Creating an “ah-ha” moment to help embed sustainability into ColegauCymru’s DNA

ColegauCymru is a membership organisation that represents the interests of further education institutions across Wales. In recognising the collective need to embrace sustainability, ColegauCymru joined Cynnal Cymru seeking advice and networks towards creating a more sustainable future.


Like many other organisations, they have become increasingly aware of their need to coordinate actions on emerging sustainability trends, goals, and regulations, and to be able to set a positive example. As a result, the team approached Cynnal Cymru seeking support on how best to proceed.


Instead of making a series of recommendations on a report that would have gone unnoticed, we proposed creating an “ah-ha” moment.

We were fortunate that the team who spoke with us said, “We think everyone in this organisation should be part of it” ! It was music to our ears. After all, as we often say, everyone, no matter what title they hold, can have insights and expertise about sustainability.

So, on a rainy Monday morning, we turned, for a few hours, an entire organisation into researchers, system thinkers and consultants!

ColegauCymru have mapped out their operations to better understand their positive and negative impacts across the value chain and have outlined the key pillars of action. In doing so, the entire team appreciated how their organisation fits into the world and what they must aim for.


As one of the participants said, “Perhaps our vision then should be about sustainability…?”

When we heard it, we knew the workshop created an “ah-ha” moment. How come?  At Cynnal Cymru, we firmly believe that a tick-box approach to sustainability will not be able to address the challenges facing organisations and will most definitely not help societies and nature to meet their most basic needs, let alone thrive. So, to lead by example, organisations must embed sustainability into their DNA rather than have a separate, official version, vision, mission and strategy.

ColegauCymru Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Rachel Cable, said,

“We’re grateful for the support and guidance provided by the Cynnal Cymru team at this workshop, which was a great first step in our sustainability journey.

ColegauCymru is committed to making our organisation more sustainable, and we hope in time to be able to share our learnings with the colleges in our membership as well as our other partner organisations. This workshop was useful in encouraging us to think differently about how we work and how we can make improvements in all aspects of our sustainability journey, and not just our professional lives.

We look forward to continuing to work with Cynnal Cymru in laying the foundations for our onward journey.”

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