10 years of The Carbon Literacy Project

It was five years ago that I first met Dave Coleman, co-founder and director of the Carbon Literacy Project. He had come to Wales at the invitation of the then Director of the Size of Wales Project. They had met at the historic Paris COP summit where The Project was awarded TAP100 status. Dave presented the Carbon Literacy Project on a sunny morning to a small group of us in Cardiff. At that time, in 2016, the CL Project was only operating in Manchester and Scotland and Dave was looking for partners in other parts of the UK. I listened carefully, asked questions and then reported excitedly to my colleagues in Cynnal Cymru that I had found something that we simply had to get involved with.

We delivered our first Carbon Literacy course in 2017 and five years, 700+ trainees 200+ organisations and 1476 pledges later, I had the great pleasure to attend the tenth birthday party of the Carbon Literacy Project on Tuesday the 1st of November 2022 in Manchester.

In the early days after first meeting Dave, we worked together to introduce Carbon Literacy in Wales. Progress was slow at first but the recent exponential growth of the project in Wales is mirrored across the world. Globally the project is now on 43.5 thousand trainees and just under four thousand organisations engaged. Dave and colleagues have extrapolated the rate of growth and think a target of 1 million people trained could be reached by 2030 or earlier. Each month, the calculations push that target closer to 2022, month by month, as the enquiries, bookings and certifications continue to pour in.

I am very pleased to be able to say that I was the first certified Carbon Literacy trainer in Wales and that Cynnal Cymru was the first organisation in Wales to champion the project. We worked hard to establish it and prove its worth but hey look – this isn’t about me or us. Carbon Literacy is about everyone. We are delighted that more people are offering the training in Wales and as we say to all our clients, our role is to start you off. Ultimately Carbon Literacy works best when the trainee is being trained by someone like them…. When the conversations around climate change are embedded in the context of the participants and when actions are agreed in a collaborative atmosphere by peers challenging each other and holding each other to account. And everyone needs to get better at following up on the actions pledged and calculating/estimating the carbon savings that result.

Being in Manchester for the tenth birthday celebration felt like being part of a family. But every one of us there knew that while we could pause to savour the success, our pleasure could only be short lived. There is still an enormous mountain to climb. Global warming looms over us like a huge wave of destruction threatening everything we love and take for granted. There are powerful forces of ignorance and greed that push against the growing surge of citizen action and enlightened corporate commitment. People are asking us what we should be looking for from COP in Egypt. Our message is clear. Look for nothing. Look only to your own spheres of control and influence. Take care of your world. You are one of a growing number. Tipping points can be positive as well as negative and no-one knows which small action will start the avalanche or spark the revolution. The world does change for better as well as for worse. For one short evening in Manchester we smiled and enjoyed our achievements but the following day it was back to work. Indeed, some important colleagues missed the celebration because they were delivering evening Carbon Literacy training! This does not stop. It can not stop. Cynnal Cymru is ready to help you start your Carbon Literacy journey. We are waiting to hear from you.

Find out more about our Carbon Literacy and Train the Trainer courses

Free school meals – a healthy and sustainable school meal system

Informed by the experience in Sweden, where all primary and pre-school meals are tax-financed, we heard how the City of Malmo increased the amount of organic food served to 70% within 10 years, whilst also achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) on 2002 levels. This was complemented by insights from Castell Howell Foods, an independent food wholesaler supplying 1,800 schools and the majority of local authorities in Wales.

This roundtable was held as part of our work on behalf of Welsh Government to support the foundational economy in Wales. Here are 8 of the key messages that emerged.

1. Systems change requires collaboration across policy area

The goal to provide organic food in uFSM in Malmo was driven by the Environment Department, however buy-in and cooperation from the departments for Health and Education was crucial. It was part of a wider vision for the City’s food system published in 2010 that set out that by 2020:
o All food served in Malmo should be certified organic
o GHGe from procured food should have decreased by 40% from a 2002 baseline.

2. It’s not all about budgets – a shared understanding can achieve more

In the case of Malmo, no additional money was added to food budgets to help with the transition to organic. However significant additional money was provided for training, education and raising understanding of how each part of the system could support the wider sustainability mission. This included tailored courses for staff at all levels and in all parts of the food system – cooks, managers, teachers, commissioners etc. Rather than just issuing instructions or calls to action, these courses focused on why the policy was needed and the impact that each part of the system could have in terms of making a difference and influencing others. These accompanied practical courses for delivery staff about how this could be done e.g. at the most practical level, how low carbon, nutritionally balanced meals on a budget could be produced.

