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Grasshopper Communications Takes First Steps in Becoming Carbon Literate

One of our members, Grasshopper Communications recently completed Carbon Literacy training with us. This is how director, Hannah Dineen feels the training has impacted the organisation to take action on climate change both internally and on a personal level…

Many of us may feel we care about the climate change emergency but feel overwhelmed about how much information is out there and how to take action to actually make a difference.

For me personally, having just attended Cynnal Cymru’s Carbon Literacy Training, I feel better equipped to take action to make a difference to reduce my carbon footprint and carbon offset.

So, we’re all aware the world is getting warmer and we’ve got a climate emergency. The NASA time machine has helped me to clearly visualise how the earth’s key climate indicators (sea ice, sea level, carbon dioxide and global temperature) have changed over my lifetime.

So how will this affect you and me?

Climate change is already happening before our eyes. Rainfall patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable with a shift towards a ‘feast and famine’ regime. The potential for declining water availability and potential water scarcity is likely to have a negative affect on agricultural (crop or pasture) production resulting in food price spikes.

The floods in South Wales in February 2020 hit the poorest communities, many of whom lacked insurance to cover the cost of the wrecked belongings and struggling to pay for repairs.

Rising sea levels is threatening many of our flood defences.  Defending seaside towns and villages, roads and railways will prove costly and unsustainable. Natural Resources Wales are therefore exploring opportunities for nature based solutions and adaption to our coast.

Climate change is also changing the patterns of migratory birds and increasing pests and diseases. The RSPB has responded by exploring different management techniques.  The parts of the Ynyshir reserve in the Dyfi estuary has now been allowed to flood during high tides and storms, creating a much needed new marshland for the migrating birds.

So how can we make a difference? 

DRIVERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Our use of energy is one of the major contributors to climate change. We need to reduce our energy consumption and our reliance on fossil fuels. For starters, we could all switch to a green energy provider or invest in a community energy share offer.

The Welsh Government has set a target for 70% of Wales’ electricity to be generated by renewables by 2030. The Welsh Government report ‘Energy Generation in Wales : 2019’ shows positive signs towards meeting the target and estimates that 51% of electricity consumption comes from renewables.

Additionally, renewable energy projects bring co-benefits, for example Vattenfall’s Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in the South Wales Valleys, has supported over 100 local jobs and an annual investment of £1.8m to make a difference to the lives of local people.

The construction and running of buildings is a significant contributor to our carbon footprint. Whether it’s school, hospitals, offices or homes, the development sector is striving to achieve net zero buildings. We are looking forward to delivering communications on behalf of a collaboration of 68 partners, managed by Sero, that has just been awarded £7m of Welsh Government’s  Optimised Retrofit Funding to roll out the large scale decarbonisation of homes across Wales.

The Royal Town Planning Institute’s campaign ‘Plan the World We Need’ is calling on governments across the UK and Ireland to capitalise on the expertise of planners to achieve a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery and meet net-zero targets by 2050.

The recent Cynnal Cymru event, ‘Greening the Screen’ showcased how the film production industry is becoming more sustainable.  Arup’s recent research ‘A Screen New Deal’ shows that  an average tentpole film production generates 2,840 tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent amount absorbed by 3,709 acres of forest in a year.  The report recommends the industry strive to reuse materials, design sets for deconstruction and repurpose thus additionally contributing to the Circular Economy agenda.

Roger Williams from Joio Production spoke of how sustainability was put at the heart of producing the latest series of Bang on S4C.  Commitment to deliver positive sustainable actions resulted in removing paper cups from set, only printing call sheets on request, advocating the use of public transport and sourcing costumes from local charity shops.

Communities are equally coming together to act. The Edible Porthmadog project shows how residents and school children have reused old boats as planters for fruit and vegetables to provide local produce to local people.  The Llani Car Club provides its 27 members access to a car (including electric car).  The members have shared how it has helped them to reduce their car mileage, car share more and learn how to use public transport.  The Awel Co-op runs two wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, 20 miles north of Swansea providing enough energy to supply over 2,500 homes.  The profits help tackle fuel poverty and develop other renewable energy projects.

So, pause for a moment.  Do you know what you are contributing to climate change?  Why not calculate your organisation’s emissions or calculate your carbon footprint as a household? If you want to know more, ‘How bad are bananas?’ by Mike Berners gives an invaluable and entertaining guide that shows just what effect everything has on carbon emissions, from a Google search to a plastic bag, from a flight to a volcano.

