Natural Environment

23 April | Ask the Expert: Carbon Accounting

Curious about carbon accounting but tight on time? Want to talk about other challenges and connect with great people? Join us for a quick and informative online session, featuring:

  • 15-minute Lightning Talk: Learn the essentials from leading experts
  • 5-minute Live Q&A: Get your burning questions answered
  • 10-minute Speed Networking: Share challenges & connect
  •  5-minute Wrap-up: Walk away with actionable insights & resources

Do you have a question you would like to ask our experts?

What is ‘Ask the Expert’?

‘Ask the Expert’ is a new series of informal drop-in events where you can join our specialists for a short presentation and guided discussion around a chosen topic.

Who is it for?

This session exploring ‘What is Carbon Accounting?’ is open to all businesses and organisations and it is free to attend.

Our thriving community of mutually supportive members provides an opportunity to share learning, challenge thinking and mobilise action, be this through co-designed events, hosting networking sessions or simply sowing seeds for future collaborations or thought-leadership.

If you would like to talk to a member of the team about how we can support your organisation, please contact

Our experts

Karolina Rucinska

Sustainability Strategist | Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales

Karolina joined Cynnal Cymru in 2021 to provide consultancy support to the public and private sectors on how to become more sustainable in their operations.

Originally from Poland, Karolina developed her interest in sustainable development having witnessed the unintended consequences of the huge transformations that took place in her home country and the Republic of Ireland which she later moved to.

This lived experience prompted her to pursue higher degrees focused on sustainability, tourism, food systems and public understanding of science at Cardiff University. While a student, Karolina was involved in research investigating farm animal welfare, but later she moved to manage research projects at the Cardiff School of Engineering. There, she gained an appreciation of energy systems and the challenges that come with decarbonising them.

In her spare time, Karolina volunteers at Oasis Cardiff as a lead gardener and the Good Gym as a task member. She refuses to learn to drive and is a firm believer and practitioner of low carbon lifestyle. Karolina is described as one that brings people together and strives to make things better.

Huw Williams

Principle Carbon Accountant & Verifier | Auditel

As an Associate Consultant of British Standards Institute, NQA Partner and IEMA Affiliate, Huw is qualified in the GHG Protocol Accounting & Reporting Standard, ISO14064-1, ISO14068-1, TCFD, CFD, CBAM, PAS2060, and PAS2080 he has worked with many organisations to calculate their carbon footprint and create robust and achievable carbon reduction plans. Huw understands that businesses need to grow and adapt whilst also achieving carbon reduction. With over 30 years’ experience in sales and operations, working with organisations from SME’s to Corporate Groups, he has worked with, and understands the Private Equity market.

Auditel is a leading Cost, Procurement & Carbon Solutions Company. We help organisations reduce their carbon emissions whilst also reducing their costs. In the current challenging economic climate, organisations are battling with the desire to drive growth and profitability, whilst investing in low carbon emitting technologies to reduce their carbon footprint and speed up their journey to achieving Net Zero.

23 April | Ask the Expert: Carbon Accounting Read More »

View of forest from the air

9 April | Deforestation Free Business (DFB) Champions

Do you want to be part of a growing movement of socially responsible Welsh businesses who are leading the way in protecting tropical forests?


Cynnal Cymru and climate change charity Size of Wales will be holding an in-person, peer-to-peer learning event to help businesses take practical steps to address tropical deforestation and social impacts within their supply chains.

During the event, participants will hear from organisations who have already started their Deforestation Free journey and learn the practical steps to help them reduce their tropical forest footprint. It will include a forest-risk surgery to help identify areas for action, with support and advice from the Size of Wales team. The event will provide a fantastic opportunity to meet a supportive business network committed to acting for forests, people and nature.

The event will be hosted by Orchard Media at their premises on Trade Street, Cardiff, and ethically sourced coffee and pastries will be provided. 

9 April | Deforestation Free Business (DFB) Champions Read More »

We Must Believe That The World Can Be Different: Welsh Pensions and Deforestation

We Must Believe That The World Can Be Different:

Welsh Pensions and Deforestation

We must believe that the world can be different.