3. Choose a goal that can be defined and measured (and if an existing indicator fits – use it!)

A goal for organic food was chosen over ‘sustainable food’ as there was already an agreed definition of what constituted organic, plus a credible existing certification system that i) could guarantee many of the standards and processes that the City was looking for and ii) provided a tangible way to evidence and measure progress. This removed the need to agree, embed and find a way to measure any new definition of the desired outcomes.

4. Local does not always mean better

The push to support local economies can sometimes detract from the bigger debate about what sort of local economies we want to see emerging. In terms of food, this label says nothing about how food has been produced in terms of quality, sustainable farming methods, animal welfare etc. This was another reason that the ‘organic’ goal was chosen by the Malmo team.

5. The role of teaching and catering staff is critical

In Malmo, the role of teaching staff, especially in pre-schools, was vital to encourage interest and curiosity in new foods amongst children. Meal times are also a learning opportunity and so teachers are encouraged to eat with the children and to work with kitchen staff to link the food that is being eaten to classroom activities – a factor also raised in the Learning Lessons from Scotland event.

6. It is vital to involve the supply chain

Transformation involves collaboration and in Malmo the supply chain needed to be supported and strengthened to make the policy work. In Wales, we also need to learn how to better enable producer-purchaser-policy partnerships that are based on reciprocity and help to rebalance risk. This is so that risks and short-term costs of trying to embed the ways of working that we all wish to see are not borne disproportionately by producers.

7. We need to rethink the way that staff in the food sector are valued

In Malmo, the heightened awareness about the role that school catering staff can play in the wider sustainability picture helped shift perceptions of these roles as ‘nothing jobs’ to ones that chefs in the restaurant business wanted to move into, with pull factors including the social contribution they could make as well as the family-friendly hours. In Wales, all parts of the food sector are struggling with staffing and a lack of young entrants. Reframing the opportunities within the food sector could help address this, provided that organisations are also supported to provide jobs that meet Fair Work criteria.

8. It’s a marathon not a sprint

Change takes time. The Malmo team set themselves a 10-year window to achieve the City’s goals. Even though these were not achieved in full by the 2020 deadline, it is still significant progress that others in Sweden and beyond wish to emulate. Success has been attributed to committed leadership, cross-party, cross-sector buy-in, hard work and consistent reiteration of a clear and ambitious target.

Background

The roundtable was held on 28 July 2022. The speakers were Helen Nilsson, Project Manager, Environment Department, City of Malmo and Edward Morgan, Group Corporate Social Responsibility & Training Manager, Castell Howell Foods. Presentation slides are available from admin@cynnalcymru.com.

You can read more about our first roundtable Learning Lessons from Scotland here and our wider work supporting a community of practice on the foundational economy here.

If you would like to join future roundtables or have ideas or comments around this or future themes, please contact Clare Sain-ley-Berry clare@cynnalcymru.com

Our pledge to Zero Racism Wales

Cynnal Cymru Statement of Intent

Cynnal Cymru welcomes the breadth and diversity of tradition, belief and culture of the community. It seeks to create, maintain and promote a community in which each person is treated fairly and equally irrespective of race. Cynnal Cymru confirms its commitment to a policy of equal opportunities in employment and service delivery. Individuals will be selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities and will be given fair and equal opportunities within Cynnal Cymru. Equally, we confirm our commitment to treating all staff, clients, customers and service users in accordance with this policy. Cynnal Cymru commits to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and provide fair and equitable services to people from all race and other protected characteristic backgrounds. The aim of the policy is to ensure that no job applicant or user/ visitor/ guest receives less favourable treatment on any grounds which are not relevant to good employment practice. We are committed to a programme of action to make this policy fully effective.

Read our full Zero Racism Wales pledge >>

Find out how you can support a zero-tolerance approach to racism in Wales >>

The Well-being Goals and business

At Cynnal Cymru, we turn sustainability aims into action and accelerate positive impacts towards a low carbon economy, a thriving natural environment and a fair and just society through the provision of advice, training and connections.

Earlier this year, we worked with the Future Generation’s Commissioners Office to identify how the Well-being Act was understood and being used as a sustainable development framework for some large private sector organisations in South Wales. Hafren Dyfrydwy, a provider of water and wastewater treatment services in North East and Mid Wales, invited us to discuss their ongoing contribution to the Well-being Goals at their Board Strategy Day.  Keen to work with leading organisations in Wales, we jumped at the chance.

