Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru – Housing Associations Come Together to Accelerate Decarbonisation in Wales


In January 2020 a consortium of 27 Housing Associations and social housing providers in Wales came together with Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales and the award-winning Carbon Literacy Project to launch ‘Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru’.

carbon literacy consortium partner logos

This move follows the precedent of CL4RPs (Carbon Literacy for Registered Providers) in Manchester, the home of Carbon Literacy. CL4RPs is a consortium of 21 housing providers that have worked together to design and deliver Carbon Literacy courses for tenants, staff, senior managers and board members.

In Wales, we have secured commitment from 27 organisations to develop similar courses. The members of the Wales wide consortium anticipate that they will share ideas, exchange knowledge and possibly enter into commercial agreements to speed up the decarbonisation of the social housing and care sector in Wales.

The Chief Executives and Directors of the 27 organisations agreed in principle to work together on a four-phase plan to accelerate change and Cynnal Cymru will begin training colleagues from the consortium members from February.

Carbon Literacy is:

“An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.” 

Cynnal Cymru has worked closely with Linc Cymru Ltd., the Carbon Literacy Project and CL4RPs to jointly develop a four phased approach to establish the consortium and design the training with a subsequent ‘train the trainer’ roll out across Wales.

This is the second Carbon Literacy consortium that Cynnal Cymru have helped to nurture in Wales following Carbon Literacy training with National Museum Wales. Staff at the National Museum Wales and the independent museum sector in Wales are now collaborating with Manchester museums to design their own Carbon Literacy programme for staff.

Scott Sanders, Linc Cymru CEO

“The creation of the Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru consortium demonstrates the mature approach that Welsh RSL’s are taking to collaborate and generate benefits that go beyond the potential of individual businesses.  The consortia is at an early stage but carries the potential to deliver even greater benefits as investment planning commences.”


Rhodri Thomas from Cynnal Cymru said:

 “We are pleased and proud to have played our part in creating a consortium of Housing Associations and social housing providers in Wales that will collaborate to develop Carbon Literacy training and decarbonisation action plans.”


Photo Credit: Carbon Literacy Project

Photo: Members of the South Wales cohort of the Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru consortium.


Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales. Working across Wales, across sector we connect and support organisations to share learning, challenge thinking and mobilise action.

Cynnal Cymru is the official partner of the Carbon Literacy Project in Wales, offering certified Carbon Literacy training.


Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru

The CLCC consortium came together in 2019 in order to increase Carbon Literacy within their organisations. By working together they were able to pool money and resources to increase capacity and knowledge across the consortium.

CLCC has worked with 29 different RSLs and currently has 22 members across Wales, representing over 113,000 homes.

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales runs the secretariat for CLCC, organising meetings, holding funds for use by the consortium, providing support around Carbon Literacy and facilitating Community of Practice sessions for CLCC trainers.

CLCC 2022-2023 members

Carbon Literacy is defined as a day’s worth of learning around the causes and consequences of climate change, action you can take on climate change and empowerment to make individual and group actions personally and professionally.

The Carbon Literacy Project has defined the standard of Carbon Literacy and accredits courses and learners.

29 different RSLs from around Wales have either worked with or are part of the consortium – demonstrating the motivation from the sector to collaborate to create change. The programme has increased the number of Carbon Literacy trainers in Wales from 1 to over 70.

The current Chair of CLCC is Nadine Davies, Community Decarbonisation Officer at Bron Afon.

“We’ve done the [Carbon Literacy] training, it’s raised awareness and as a consequence, this has now happened. Would we be looking at electrifying our fleet this year? No. But we are. Would we be looking at half a million-pound investment to kickstart our carbon reduction plan. No. But we are. We are now re-procuring our energy to go to green renewables.”

Richard Mann, Deputy Chief Executive and Group Director Operations, United Welsh.

CLCC history

In October 2019 representatives from 16 different RSLs around Wales came together to learn more about The Carbon Literacy Project and hear a proposal to create a Carbon Literacy consortium of RSLs in Wales.

The delegates of this meeting edited the proposal which went back out to all RSLs in Wales. In January 2020 a meeting surrounding this proposal led to the creation of a Carbon Literacy consortium of 27 Welsh RSLs. The consortium was named Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC).


