Bord na Móna has announced that it will no longer harvest energy peat and it will complete its move to a sustainable business within 15 years.

At the publication of its sustainability report the company said it is announcing the biggest change of land use in modern Irish history.

It said 125,000 acres of bogland will be used for different purposes by 2030.

The company, however, said it will continue to be a major employer, particularly in the midlands region.

It said the move will involve the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of acres of bogland into new bio-diverse habitats and it says that this will enable the support of new ecotourism and community amenity resources.

The new sustainable businesses and activities that the company is planning to locate on its bog will include renewable energy development, including wind and solar projects, domestic fuel, biomass development, resource recovery, horticulture and ecotourism.

Bord na Móna chief executive Mike Quinn said the company has a mandate from the Irish people to develop the natural resources located on the country’s bogs and that means that the business will remain rooted in the bogs of Ireland.

He said there would not be an immediate stop to harvesting peat, but the process is expected to be halted by 2030.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, he said:  "We have several wind farms already and we plan to build utility scale solar farms on our land as well.

"We've also used it for other uses such as resource recovery and we're looking at growing some bio-energy crops in addition to other projects such as ecotourism etc."