On 4 October, Karolina and Sarah travelled to Hafren Dyfrdwy to participate in a dedicated workshop built around Hafren Dyfrdwy’s ongoing contribution to the Act; its relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Company’s PR24 planning.  The Board also discussed approaches taken by other large companies in Wales to align their approaches to the Act.

The session was informative, as well as interactive and energetic. For example, we used the Future Generations Prompts as an catalyst to spark the Board’s strategic thinking and group brainstorming activities to map out future strategic activity and progress against each goal.

The workshop highlighted the excellent programme of activity that Hafren Dyfrdwy already does to contribute towards the Well-being Goals and prompted discussion around further opportunities to support their ongoing positive social and environmental impact. 

“Massive thank you to Sarah and Karolina for running a fantastic, creative and energetic session on the Well-being of Future Generations Act at our recent Board Strategy Day. It gave us real food for thought in terms of how we better bring to life our existing activities that supports the Act’s goals, and helped us think more broadly about areas where we can go further. Thank you again.”

(Tom Perry, Strategy Manager)

Dr Karolina Rucinska is our Sustainability advisor who often uses facilitation, research and workshopping methods in work with our clients. Sarah Hopkins is the director of Cynnal Cymru, with an expertise in fair work and sustainability in global supply chains and a firm understanding of the public and private sectors.

If you are interested in finding out more about our work, please contact us at shwmae@cynnalcymru.com to let us know how we can help.

Warm this Winter Campaign Launch

Climate Cymru is coordinating a campaign called Warm This Winter (Cynnes Gaeaf Yma) in Wales, to urge the Welsh and UK Governments to act on the interconnected cost-of-living, energy and climate crises. The campaign is led by antipoverty and environmental groups, and backed by hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals from every corner of Wales. It will launch digitally on 24th September, and at a physical launch in Bangor at the same time. The campaign will spend the subsequent week touring and speaking to communities all over Wales alongside the Climate Cymru Green Tour.

Warm This Winter in Wales has four headline demands:

1)      Emergency support for vulnerable households

2)    An ambitious energy efficiency programme

3)   A rapid scale-up of low-cost renewables

4)    Free us from fossil fuels

Bethan Sayed, Campaigns Coordinator for Warm this Winter said:

Audio segments here: English, Cymraeg

Sam Ward, Manager for Climate Cymru said:

“There is an escalating cost of living crisis, an energy crisis, and an ongoing climate emergency. These crises are connected. They have shared causes, like fossil fuels, which are making them all worse, and shared solutions that can help us get out of this mess, like mass insulation of Welsh homes and investing in super-cheap, clean renewable energy.

“We hope to work productively with the Welsh Government on our demands and their implementation, as well as with UK partners to make sure UK Government does its part to unlock the finances and levers that Welsh Government needs to tackle these issues at the pace and scale that the situation demands”

The Climate Cymru Green Tour will take place 24th September to 2nd October, during the Great Big Green Week, which is the UK’s biggest call for action on climate change. Electric vehicles will travel around Wales during the week, with each stop showcasing inspirational stories of climate change action in Wales. There is further information about each stop on the website at https://climate.cymru/great-big-green-week/green-tour-2022

The Warm this Winter launch will be held at 11am on 24th September at Penrhyn Hall, Bangor City Council, hosted by Climate Cymru partner North Wales African Society, in a mini citizens assembly themed around the cost-of-living crisis.

A week later the Climate Cymru Green Tour will be at the Grangetown Green Gala on 1st October, for another cost-of-living event that coincides with the introduction of the energy price cap.

About Climate Cymru

Climate Cymru is a coalition of over 300 Welsh organisations, and almost 14,000 individuals who have signed up to work together to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.

There will be a professional photographer at the Warm this Winter launch and throughout the week covering the Climate Cymru Green Tour.

For full details about how to attend the physical launch please visit the website: https://greatbiggreenweek.com/events/great-big-green-week-launch-and-citizen-assembly-have-your-say/

For further information about Climate Cymru visit the website:  https://climate.cymru/

For further information on the Warm for Winter campaign visit:  https://climate.cymru/warm-this-winter/

Further information about The Great Big Green week is found here:

UK website: https://greatbiggreenweek.com/

Wales https://climate.cymru/home-page/great-big-green-week-2022-2/

You can also keep up with the campaign and tour on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok. Follow the hashtags #WarmThisWinterWales #WarmthisWinter #ClimateCymru

DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal

DEC launched the Pakistan Floods Appeal in response to overwhelming destruction caused by extraordinarily heavy rainfall, submerging one third of the country – an area the size of the UK – in muddy, dangerous flood waters. Homes, possessions and lives have been lost with no sign of the flood waters abating. As described by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres; “The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids – the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding.