  • February 2020 – Phase I: rounds of Carbon Literacy training for member organisations delivered by Cynnal Cymru.
  • March 2020 – Lockdown. Training continues remotely with a new online course and the whole CLCC programme is moved online. 65 member organisation employees receive training and became Carbon Literate.
  • May 2020 – Phase II: 5 training experts from within the consortium work with Cynnal Cymru and Manchester Metropolitan to develop a customisable Carbon Literacy course for Welsh social housing.
  • October 2020 – Phase III: Each member organisation will have at least 2 members of staff trained as Carbon Literacy trainers by Manchester Metropolitan. They will be trained to deliver the courses developed in Phase II.
  • 2020 – onwards: Member organisations use their trainers to deliver Carbon Literacy training internally to staff and embed Carbon Literacy into their induction process. Cynnal Cymru are supporting this with facilitated Community of Practice sessions for trainers providing a space for cross organisational learning, support and Carbon Literacy course development.
  • March 2022: Following feedback from consortium members and trainers, Version 2 of the Carbon Literacy course is completed in both English and Welsh, incorporating updated examples and a more streamlined and user-friendly format.
  • The future: CLCC are exploring collaboratively funding other projects to support decarbonisation, such as self-evaluation carbon footprint tools and a rollout of Carbon Literacy training for tenants

Journey of Carbon Literacy

  • Deliver Carbon Literacy course
  • Trainer facilitates achievable but ambitious actions
  • Learner evidence forms are sent to The Carbon Literacy Project
  • The Carbon Literacy Project assesses whether a learner is Carbon Literate based on their evidence form
  • Carbon Literacy Champions within CLCC organisations should follow up on actions
  • Organisational behaviour change on climate change is accelerated

If you would like to know more please contact:

Fiona Humphreys, Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) secretariat:

The Wales We Want National Conversation

For over two years Cynnal Cymru worked with the Welsh Government and the former Commissioner for Future Generations, Peter Davies, to help develop and grow Wales’s biggest National Conversation on ‘The Wales We Want’.

The Conversation was launched on 18 February 2014 with the support of award-winning Welsh actor and UNICEF supporter Michael Sheen at a high profile event in held in Cardiff.

In the first year we organised 20 events, 3 launch events, recruited 150 Futures Champions, helping to bring together 6474 individuals, who took part in over 100 conversations across Wales resulting in almost 1000 responses in the form or reports, videos, postcards, drawings and surveys.

Putting People at the Heart of the Campaign

 ‘I want a Wales where….’ campaign video featuring our first Futures Champions and ambassadors for the campaign.

Working closely with the Welsh Government, Cynnal Cymru identified the need to develop and strengthen the brand identity, placing people at the heart of the conversation. To enable the conversation to reach as wide an audience as possible, a network of Futures Champions was established – identifying key champions and influencers to represent different geographical areas and communities of interest.  As part of the recruitment strategy, Cynnal Cymru was able to recruit new champions through its own networks and contacts.

This approach proved vital in helping people to relate the campaign, and take ownership of the conversation and brand. Many also took it to the next level with spin-out Conversations such as The Llanelli We Want and the Carmarthenshire We Want.

Working with a design agency Hoffi, we developed the campaign website, where the primary focus was to encourage people to take action by signing up as Futures Champions or sharing their views online.

Infographic showing the network of 'Future Champions' and participants who took part in the conversation.

Throughout the campaign Cynnal Cymru was responsible for developing a number of milestone events, including the launch of final report in 2015, held in Cardiff and Llandudno. The report was the culmination of a year-long conversation with the people across Wales, attended by the Minister for Natural Resources, Michael Sheen, Iolo Williams and other notable speakers. This high profile event was supported by a successful social media campaign #futurecymru which trended on Twitter with over 1500 tweets during the launch day.

Networking Lunch and Learn with BIPVco

In January 2019 we held our monthly networking lunch in partnership with Cynnal Cymru member BIPVco. Guests enjoyed a short presentation before being given an exclusive tour of the factory in Newport, where they got to see first hand the different manufacturing stages of their innovative thin film technology.

The visit provided a great opportunity to see the different range of innovative products designed and produced in-house by BIPVco and MIPV, with the opportunity to ask questions about the technical capabilities and potential applications from buildings to mobile applications.

