at the site. 
    • Applicants must be established and registered for tax, and tax cleared in the Republic of Ireland. 
    • If the applicant is an Irish Based Inbound Agent, it must operate as a Republic of Ireland based inbound tour operator, DMC or PCO who package, sell, and market the Republic of Ireland’s tourism product overseas.  
    • If the applicant is an accommodation provider, they must be Registered or Approved under Fáilte Ireland’s National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) as at the time of application (a) In order to be eligible, the following businesses must be registered with Fáilte Ireland as Statutory Accommodation Providers:  
    -Guest houses  
    -Holiday Hostels  
    -Youth Hostels 
    -Caravan & Camping Parks 
    -Self-Catering (registered under a prescribed term)  
    -Holiday Camps 
    (b) In order to be eligible, the following businesses must be approved by Fáilte Ireland as Non-Statutory Accommodation Providers:  
    -Historic Houses  
    -Self-Catering (individual properties)  
    -Fáilte Ireland’s Welcome Standard*  
    -*With the exception of (i) Welcome Standard Approved Marinas and (ii) Welcome Standard Approved Campus Accommodation, which are not eligible for funding under this scheme 

  • 5. What if my business is part of a group structure?
  • Groups are eligible to apply if they meet the criteria mentioned in Q4 above. We welcome groups and will endeavour to ensure the same Advisor is appointed at a group level. 

  • 6. Who should I contact for general queries on the Programme?
  • Please direct your queries to Fáilte Ireland’s dedicated Climate Action team at climateaction@failteireland.ie 

  • 7. I have already implemented some sustainability measures; can I still apply to this Programme?
  • Yes, we welcome businesses at any stage of their sustainability journey, whether you are just starting out, or looking to build upon changes you have already made. 

  • 8. What if my business already has sustainability certification?
  • Regardless of whether your business currently possesses sustainability certification, you are still strongly encouraged to register for the Climate Action Programme and avail of the supports available. With the ability to access a dedicated expert Advisor, this will help your business to refine your existing Action Plan or seek to improve in areas which were previously not a priority for your business e.g. biodiversity, food waste, etc. 

  • 9. What are the commitments required for a business signing up for the Climate Action Programme?
  • To be accepted onto the Programme, your business will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between your business and Fáilte Ireland to ensure the business remains committed to the Programme over an initial three-year period.  

  • 10. What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a co-operative agreement between two parties that can include general terms and goals. 
    In this context, the MOU will signify your business' commitment to the Climate Action Programme and will need to be signed by your CEO.  

  • 11. After I register, what are the next steps?
  • There are three main stages to the Climate Action Programme.  
    Stage 1 is to Register and Commit. After you register and you have been accepted onto the Programme, your business will be asked to sign an MOU. After the MOU has been signed, you will be assigned your dedicated Advisor and they will make contact with you directly. Your Advisor will help you set a baseline for your business' carbon emissions and advise on potential priority areas to address, how these areas can be addressed and what impact such changes may have.  
    Once you commit to the plan as outlined, you move to Stage 2, Planning & Refinement, where your Advisor will visit your premises and develop and refine your processes, set targets and put an Action Plan in place to deliver these goals.  
    Stage 3 focuses on Implementation, where the Advisor will assist you with grant applications and green finance opportunities. Supporting this, we will have development programmes for leadership teams, for operational teams and basic training for all employees in conjunction with programme partners. Your dedicated Advisor will be on hand to support you throughout the entire process.  

  • 12. What is the HealthCheck and why do I need it?
  • The HealthCheck is a questionnaire that will indicate the level of progress made to date and the overall ambition of your business. This will help the expert Advisor to better understand your business prior to the site visit.  

  • 13. Are there any costs associated with the Climate Action Programme?
  • Fáilte Ireland will be covering the costs of your expert Advisor and in return, we are asking businesses for a dedicated time commitment of three years to ensure businesses maximise their participation and get the most out of the programme.  

  • 14. Will Fáilte Ireland pay for any energy upgrades to my property?
  • A key element of the Climate Action Programme is supporting tourism businesses to access grants and green finance opportunities. Fáilte Ireland have entered a formal partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who have committed to making tourism businesses a priority. The SEAI have committed to supporting Fáilte Ireland with our ambitious targets for the tourism sector and increasing the number of grants drawn down by industry etc. 

  • 15. I’m not sure as to what level of change my business is able to commit to?
  • Together with your dedicated Advisor, your business will be able to draft an Action Plan tailored to your business’ unique needs and long-term goals. 

  • 16. I do not meet the criteria for the programme - what other supports do Fáilte Ireland offer?
  • Please browse the Climate Action section of the Fáilte Ireland website where we have a series of guides on topics such as food waste, energy, waste management etc., as well as a series of case studies of tourism businesses who have implemented sustainability measures.   

  • 17. What are the consequences of my business not remaining in the programme after Year 1?
  • Following the formal signing of the MOU, a cooling-off period of 10 working days will be in effect. There will be no liability on either party throughout this cooling-off period.  
    Fáilte Ireland reserves the right to terminate this agreement where a participating business is not meaningfully engaging in the Climate Action Programme. 
    In such circumstances, Fáilte Ireland will notify the business of the potential for this Agreement being terminated through official correspondence, with a clear timeline of when this will occur.   
    -Fáilte Ireland will endeavor to support participating businesses to avoid this outcome.