DEC member charities are on the ground and report widespread destruction and huge humanitarian needs, on a scale not seen in more than a decade, when heavy rains in 2010 resulted in unprecedented flooding. 20 million people were affected by the flooding in 2010; in 2022, 33 million people are affected, in what the UN Secretary General is calling a “climate catastrophe”. Buildings, road and bridges are badly damaged or even completely destroyed, and over 3 million people have fled their homes, with half a million in temporary shelters in relief camps. People are desperate. The danger from disease, hunger and exposure will continue long after the floodwaters recede. Support for the people of Pakistan is particularly vital at this time.

DEC charities are already on the ground providing life-saving aid either directly or through local partners, but need more funds to scale up their operations, particularly with conditions expected to worsen as the rains continue

The worst hit areas have seen five times as much rainfall as the 30-year average.

The immediate and primary focus of the relief effort is to save lives and provide temporary shelter and blankets to people who lost their homes, clean water and sanitation to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases, food for sustenance, and medical assistance for those who have been injured or are ill.  Providing cash assistance and protection have also been identified as priorities, with the latter focusing on child protection, psychological support and distributing dignity kits. In the longer term, work to restore livelihoods through the provision of seeds and livestock will also be vital to getting communities back on their feet. 

If you can please help. Donate today: bit.ly/DECPakistanFloodsFV

The Race Report

To this end, we are involved in work on mainstreaming equality in the transition to Net Zero; we are signatories of the Community Jobs Compact; participants of the Charity Works programme and our recruitment process ensures no unconscious bias at application and interview stage.

However, our actions to date have not resulted in a staff team or board that reflects these values. The environment, climate, sustainability and conservation sector is one of the least diverse in the UK and we must do more to change this.  

So, what are we doing about it?

Firstly, we are renewing our commitment to being an anti-racist organisation and embedding actions to support this within our organisational plan and risk analysis.

The first of these actions is to be transparent about where we are now through contributing to The RACE Report.

The RACE Report aims to speed up diversity and inclusion within the environmental sector through transparency and the sharing of good practice. In this first year, relevant organisations will submit comparable data for a report to be published in December 2022. From 2023, online transparency cards will be published for individual organisations.

As a small organisation of 12 part-time staff, the opportunity to contribute to The RACE Report has refocused our commitment to ensuring we are doing our very best to demonstrate our values and be an anti-racist organisation. The questions about strategy and actions are also a useful starting point for good practice that we will be actioning over the rest of this year.

These actions include:

  • Participating in a three-month Agile Nation 2 Business Programme with Chwarae Teg, with a specific focus on improving our practice in the recruitment, progression and retention of an agile and diverse workforce.
  • Signing the Race at Work Charter and ensuring actions are implemented
  • EDI training for staff and the Board
  • Stating on our recruitment pages for staff and trustees that we are under-represented in racial diversity
  • Targeted recruitment to improve the racial diversity of our Board in 2022/2023
  • Bi-annual progress update to be published on our website.

Our New Members in August

Millrace Marketing

Millrace Marketing is a content focused MarComms agency filled to the brim with ideas designed to get our clients noticed where it matters most. We have a commitment to sustainability and to those who are doing their part for the environment. We are passionate about making a difference, and believe in projects that protect and benefit people and planet.

Find out more about Millrace Marketing >>


North Wales Recycle IT CIC

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise (also termed a Community Interest Company) and the only treatment centre of this kind in North Wales, offering secure and professional recycling, re-use and disposal services for all IT equipment.

Find out more about North Wales Recycle IT >>


Alliance Marketing Agency Ltd

We’re a marketing and design agency based in Newport that helps tell your brand story through graphic and web design, digital marketing, and PR services.

Find out more about Alliance Marketing Agency Ltd >>


Newport City Council

Newport City Council (Cyngor Dinas Casnewydd) is the governing body for Newport, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. It consists of 51 councillors, who represent the city’s 20 wards.

Find out more about Newport City Council >>

Membership

The Cynnal Cymru network is a community of proactive organisations who share our vision and values. Members and partners are action focused and innovative, eager to learn and collaborate to find solutions and new ways of doing things for a more sustainable Wales.

On joining Cynnal Cymru, our members have access to a free sustainability assessment, action based training and a diverse network of like-minded people.

