Natural Environment

Integrated Sustainability Training

Integrated Sustainability Training

Learn how to create a sustainable development strategy for your business.

New legislation coupled with a significant and growing market demand for brands, products and services that demonstrate positive environmental and social impacts along their supply chain means that sustainability is now essential for every business.

This new training programme is proven to equip participants with the critical skills and practical know-how to build meaningful action plans and implement purposeful strategies that respond to both the climate and nature crisis, whilst satisfying customer needs and building commercial success.

Delivered as a series of tutor led modules, underpinned by best practice examples and supported by one to one guidance, our expert trainers will guide each participant to develop, test and refine their own sustainability plans and gain confidence to immediately take action where it matters.

Course essentials

Peer-to-peer learning

Up to 12 people

Committment

15 hours across 8 weeks

Learning options

Online or in-person

Certification

Subject to successful completion of the course

Who is this course for?

Designed by Cynnal Cymru and Ecostudio and informed by evidence-based practice, this training is for owners, senior and aspiring managers from ambitious businesses that want to:

Your course tutors

Rhodri Thomas

Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales

Rhodri Thomas is the Principal Sustainability Consultant and Training Lead at Cynnal Cymru. Rhodri is educated to Masters level in Environmental Management and has a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and is a certified Carbon Literacy trainer.

Iain Cox

Ecostudio

Iain is an award-winning sustainability consultant and business mentor. His experience is in designing training programmes, advising policy makers and delivering projects that build thecapacity and capability of project teams to do sustainability for themselves.

Since establishing Ecostudio in 2008, he has helped many organisations to build commercially sound strategies, create responsible brands and innovative products, packaging and services, that deliver measurable environmental performance and social value for their customers, clients and stakeholders.

About Cynnal Cymru

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales.

About Eco Studio

Ecostudio is an award-winning sustainability and circular economy consultancy.

Get in touch

training@cynnalcymru.com

029 2043 1746

We typically work Monday -Thursday, 9-5pm

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

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Our monthly newsletter includes a round up of the latest sustainability news as well as updates on our latest training opportunities.

Free courses to help urban community groups act on the nature crisis!

Nabod Natur – Nature Wise is an online training programme from Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales which teaches you about how the natural environment works, the threats it faces, and how we can all help nature thrive.

Thanks to funding from the Great Western Railway Community Fund, we have developed the Nature Wise Urban Eco-literacy course, with a specific focus on how practical action including sustainable transport can benefit nature in an urban setting.

10 courses will be available from October 2022 to March 2023, offering 120 free places to staff, volunteers or members of voluntary organisations and community groups located within the urban areas along the GWR’s mainline – Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport.

About Nabod Natur – Nature Wise

Nature Wise eco-literacy is a science-based, action-focused course to help you to understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provide the tools to motivate and catalyse action.

What you will learn about:

Your Nature Wise eco-literacy course will help you to become more knowledgeable and confident about helping to tackle the nature crisis both on your doorstep and further afield. Part of the course involves developing an action plan for nature based on what you will have explored during the course. This can be for your personal life or for your group/organisation.

The course is interactive. Attendees will work in small groups and also take part in group discussions to explore course topics.


Who should apply?

The Nature Wise Urban Eco-literacy course is for:

  • Urban based community groups or voluntary organisation based in the areas along the GWR’s mainline – covering Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport.
  • Any member of staff, volunteer or trustee for a voluntary organisation or community group can register.
  • Town and community councillors in these areas are also eligible.

Course Dates

Course Session 1 – (2.5 hours) Session 2 – (2.5 hours)
1 Tuesday 18th October 2022 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 20th October 2022 10am – 12:30pm
2 Tuesday 15th November 2022 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 17th November 2022 10am – 12.30pm
3 Tuesday 29th November 2022 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 1st December 2022 10am – 12:30pm
4 Tuesday 17th January 2023 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 19th January 2023 10am – 12:30pm
5 Tuesday 31st January 2023 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 2nd February 2023 10am – 12:30pm
6 Monday 6th February 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm Wednesday 8th February 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm
7 Tuesday 14th February 2023 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 16th February 2023 10am – 12:30pm
8 Tuesday 28th February 2023 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 2nd March 2023 10am – 12:30pm
9 Tuesday 14th March 2023 10am – 12:30pm Thursday 16th March 2023 10am – 12:30pm
10 Monday 20th March 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm Wednesday 22nd March 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm

Course Commitment (5 hours) 

You’ll need just five hours to take part, centred on two online sessions held during the same week, held on a Tuesday and a Thursday or a Monday and Wednesday depending on the dates you select.