About BIPVco and MIPV

BIPVco is a Newport based manufacturer of innovative and leading edge building integrated photovoltaic systems.  BIPVco is committed to factory incorporation of PV functionality to the building fabric to drive quality, value, holistic / aesthetic  integration and superior performance. Collaborating with major building envelope substrate and component manufacturers, BIPVco is able to offer sympathetically integrated solar powered roof and wall solutions for residential, institutional and industrial buildings. The products are ideally suited for the UK climate with excellent low light performance. The adopted thin film technology also has the advantage of being light weight, flexible and able to take the building form. It also has inbuilt design features to avoid disproportionate loss of power under partial shading. Turning buildings into power stations without making them look like one.

MIPV is a Newport based manufacturer of thin film flexible solar panels specifically sized to suit a range of mobile applications ranging from leisure vehicles such caravans, motorhomes and boats, service vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and vans to transport fleets including trucks, vans and refrigerated containers. The light weight flexible modules can be easily integrated onto the body of the vehicle without spoiling the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle nor adding significant weight. The highly efficient modules can provide trickle charge, eliminate idling times (and associated pollution), provide cooling function to refrigerated vehicles and enhance mpg by reducing alternator load or extend battery range of EV vehicles. The uniqueness of the MIPV technology is that unlike conventional crystalline cells, the flexible thin film solar cells do not crack and fail prematurely in dynamic mobile applications.

Find out more about BIPVco on their website.

 About our Networking Lunches

Cynnal Cymru works in partnership with our members to provide a range of networking lunch experiences throughout the year. Each lunch is unique and takes place in a different venue, to give our members the chance to showcase their work to a new audience. Last year we were delighted to partner up with Ballet Cymru, WWF Cymru, WCVA and Constructing Excellence in Wales.

If you would like to find out more about our membership or would like to co-host one of our future events, please get in touch.

Top Tips to a Sustainable Business in 2019


January is often a time of resolutions and lifestyle changes, we often make commitments to ourselves on a personal level. It is also possible to apply the same level of reflection and ambition within the organisation you work for.

Making these changes can improve your business’ corporate social responsibility CSR, all the while enriching the lives of colleagues, employees, clients and perhaps in turn, doing your bit for the environment and local economies and communities.

Here are just a few steps you can  take to make a real difference your organisation this year:


Develop a Low-impact Catering Policy

Reducing your meat and animal product consumption can be a great way to undo some of the health damages of the excess of Christmas. It also, considerably reduces your carbon footprint and can lead to more permanent life-style changes for a healthier and more considerate future.

Choosing to go vegetarian or vegan is a big change even when considering the health and environmental benefits, so if you don’t get buy-in for a fully vegan work place you can choose instead to eat at establishments with Vegan options or specialist Vegan restaurants for work-related social events.

Buying in catering to your work-place or for work events can also be carbon-intensive, whether that is with heavy use of animal products, or plastics in the packaging and transportation.  A simple way to reduce this impact is to specify a vegetarian/vegan food options when planning events and to be mindful about any waste that occurs.

Here at Cynnal Cymru we have a vegetarian food policy for all of our events, choosing to source locally and working with local suppliers where possible. We also opt for jugs of water over plastic bottles and single-use plastic cups.

At our recent Sustainable Academy Awards; Cardiff Metropolitan University won the Sustainable Procurement Award for their collaborative approach with their ‘Plastic free pledge‘. Working with your own customers, staff and suppliers is a key part of this process and encouraging them to make small changes in line with your own policies means together you can find better solutions to doing things differently.


 Join a Growing Movement for Real Living Wage

The Real Living Wage, not to be confused with the Government Living Wage, is a rate of pay, independently calculated according to the cost of living. The Government’s Minimum and Living Wages do not consider the cost of living and have instead been agreed by trade unions (minimum) or a percentage of median earnings (Government Living).

By reading more about the Living Wage Foundation (Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales are the official partner in Wales) and promoting the accreditation scheme within your organisation and networks, you will be working toward ending low and unfair pay and fighting to ensure that work is a sure way out of poverty.

There is already a great network of employers in Wales who fully support the scheme and its work but we need more organisations, across all sectors to get involved to improve pay conditions for as many as possible.

If you would like your organisation to become accredited or would like to help @LivingWageWales promote the scheme and its message please get in touch with


Champion Volunteering!