If you are committed to a sustainable future and interested in becoming a member or in partnering with us then we would love to hear from you. Find out more >>

Welsh Charity Awards

Welsh Charity Awards 2022 – open for nominations

The Welsh Charity Awards are finally back! The awards, organised by WCVA, are a celebration of the vital work that voluntary organisations do in Wales.

There has been a two-year hiatus since the first awards, and in that time the voluntary sector has become even more essential. In the face of multiple crises affecting society, charities and volunteers have pulled together to make a difference to the lives of people across Wales. 

From communities organising to protect their most vulnerable through flooding and lockdowns, to organisations changing their services to feed their communities during the pandemic, our voluntary sector has proven again and again that it is a vital force for progress and change in Wales.

We think there’s no better time for the Welsh Charity Awards to return and give these inspirational people and organisations the recognition they deserve.

So has a charity, social enterprise or volunteer made a difference to your life over the past few years? 

Maybe you’ve worked with an organisation who’s set a real example of good practise for the wider sector? 

Maybe one of your volunteers is working tirelessly to help you and your cause?

Make sure they get the recognition they deserve – nominate them for a Welsh Charity Award. The deadline for nominations is 20 September 2022. For more information and how to nominate, visit www.welshcharityawards.cymru

Further information is available at welshcharityawards.cymru

Introducing Cynnal Cymru Members: Millrace Marketing

Who are Millrace Marketing and what do you do?

Millrace is a creative marketing and communication agency that is built on a passion for producing meaningful storytelling for brands.

Storytelling is an important aspect of marketing as it enables organisations to develop deeper connections with audiences, uniting people and driving stronger, deeper connections.

Millrace works with organisations across Wales (and beyond) to plan and produce campaigns that tell their stories to the audiences that matter most. Teamed with a solid strategy, we produce a mixture of visual and written campaigns that bring brands to life. Our services include:

  • Strategy
  • Planning
  • Motion Graphics
  • Graphic Design
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media campaigns
  • Blogs
  • Case Studies
  • News updates

Why does sustainability matter to your organisation?

We focus on being:

  • Authentic
  • Transparent
  • Honest
  • Realistic

As part of our commitment to people and planet we are constantly reviewing our own service provision to make this as sustainable as possible. To this end we have made some significant steps to make sure we are doing all we can, as pro-actively and as transparently as possible, to not just optimise material consumption and minimise waste but also to reduce our negative carbon footprint on the environment. 

We have a sustainability policy that incorporates environmental, social and financial targets (available to read on our website), and we are a Real Living Wage employer.

We also have pending B-Corporation Certification. Certified B Corporations are companies verified by the global B Lab to meet exceptionally high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As a B-Corporation business we are required to amend articles of the business to embed a commitment to sustainability. We are also required to publicly list our B-Corporation scores, set public sustainability goals and will be audited regularly to assess our carbon footprint, carbon offsetting, waste and water management, energy usage and supply chains.  

We have set specific goals for the next year which include monitoring and recording Greenhouse Gas emissions and have set specific reduction targets relative to our initial performances, harvesting rainwater and reducing the impact of travel and commuting.

What are you hoping to achieve through Cynnal Cymru membership?

Becoming a member of Cynnal Cymru is another significant step for us to develop as a sustainable marketing and communication agency.  We are eager to learn from and collaborate with fellow members to find solutions and new ways of doing things for a more sustainable Wales. We are also looking forward to receiving sustainability consultations and training with the Cynnal Cymru advisors to help us further develop as a sustainable practice.  We are looking forward to offering free training in partnership with Cynical Cymru to all fellow members in the coming months.

What positive impact do you want to make in Wales/ the world?

In short, we want to work with organisations, businesses, charities and non-profits who are striving towards better outcomes for people and/or planet. We want to help them communicate their stories positively and authentically amongst their audiences, stakeholders and communities.

Tell us about a sustainability project you are working on at the moment

For Millrace, we are in the middle of becoming B Corp Certified after scoring above 85 in the initial assessment. This is important to us as it will help us strengthen our own policies and procedures to ensure our people, and the people we work with are aligned with our values and ongoing commitments.

Our clients have sustainability at the top of their agenda, either through choice or consumer pressure. We are currently communicating a variety of campaigns for a global medical waste organisation, Welsh housing associations, and a Welsh mental health charity.     

Find out more about us at millracemarketing.co.uk or if you’d like to talk further about a project, campaign or a design need then please contact Owen Brown, Client Relationship Manager via Owen@millracemarketing.co.uk

Scroll to Top