This comes from the foreword to the recently published ‘Saving for the future: A report into Wales’ public pension exposure to global deforestation’. 

It is a specific call on Wales and the rest of the world to act to ensure that investments in pension funds are not driving the destruction of the home of the Guarani people in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest – of which only 12% remains intact.  

The report is published by climate change charity and Cynnal Cymru member Size of Wales, and Global Canopy, a data-driven not-for-profit that uses clear metrics and actionable insights to help organisations make better decisions about nature, forests, and people. 

The report highlights how a handful of commodities including beef and soy are devastating indigenous lands and communities, not least through the massive use of pesticides – many of which have been banned in the Global North due to their impact on other animals, water, soil and human health. The report’s launch event on 28 November highlighted the extent to which indigenous lands have been converted or confined between plantations often preceded or accompanied by human rights abuses. 

The report then makes the uncomfortable link between these destructive practices and Welsh pension funds, which can directly impact deforestation through the sectors and industries that they invest in. The report looks at the eight Local Government Pension Schemes that make up the Wales Pension Partnership. It finds that at least 10% of investments made by the eight funds are at a high risk of financing deforestation – equivalent to £2.6 billion across the partnership. When the descriptor is changed from ‘high risk’ to ‘likely exposed to deforestation’, the figure changes to 45%, equivalent to more than £11 billion.  

There is therefore an enormous opportunity for Welsh pension funds to drive change.

The report sets out a clear step by step methodology for doing so. 

If your organisation wants to act on this or other deforestation risks, you can take the first step today by joining the Size of Wales movement to make Wales a Deforestation-Free Nation.

We Must Believe That The World Can Be Different: Welsh Pensions and Deforestation Read More »

A large wave crashes onto the edge of the pier with a visible lighthouse in Porthcawl.

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public

This week NICW has launched a new climate research project run by Cynnal Cymru to explore how climate change is communicated to communities. Over five months, the research team will analyse current trends and meet with communities to ultimately help public bodies engage better with the public to manage long-term climate risks.

Climate change is a serious issue that will transform landscapes worldwide, including Wales. The impact will be particularly significant here in Wales, where 60% of the population and the infrastructure we depend on are located in coastal areas. Many communities in these areas are situated below the high tide line, and rising sea levels and increased storms will gradually erode coastlines at a rate of 20-67m every 100 years. This rate is expected to increase to 82-175m depending on the level of carbon emissions.

However, rising sea levels are not the only change that the people of Wales will experience. Prolonged heat waves, heavy storms, and droughts might become the new norm, posing significant challenges to everyone. Therefore, it is essential to consider these impacts when maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, which is often over 200 years old.

It is also crucial to recognise that the likelihood and severity of these risks will increase in the coming decades. Public bodies, the Welsh Government, and other important stakeholders must make critical decisions on responding to this risk, which may require responding to this risk and ensuring that communities are also engaged in the difficult decisions around planning and investment.

About the Project

The new project launched on November 6, 2023 and is set to end in March 2024. Its main objective is to help public bodies make better decisions and engage with the public to manage long-term climate risks. This learning will be applied to other climate threats as well. The project will focus on engaging those who are directly or indirectly affected by the risks, as well as the wider public, who may be affected in the future by the use of our nation’s infrastructure assets or in their homes. 

To accomplish these goals, the project will analyse current and emerging data about climate threats and ways to communicate these threats through interviews with stakeholders, including the NICW. Additionally, the analysis of the call for evidence, which is currently open, will be considered. Ultimately, this is a scoping project that aims to assist NICW in establishing a wider research program for 2024/2025 and provide recommendations on governance.

Cynnal Cymru, a sustainable development charity, was chosen to run the project due to their innovative approach to how the public, including policymakers, can act in the face of uncertainty.

Cynnal Cymru

“We are excited to contribute to this important initiative by providing direct insight on climate, engagement, and decision-making to those whose decisions will directly impact the well-being of communities in Wales”.

Helen Armstrong 

“We commissioned this project because we wanted to be pushed and challenged about how we think and communicate climate change with the public and decision-makers in Wales.” 

