Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Mark and Aisling Kirwan. Pic. Julien Behal Photography

A Roscommon company has won a place on Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Impact Awards programme and secured €20,000 in unrestricted funding.

Mark Kirwan and his partner Aisling Kirwan co-founded Positive Carbon. The Kilteevan based company provides commercial kitchens with food waste monitoring technology to allow a reduction in food waste, save thousands on food bills and reach sustainability goals.

The SEI Impact Programme is a nine-month accelerator programme that identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support. Impact Awardees receive training in areas such as fundraising, governance, leadership, and storytelling. The 2021 programme attracted more than 110 applications from all corners of Ireland with Positive Carbon being one of the five organisations to successfully pitch for a place and secure an equal share of the €100,000 funding available.

Mark & Aisling have worked in the Food Waste industry for the past ten years across Ireland, The UK, Australia & Chile.

Having worked for so long across various different food sectors, diverting food from landfill, they saw an opportunity to prevent food waste from being created in the first place.

From here, having spoken to chefs to understand fully their struggles, they set up Positive Carbon, to help businesses stop creating food waste and to save food and money.

In Ireland, an estimated one million tonnes of food goes to waste each year. The food service sector is responsible for approximately 250,000 tonnes of this food waste, costing €300 million to the industry per annum and resulting in 875,000 tonnes of CO2. Positive Carbon’s product is a fully automated waste monitoring system that tracks and logs all of a business’s food waste using AI and specialised tech to give staff a full understanding of what, and how much, they are throwing away. They can now make informed decisions around their purchasing, production and preparation to reduce their food waste.

Speaking about the SEI Impact Award win, Mr Kirwan said: “Positive Carbon is excited to be part of an ever-growing community of social entrepreneurs working towards fighting social problems in Ireland and abroad.”



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