Bord na Móna has today formally ended all peat harvesting on its lands, as it continues to progress its "brown to green" strategy.

The company's last full peat harvest took place in 2018, followed by a partial harvest in 2019 and a full suspension of harvesting operations last year. 

Bord na Móna said it has decided to make this suspension permanent and will now cease any remaining harvesting preparations, including planning and substitute consent applications. 

"Today marks the formal end to the company's association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy," its CEO Tom Donnellan said. 

Bord na Móna said it will continue to supply customers with peat briquettes and horticultural peat from stocks of peat which has already been harvested. 

It also expects to supply nursery grower customers until summer of this year. 

Bord na Móna said its Derrinlough briquette factory will continue to manufacture peat briquettes up to 2024.

Its Kilberry horticulture facility will also continue operating as normal supported by existing peat reserves, and the Edenderry power station will continue its transition to run exclusively on residual and sustainable biomass.

Tom Donnellan said the company's brown to green strategy has involved the transformation of Bord na Móna from a traditional peat business into a climate solutions company. 

Bord na Móna CEO Tom Donnellan

"The progress made over the past two years means we are now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and the development of other low carbon enterprises," he said. 

"While there are many advantages to the changes we have made, the key benefits include the high value, sustainable employment we are providing and the significant support we are delivering to Ireland's objective, to become carbon neutral by 2050," he added.

Bord na Móna recently launched its Peatland Restoration Plan, which involves an investment of €115m.

This will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100 million tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years. 

The plan also secured employment for 350 Bord na Móna workers previously engaged in peat harvesting activities.