Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, Transport engineering

Publication Details

Thesis submitted for the award of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


International research points to the positive impact that social enterprises with an environmental focus (also referred to as sustainable development initiatives) perform in the transition to low carbon societies. This thesis examines the capacities required for the establishment and maintenance of sustainable development initiatives in Ireland. The thesis is based on five pieces of research which are either published in international peer-reviewed publications or of a publishable standard. One of the published pieces provides an explanatory framework addressing the reasons why the social enterprise sector in Ireland is less developed than in a number of European countries, details a number of actions on how this situation can be reversed. Two of the published articles focus on renewable energy. The remaining manuscripts concentrate on topics of reuse and community gardens. A theoretical framework is developed which outlines the capacities required for the establishment and maintenance of sustainable initiatives in Ireland. The concluding chapter outlines the key findings associated with the five pieces of research. These include: the challenges sustainable development initiatives encounter in Ireland; the motivations for establishing them; leadership; and the expertise required to establish and sustain sustainable development initiatives. The limitations associated with this research are also outlined. Finally, the thesis prioritises a number of research topics