Steve Brooks 

“Climate change affects us all, but its effects vary across Wales and we want to ensure diverse voices are part of our strategy.” 

About the National Infrastructure 

The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) was established in 2018 as an independent, non-statutory advisory body to Welsh Ministers. Its key purpose is to analyse, advise and make recommendations on Wales’ longer-term strategic economic and environmental infrastructure needs over a 5-80-year period. Welsh Ministers have recently set the NICW a new remit for this Senedd term which includes investigating and making recommendations to the Welsh Government on climate change resilience.  

About Cynnal Cymru 

Since 2002, Cynnal Cymru has paved the way for sustainable development in Wales. We aim to help organisations create a fairer and more secure future for all through training, consultancy, research, and facilitation. A fair and secure future is sustainable and climate literate, which is why we provide training and consultancy as a partner of the Carbon Literacy Project and across other sustainability areas. Our Fair Work team help businesses create fairer working practices as the Welsh accreditor of the real Living Wage. 

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public Read More »

Cynnal Cymru Strengthens Board with New Trustee Appointees 

The charity turns these sustainability values into practical action by providing advice and training to assist businesses on their sustainability journey. Cynnal Cymru also works to spread fair working practices across Wales, including by managing Living Wage Wales and delivering pay rises for the lowest paid in Wales’ economy. These actions make Cynnal Cymru a catalyst for a just transition to a greener and fairer society. 

The journey towards sustainability however is a challenge that needs to involve everyone. With this key objective in mind the Charity’s Board set out to seek broader representation of skills and lived experience amongst its trustees – from a wide range of applicants that exceeded expectations. From a diverse range of candidates, each bringing different insights, skills and perspectives, three new trustees have joined the Board to steer the Charity’s future work. 

Dan Tram grew up in Cardiff and has worked for Arup, a global sustainable development consultancy, for six years. As a senior engineer in Arup’s water team, he advocates and delivers sustainable solutions to the many challenges we face, with a particular focus on using nature and sustainable water management to reshape our towns and cities. Dan was listed as a Future 100 Changemaker by the Future Generations Commissioner. 

Sam Stensland works for Business in the Community, which aims to bring about a fairer and greener world driven by fairer and greener businesses. He is a Trustee of Tylorstown Welfare Hall and is a Grants Panellist with WCVA, bringing strong experience of place-based grant-making, cross-sector collaboration, and strategic marketing. He has a strong sustainability background, holding an MSc in Political Ecology.

Nirushan Sudarsan is deeply embedded in the agenda to bring fair working practices to all people and communities. He runs two social enterprises, Ffair Jobs CIC and Grange Pavilion Youth Forum CIC. His work with Ffair Jobs has been instrumental in establishing the Community Jobs Compact, which has been signed by major employers such as IKEA, ITV Wales, Careers Wales, and the Welsh Parliament.  

Diane McCrea, Chair of Cynnal Cymru’s Board, said: “All charities rely on small groups of committed volunteers to step up and take on the role as trustees. They safeguard the organisation’s mission, oversee key financial and governance tasks, and provide critical thinking, challenge and support to help staff deliver their best work. Dan, Sam and Nirushan bring with them skills and insights from a broad range of professional and a wide range of lived experience, strengthening our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. I am delighted to welcome them to the Board Trustee team to help further Cynnal Cymru’s mission.” 

Cynnal Cymru Strengthens Board with New Trustee Appointees  Read More »

Nature Wise for business – ‘Give it a go, because the clock is ticking’

Tell us about Orangebox and your role 

We design and manufacture office furniture and the company is sustainability-led. Our HQ and two factories are in south-east Wales, and three years ago we were bought out by Steelcase, a big American company. 

I joined as a furniture designer around 20 years ago, but just over a year ago I became Head of Sustainability. I’m interested in minimising our carbon footprint and I also look after our energy efficiency. 

Why is nature important to you and the businesses? 

I do a lot of cycling, I’m a keen birdwatcher and part of a conservation group. So I’m passionate about biodiversity and I’m helping Orangebox acknowledge that climate change isn’t the only big risk.  