On successful completion of both session you will be awarded a certificate.

Please note: you must attend both sessions to complete the course. 

How do I register?

Please register your free place via Ticketsource. Once you have chosen a course date, please tick the ‘Voluntary Sector £0.00’ box, which will automatically register you for a free place.

For any other enquiries, please email training@cynnalcymru.com

Places are limited, so we are aiming to allocate places as fairly as possible.


FAQs

Do I need to have any prior knowledge of nature systems?

Nature Wise is a short course for everyone. No previous knowledge is necessary.

What do I need to participate?

  • You will need access to computer with internet access to attend and participate in the online facilitated sessions.
  • We recommend a computer or tablet as you will be shown course materials containing images, slides and videos.
  • The online sessions will take part on Zoom. In the sessions you will need access to a microphone.

What if I cannot attend on those days?

You do need to attend both sessions to complete the course. If you are not available at the advertised times but would still like to do the course, please get in touch and we will add you to a list for a course scheduled outside these times.

What if my whole group wants to do the course?

If you have a group of 10 or more that would like to do the course, please get in touch and we can see if it is possible to arrange a separate course at a time to suit you.

Will there be more courses?

We will be running 10 courses for up to 120 people between October 2022 to March 2023.

Where can I learn more?

For more details on our Nature Wise courses, visit the Cynnal Cymru training platform.

Environmental volunteering: from nurturing nature to growing communities

Environmental volunteering is a great way to support the planet whilst giving back to your local community and there are many opportunities that can fit into your schedule.

Dr Karolina Rucinska, Sustainability Consultant at Cynnal Cymru shares her volunteering experiences with Oasis Cardiff and Good Gym:

This summer I will continue my work as a head gardener at Oasis Cardiff, a charity offering a warm Welsh welcome to asylum seekers and refugees. Oasis is based in a former church with a paved courtyard on a busy road full of takeaways. The area is littered and there are almost no trees or shrubs on the street apart from the ones at Oasis.  My job is to ensure they flower, attract birds and pollinators, and grow from strength to strength.  This year was particularly difficult because of the long periods of rain followed by drought but knowing that life is better with plants around us, keeps me motivated to do more.

When I am not looking at the garden at Oasis, I get involved with tasks at the Good Gym. It is a UK charity whose motto is, “Do good, get fit”. Instead of going to an actual gym, we walk, cycle or run to community centres, gardens, and allotments to do various tasks, from weeding and planting to building sheds and fruit cages. We are often referred to visit elderly people living alone who need help in their gardens too, so all in all, there are a lot of nature-based tasks.  It is hard work at times, but incredibly rewarding.

How to get involved:

Oasis Cardiff – whether to volunteer in the garden or to offer your teaching or cooking skills as a volunteer go to www.oasiscardiff.org/

Good Gym has currently got one branch in Wales, and it is in Cardiff. To get involved go to www.goodgym.org/

For nature-based activities in urban areas, I recommend getting in touch with Social Farms and Gardens or searching for a community gardening group via the RHS website.

Keep Wales Tidy – from organising a one-off clean-up to setting up a new community group, there really is something for everyone.

Volunteer with Keep Wales Tidy

Apply for a free nature garden for your local community.

You could also:

Attend a foraging workshop to truly realise how incredible plants are even in the middle of a city. I was lucky to be invited to one in Bute Park with Tizzy from Forager Cardiff, so I recommend getting in touch.

Take part in citizen science projects – The Springwatch website features a range of projects from hedgehog spotting to beetle sightings, you can contribute to find out how little or much wildlife is on your doorstep.

Make you garden a little more wildlife-friendly – the Gardeners Worlds website has some great tips for August.

Celebrating amazing green spaces

265 parks and green spaces in Wales have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award. They include a diverse range of sites, from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

Now in its third decade, the international Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites, which are maintained and run by volunteers.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

“Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’ parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.

“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is very high so I want to congratulate all of the sites recognised for providing excellent, year-round facilities to local people and visitors alike.

“It’s fantastic to see we still hold more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites in Wales – especially as the last two years have taught us all of the importance of nature and green spaces on our mental and physical wellbeing.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“The last few years have really shown us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru

Keep Wales Tidy are always on the lookout for new places to join the Green Flag Awards. If you’d like to put your park or green space on the map, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru for more information.

Transform your community with a free garden package from Local Places for Nature

Since the first year of Local Places for Nature in 2020, nearly 800 gardens have been created, restored and enhanced. Community groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes got involved – from disability charities and youth groups to social enterprises and carer groups.