The carbon literacy training has spurred me on to act and embed carbon reduction into my daily lifestyle and encourage others to do the same.

Our next Carbon Literacy open course takes place from 14-17 December, and spaces are now open.

Visit: https://bit.ly/CC_CarbonLiteracy

Cynnal Cymru becomes the first Carbon Literacy Training Organisation in Wales

In April 2020, Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales was recognised as the first Carbon Literacy Training Organisation (CLTO) in Wales. This accreditation is testament to Cynnal Cymru’s commitment to accelerating action on climate change by providing over 80 organisations with the training and support needed to reduce their carbon emissions.

The award-winning Carbon Literacy Project aims to give everyone a day’s worth of learning on the causes and consequences of climate change and the practical actions individuals can take in their home, workplaces and community to reduce carbon emissions. A globally unique project, it has been recognised by the UN as one of its 100 Transformative Action Programmes.

Cynnal Cymru has been the official partner of The Carbon Literacy Project since 2017, delivering accredited Carbon Literacy training across Wales to a variety of organisations including United Welsh, Cardiff Council, The National Museum of Wales, Public Health Wales, Community Housing Cymru, WCVA and many SMEs, charities and voluntary organisations.

In February 2020, Cynnal Cymru facilitated the creation of a consortium of 27 housing associations and social housing providers to launch ‘Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru’.   The consortium will develop bespoke Carbon Literacy courses for the social housing sector and enable a network of trainers to cascade peer to peer learning throughout this sector. Consortium members have agreed in principal to support each other in order to realise the goal of a decarbonised social housing and care sector in Wales.

Sarah Hopkins, Director at Cynnal Cymru said:

One of Cynnal Cymru’s key objectives is to accelerate progress to a low carbon economy in Wales and we are really pleased to become the first accredited CLTO in Wales. Carbon Literacy training provides an effective combination of scientific understanding and ideas for practical action to give participants the confidence to take action in response to the climate emergency. It’s really positive to see an increased interest in this training and we are looking forward to providing a remotely delivered course from May 2020.

Rhodri Thomas, Principal Trainer said:

The Carbon Literacy Project continues to grow in Wales, with the Museum sector, Public Health and Social Housing all embracing the concept as a way to inform and empower the workforce to make rational and proportionate choices in their private lives while supporting the strategic goals of their organisations. Covid-19 provides an interesting challenge in terms of how we frame the climate change conversation and deliver training remotely but it’s more important than ever to ensure we tackle climate change to safeguard our future.

Dave Coleman, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Carbon Literacy Project said:

Cynnal Cymru has been pivotal in helping to disseminate the Carbon Literacy message across Wales, helping The Project reach and engage with a more diverse cross-section of the Welsh community than we could possibly achieved otherwise. We’re delighted to accredit Cynnal as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation, and see it join the ranks of a select few organisations at the top of their game in developing and delivering Carbon Literacy training, and so far the only organisation in Wales to have done so.

Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru

What is CLCC?

CLCC – Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru, is a consortium of Welsh registered social landlords (RSLs). Consortium members pooled money and resources in order to increase Carbon Literacy within their organisations.

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.

27 different RSLs from around Wales are a part of the consortium – demonstrating the motivation from the sector to collaborate to create change. The programme will increase the number of Carbon Literacy trainers in Wales from 1 to over 60.

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).

Programme

  • 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 5 Carbon Literacy courses for Welsh social housing. One course for board/SLT, one for customer facing staff, one for back office staff, one for technical and assets staff involved with retrofit and one for maintenance staff and subcontractors.
  • 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.
  • The future – Phase IIII; Member organisations can use their trainers to deliver Carbon Literacy training internally to all staff and embed Carbon Literacy into their induction process.

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 or get in contact, please email luke@cynnalcymru.com who runs the CLCC secretariat.

Free webinars to help reduce costs and become more resource efficient

Resource Efficient Wales are running a series of free webinars, on a range of topics related to resource efficiency.

Your business or public sector organisation could reduce its costs by using less energy and water, consuming fewer raw materials, and reducing waste. Even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference, and the new Resource Efficient Wales (REW) service, funded by Welsh Government and delivered by resource efficiency experts WRAP Cymru and Carbon Trust, is here to show you how.

Sign up to any or all of the free Resource Efficient Wales webinars to benefit from this free support:

Useful Links:

Resource Efficient Wales

Carbon Trust

Yr Ymddiriedolaeth Garbon

Wrap Cymru

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