Part of the Orangebox team volunteering at the Stump up for Trees nursery outside of Abergavenny.

How important is nature in your sector? 

Increasingly so, but we are at the first rungs on the ladder. Orangebox prides itself on being environmentally-led, but it’s always felt like we’ve been pushing. Now customers are asking how they can reduce their carbon footprint. The biodiversity and nature discussion is nowhere near as mature, but as we see more media exposure of biodiversity loss that will increase exponentially in the next 5 years.  

What do you think are the best things about nature in Wales?  

It’s the variety. I love where I live because in half an hour I can be on top of a mountain, on a cliff looking out to sea, or at Newport wetlands surrounded by thousands of starlings. 

I work in a design studio on the banks of the Taff, where I’m lucky to look onto woodland. Every time we see a species of bird we print out a picture and put it on the wall. You won’t believe how many species we’ve seen!  

Why did you choose to do Nature Wise? 

The minute I saw it, I wanted to deepen my knowledge of how ecosystems work and get a better understanding of biodiversity loss. Because I’m with Cardiff Conservation Volunteers my course was essentially free, as it was funded by GWR. 

Volunteering at Stump up for Trees.

How was the course? 

I really enjoyed it. The trainers knew the content and had passion for it, and it was just the right level in terms of complexity. 

What changes are you making, following the course? 

Personally, I’ve pledged to do more in my village and have been talking to my neighbours. But more impactful will be how I can help at Orangebox. We’re thinking harder about the materials we use and where they come from. For example, we use a lot of wood, and while that is low impact compared to plastics and metals, we still have to buy most of it from abroad. So we’re working hard on developing partnerships that allow us to source wood from well-managed forests in the UK.  

Litter Gareth collected from a local stream.

What would you say to others about why they should sign up for Nature Wise? 

Give it a go, because the clock is ticking.  

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

Nature Wise for business – ‘Give it a go, because the clock is ticking’ Read More »

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis?

“I’m really excited about the future if we tackle these crises in a positive way. We’ve lost so much biodiversity in Britain. And in my lifetime, if we could see that natural spectacle come back, what a wonderful future we could create.” (Dan)

“There’s a trillion planets but as far as we know, we are on the only one that can sustain life! It just proves how precise the conditions need to be for life. And you know, climate change, it’s not about the planet: it’s about life, here.” (Carys)

“As a kid, I enjoyed playing in nature. It’s so important for confidence, learning about yourself. And that’s only going to be possible for kids in the future if they don’t have to worry about how resilient the environment is.” (Gethyn, Ecologist)

“I was born in rural France and I can see all this change. If we don’t make a difference now, then the world we live in will be so different, so dangerous for the future generation. Think about that! We have to sort it out.”

“We’re helping to decarbonise Wales one business at a time so they can have a good carbon footprint and a solid carbon reduction plan because it just makes perfect sense.” (Dave, Auditel)

“I think the vegan movement and a more plant based lifestyle is a way that is going to help propel us into a more conscious future.” (Carly)

“It’s my duty of care as a teacher to have an interest in sustainability and make sure it has a direct impact in education and on future generations.” (Mary)

“I’m involved primarily for my and others’ future generations. But also because it’s the sensible way to live” (Ceri)

“I’m of the insect-splattered windscreen generation. My children have no concept of it; it’s declined by 80% in my lifetime. It’s the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Halting and reversing the moving baseline is what inspires me.” (Ben, Woop Woop Magazine)

“The time is now to think and work collectively to envision a brighter and environmentally just world. Join the conversation to realise a better planet and collective future. We need to move beyond doom and imagine what is possible.” (Louise)

“SMEs account for over half of the UKs economy and I feel a sense of honour and privilege in playing a part in a more sustainable commercial future.” (Louis, Web Marketer UK)

“My belief that we have a moral obligation to leave the world a better place was strengthened when I travelled & experienced the impact of climate change first hand. Now I use my unique skillset to try to reverse the damage that’s been done” (Ant, Motion Manor)

“When you have a home planet that has everything in it to help you live a good life, it makes sense to look after it. It’s self care – for us as a species who have the good fortune to exist in this bountiful ecosystem.” (Sylvia, Cynnal Cymru)

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis? Read More »

'It's important for people to disconnect from work and get out in nature' Julie Longton, Associate Director (Grasshopper Communications)

Nature Wise for Business – ‘being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing’

What is your job at Grasshopper Communications?

