Image: Rediscovery Centre

Social Enterprise and the "Triple Bottom Line"

Social enterprise is a business model that puts people and community first, ahead of private or personal gain, while operating in a commercially viable and sustainable way. They are governed in an accountable and transparent way by a voluntary Board and are independent of the public sector. 

Many reuse and recycling companies operate as social enterprises that provide sustainable and meaningful employment for people who might not otherwise have access to it. 

The majority of CRNI’s members are social enterprises, contributing to the environment, economy and needs of our society and community, or the “triple bottom line”.

Promoting Equality

CRNI members work to promote equality by supporting individuals or groups that are long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, ex-offenders, people coming from drug rehabilitation and disadvantaged communities—such as members of the Traveller and Roma community—through employment schemes, such as CSP, Tús, RSS, CE and others. These employment and training opportunities can help lift people out of poverty, enter the job market and learn new skills that can support career progression.


The personal impact of these services on trainees can be seen through our video, Inclusive Communities at Work, found on CRNI’s videos page: https://crni.ie/videos/

USEL_loading springs into shredder
Image: USEL

Addressing Poverty and Social Inclusion

CRNI retail members work to address poverty by providing refurbished or reused goods at affordable prices and in some cases, at a significant discount. This enables low-income families to meet their needs without incurring debts or making do without essential items. CRNI members also create volunteer opportunities, which helps to address social exclusion by offering a sense of community, purpose and belonging to those who are lonely or otherwise excluded.


According to a Volunteer Ireland study, 55% of respondents to an online national survey of volunteers stated that their mental health and well-being had increased following their volunteering experience. See the study on the Publications page: https://crni.ie/publications/


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Our funders

EPA National Waste Prevention Programme

CRNI supports its members and works to mainstream reuse thanks to core funding provided by the EPA under the National Waste Prevention Programme.

For more information about the programme see here.

Project Funding

Pilot Northern Ireland Reuse and Repair Network

CRNI received funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and rural Affairs in 2020 to carry out a pilot establishing a reuse and repair network in Northern Ireland.

For more information about the project see here.

Circular Textiles

CRNI is leading an EPA Green Enterprise project Circular Textiles, which will test the impact of three different separate collection systems for textiles and explore how we could manage the additional quantity of textiles that are collected. This project will be concluded in 2022.

For more information about the project see here.