Cynnal Cymru is working with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action WCVA to provide practical information and support to businesses on how they can embed activities such as volunteering into their sustainability strategy. A key part of this work is supporting young people through the #iwill campaign – At the core of the #iwill campaign is the belief that young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow – they have the ideas, energy and ability to change the world today.

#iwill campaign promotion

For businesses, supporting volunteering days for your employees, providing volunteering opportunities and positively recognising volunteering as a core skill in your recruitment process can have multiple benefits for your staff, business and wider community.

For volunteers, the list of benefits is almost endless, as individuals that volunteer build personal and professional skills, improve their wellbeing and increase their understanding of others.

As a business this can increase your brand and reputation as part of your wider CSR, in turn attracting better new recruits and contributes to a healthy and happy workforce.

Visit our volunteering resources web page to find a list of tool kits and guides on to get you started as well as links to volunteering opportunities and funding.

Find out how you can support young people through volunteering – support the #iwill campaign

Share your volunteering story – we are looking for good practice stories to share on our website, so please get in contact.


Becoming Carbon Literate

The Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan, the Well-being of Future Generations and the Environment Acts are giving a clear signal: Wales is committed to meeting the challenge of a low carbon future. Your organisation could establish its leadership credentials in their field by becoming “Carbon Literate.”

The Carbon Literacy Project aims to ensure that everyone who works, lives, or studies in Wales has the opportunity to learn about the causes and consequences of global warming and the ways that individuals, organisations and communities can take action in response.

This peer to peer, shared learning method enables people to explore what the reality of climate change means for them at home and in work.  Equipped with the facts on how human activity, weather and climate are inter-related, individuals, communities and organisations are helped to take action to reduce emissions, devise positive responses, and influence others.

The “Carbon Literacy Project” has achieved international recognition and is now an established movement for change in greater Manchester, the BBC, BAFTA and Scotland, Canada, Holland and France. Cynnal Cymru is the official partner of the Carbon Literacy project in Wales. We are offer certified Carbon Literacy training through a certified trainer. Public Health Wales, The National Museum of Wales, and Community Housing Cymru are some of the organisations who have joined the project through our training.

Individuals can do one of our ‘Open’ training days, or whole teams can learn together to change their organisation’s culture. Giving colleagues this opportunity to learn together and develop a set of practical responses will ultimately save the organisation money, make it more resilient, improve the its reputation and enthuse and motivate staff.

The next Open Courses are being held on January 31st and February 14th.

To find out more about Carbon Literacy Training please contact


Greening your Organisation

A key driver in investing time, energy, and sometimes money, in making your organisation more energy efficient, waste-conscious, and resource-light is that it delivers bottom-line cost savings that can be used to fund your key services or mission.

However, these actions will also play a part in helping tackle some of our most pressing global challenges, safeguarding access to resources and quality of life for future generations.

Invest in Nature have a wealth of online resources available to all that include how to reduce overheads by responsible resource use and how to encourage a healthy work environment whilst indoors. This can also boost staff well-being, creativity and productivity as this short animation demonstrates.

To find out more about how you can Green your organisation please see[:]

Cardiff Council Transport and Clean Air Green Paper

From January to July 2018 we worked intensively with Cardiff Council on their Transport and Clean Air Green Paper. We were tasked with conducting research to inform the drafting of the paper, and helping with consultation once it was published.

Desk-top research looked at reports compiled within the last five years, emerging trends in transport, and the activity in other cities around the world. Seminars and conferences included Cynnal Cymru’s 2016 “Future Car:diff” event, “Car Futures Wales”, and the Innovate UK “Transport Challenges” workshop. Interviews took place with Innovate UK’s Transport Systems Catapult, Arup, Jacobs, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Living Streets, and Cardiff Civic Society.

As drafts progressed, a team of Council officers and Cynnal Cymru staff was formed under the leadership of Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Wild. This team began to blend existing Cardiff Council transport research and strategies with new information gleaned from the research. The team included representatives from the Transport department, Economic Development, City Services, Shared Regulatory Services, Research and Customer Services, Policy, and Operations, and was chaired by the Director of City Operations. The end result ensured innovative practices from other cities was combined with existing strategic and policy commitments and an awareness of emerging trends to meet the specific needs of Cardiff.

Following publication, we worked with the Transport Team, Customer Services, The Cardiff Research Centre and FOR Cardiff to undertake a variety of consultations events and communications. These included an event for businesses and targeted engagement of specific locations.

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