Applications have now reopened, and communities are being urged to get involved early to avoid missing out. The new online application system makes it very easy to apply and review progress, as well as offering resources, guidance and updates from the Local Places for Nature scheme. You can choose from small or larger-scale wildlife and food growing gardens, or for the first time the scheme is offering a new community orchard package.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

“The pandemic has given us all a greater appreciation of nature and its importance on our health and mental wellbeing.

“I’m pleased to be supporting another year of Local Places for Nature. The programme makes it easy for people from all backgrounds and abilities to get involved, as a community, to create and enjoy nature in the places where we live and spend most of our time.
“Valuing nature and taking small local level actions is so important as part of the collective effort needed to tackle the nature emergency, and support the variety of plants and animals we love to see in Wales.”

Deputy Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy Louise Tambini said:

“Over the past two years, people have really appreciated the value of nature and we’re delighted to offer again free garden packs to communities. We know that gardening and being out in nature has a positive impact on mental wellbeing, and it’s a great way to keep fit and meet new people. Through Local Places for Nature, we have created hundreds of new habitats and spaces for nature, which is vital in the current climate emergency and decline in biodiversity.”

“Thanks to the ongoing support of Welsh Government and our partners our garden packs include all the materials and tools you need to create a new space for nature and Keep Wales Tidy staff will be on hand to install the garden.”

The initiative is jointly funded by the Welsh Government, part of a wider Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ programme committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’ and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

To apply for a free garden pack, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/nature

15 Millionth Wales funded tree planted in Uganda

The Mbale Trees project – funded by the long-standing Wales and Africa programme – aims to plant over 3 million trees a year in the hilly, heavily deforested area of eastern Uganda in a bid to increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Working with Size of Wales and the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), free tree seedlings are distributed to local people to be planted on smallholdings and land in the community, along with fuel efficient stoves and advice and support for other livelihoods, like bee-keeping.

The project links with the Welsh Government’s Plant! Scheme, planting two trees for every child born or adopted in Wales – one planted in Uganda and one planted here in Wales.

In recent years Mbale has been affected by heavy rainfall and fatal landslides, caused by a combination of climate change and excessive logging due to poor enforcement of protection laws and a growing population.

Fast-growing trees protect local people from the effects of soil erosion and fruit grown offers a sustainable source of food and an extra income.

The 10 millionth tree milestone was achieved in autumn 2019, with First Minister Mark Drakeford marking the occasion by planting a tree in Cardiff’s Bute Park as another was planted Uganda by a young climate change activist.

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, whose portfolio includes Wales and Africa, said:

For more than a decade Wales has developed and deepened its community-based links with sub-Sahara countries in Africa. This mutually-beneficial approach has long supported sustainable development and solidarity, of which we can be justifiably proud. On top of planting 15 million trees – a fantastic achievement in itself – Wales has helped to protect an area of tropical rainforest twice the size of Wales and supported 16,000 families across 30 villages who may have otherwise faced severe hardship.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said:

The Mbale Trees initiative is an example of what can be achieved when nations work together to combat climate change. Our pledge to plant 3 million more every year for the next 5 years will deliver substantial benefits, not just for those within Mbale, but it will have a considerable global impact on climate change. This flagship scheme is another example of Wales leading the way in sustainable development and action on climate change, for all.

Director of Size of Wales, Nicola Pulman, said:

We are delighted to have hit the landmark of 15 million trees. It is a testament to the hard work of the communities and local organisations in Mbale who have worked tirelessly to make it happen. Every tree grown benefits the local area, but also helps strengthen our planet’s resilience to the threat of climate change. We therefore encourage everyone in Wales to support the programme in its next phase and help us reach our ultimate goal of 25 million trees by 2025.

Godfrey Natwaluma, Programme Manager at the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), said:

We are proud Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise has supported over 30,000 households in 6 districts to plant trees. These districts have all previously experienced the devastating landslides. Since 2010, we have at least distributed 15 million trees and counting and we are optimistic that by the year 2025, we shall have supported our target communities with 25million trees. Our technical field team, through implementing partners, have been in position to monitor the production process of tree seedlings right away from a network of 45 community tree nursery beds that we have as an organization, and we plan to expand the project to further regions.

Wales Declares Nature Emergency

This follows recent international research showing the fragility of many of our ecosystems with more than a million species at risk of extinction due to pressures including habitat loss, pollution, invasive non-native species and climate change. This declaration will put Welsh Government action on nature on a par with climate change in terms of urgency and significance.

We know that this growing concern for the state of nature – or our ecological foundations – is shared by our members which is why we are pleased to offer a free place to all our members on our new eco-literacy course, Nabod Natur- Nature Wise.

Aimed at explaining the global nature crisis in an accessible way, the course provides an overview of the intricate way that ecosystems function to sustain life. It then explores the links between human activity and the disruption in natural cycles that we are experiencing. The course also covers national and international frameworks for nature recovery as well as practical steps that are being encouraged or pioneered.

Most important to us, the course creates the space for participants to apply course knowledge and concepts to their own lives, identifying the ways most useful and beneficial to them to act for nature recovery in their organisation, at home and in the community. We look forward to you joining us!

You can find out more about the announcement on the BBC website – Senedd Live

First Open Course: 20 and 22 July: 2 x online sessions with optional self-directed study in between. Total time commitment 5-6 hours. Cost: £85 per learner with discounts for group bookings.
To book your place or discuss bespoke training for your organisation – please contact training@cynnalcymru.com

Give nature a helping hand. Hundreds of new free garden packages available to communities

Last year, more than 500 gardens were created, restored and enhanced through Local Places for Nature. Community groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes got involved – from disability charities and youth groups to social enterprises and carer groups. 

Applications have now reopened, and communities are being urged to get involved early to avoid missing out. You can choose from small-scale fruit and herb, pollinator and urban gardens, or larger-scale wildlife and food growing gardens.   

Deputy Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy Louise Tambini said: 

“Over the past year, more people than ever have come to appreciate the value of nature on their doorstep. But urgent action must be taken to give reverse its decline. That’s why we’re so excited to reopen applications for Local Places for Nature.  

“Thanks to the ongoing support of Welsh Government and our partners, hundreds of new gardens will be taking shape across the country over the next few months.” 

The initiative is part of a wider Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ fund committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’. 

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said:  

The pandemic has given us all a greater appreciation of nature and the way in which it underpins our health, economy and wider wellbeing. 

“The environment will be at the heart of our new government’s decision making, so I am delighted that we can continue to support our communities to do their bit to help out our plants, birds and pollinators across Wales. I encourage you to get together to take advantage of this funding so you can give nature a helping hand.” 

Hundreds of free garden packages are available. To apply, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/nature  

Sustainable Academy Awards


www.sustainableacademy.wales

The Awards recognise the amazing people, projects and initiatives that are contributing towards the seven National Well-being Goals and the five Ways of Working described in the Well-being Future Generations Act.

With collaboration and connection at the heart of the celebration, the annual Awards Ceremony brings together a diverse audience of businesses, charities and third sector organisations.

170 people attended the 2019 Awards Celebration at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.


In 2019 over 12,000 individual votes were received across the 24 finalists voting profiles.

The Awards take place each year at the end of November, where we announce the winners from each category.

The Awards were developed in partnership by Cynnal Cymru and RenewableUK Cymru. The Awards were held for the first time in 2018, and are a fusion of the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales Awards and the Wales Green Energy Awards, organised by RenewableUK Cymru.


Sponsorship Opportunities

There are a number of excellent sponsorship opportunities to sponsor categories and various aspects of the event.  To find out more details about what is available, please get in contact with awards@cynnalcymru.com

A Guide to the Well-being of Future Generations Act

It will make the public bodies listed in the Act think more about the long-term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach.

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for sustainable development in Wales. Our mission is to make Wales the first Sustainable Nation. Cynnal Cymru’s overall focus is on developing and promoting a sustainable, resource-efficient and low-carbon society through engagement with enterprises, the third sector and communities. We connect local and national organisations together from across Wales to help each other develop more sustainable solutions and deliver on the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This will help us to create a Wales that we all want to live in, now and in the future.

To make sure we are all working towards the same vision, the Act puts in place seven well-being goals.

Sustainable Development Principle and Ways of Working

The Act puts in place a ‘sustainable development principle’ which tells organisations how to go about meeting their duty under the Act.

There are five things that public bodies need to think about to show that they have applied the sustainable development principle. Following these ways of working will help us work together better, avoid repeating past mistakes and tackle some of the long-term challenges we are facing.


Why do we need this law?

Wales faces a number of challenges now and in the future, such as climate change, poverty, health inequalities and jobs and growth. To tackle these we need to work together. To give our children and grandchildren a good quality of life we need to think about how the decisions we make now will impact them. This law will make sure that our public sector does this.

More information

For a summary of the Act see a copy of the booklet ‘The Essentials’.

You can find out more about the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act on the the Welsh Government website.

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