I’m a communications professional at Grasshopper, a communications agency with an office in Cardiff. Our work is all about social value, we create campaigns that change attitudes and actions in positive, lasting ways. We partner with like-minded organisations, such as renewable energy companies, environment agencies and local and Welsh Government, supporting campaigns on active travel, regeneration, net zero and conservation.  

What are the best things about nature for you? 

I work remotely and I’m usually in front of my laptop, so it’s critical I spend any free time out by the beach, or in the woods walking with my kids and spotting birds and beetles. 

I want to bring my children up so that they’re really fond of nature. Our local beach, Maenporth (near Falmouth), has lots of craggy rocks and little tunnels which kids love. We can go whatever the weather – they just love it! 

How important is nature to your sector? 

I think that for communications – for most industries – people have realised that the environment is important for staff wellbeing. The pandemic was a bit of a turning point, when we realised that we need human connection but also that being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing.  

Why is nature important to you and the business? 

Personally, being closer to nature was part of the motivation for moving with my family from London to Cornwall. I wanted my children to be close to the woods and the beach, to have more work-life balance and be closer to wildlife.  

As for Grasshopper, wellbeing is a real focus for us – it’s part of our culture. It’s important for people to disconnect from work and get out in nature. In fact, this year we’re hopefully starting some team voluntary work to support a local conservation charity.  

Grasshopper Communications team on a wellbeing day.

Why did you do the Nature Wise course? 

I was keen to do it because at the time I was putting together a communications strategy for a project for Natural Resources Wales, called Natur Am Byth. The aim is to bring people closer to nature and protect endangered species. So Nature Wise was really helpful for that role, particularly for the work I was doing on how to inspire people. 

How did you find the course? 

I thought it was brilliant. The trainers were really good and it really was a two-way course with lots of discussion. Doing it over two days meant you could go away and digest it before coming back to the next phase. 

What would you say to others about doing Nature Wise?  

Go for it! Whether you’re a junior member of staff or a senior manager, it’s relevant for anyone with an interest in the environment who wants to take a more active role. 

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

Nature Wise for Business – ‘being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing’ Read More »

Save our Wild Isles

The experience was organised by WWF Cymru, RSPB Cymru and National Trust Cymru together with experts from the Open University that brought to life the Save Our Wild Isles campaign and television series, demanding an immediate halt to the destruction of nature here in the UK and urgent action for its recovery.

The event outlined the challenges facing us and how everyone has a part to play in supporting this recovery – something Sylvia and Jason know first-hand from their experience teaching Cynnal Cymru’s Nature Wise | Nabod Natur course. It brought together nature ambassadors advocating on behalf of our precious grasslands, freshwater areas, woodlands and oceans in a combination of film screenings, panel discussions and interpretation boards, all accompanied by a delicious sustainable vegan meal provided by local caterers Wild Thing Cardiff.

This fantastic opportunity to network and share experiences with others working in the sustainability sector did, however, make clear just how much work still needs to be done. The statistics are deeply worrying: 30 million birds have vanished from our skies over the last 50 years and as many as 1 in 6 species is at risk of extinction here in Wales. And this is something humanity has caused: in the words of Sir David Attenborough, “this starts and ends with us”.

But all is not lost – part of the event was to promote the People’s Plan for Nature created by thousands of people across the UK in an inclusive participatory process calling for “urgent, immediate action from everyone to protect and restore nature for future generations”. The Plan is an ambitious vision which aims to bring the nature crisis and nature conservation to the forefront of decision making while maintaining the delicate balance between human and non-human needs. Add your voice now to the People’s Plan for Nature and make it too big to ignore any longer.

Save our Wild Isles Read More »

Nature Wise for Business – Working in harmony with nature

What is your role at Arup?

My focus is on two projects with Welsh Water, helping them maintain and improve sewer systems. My job includes sending out survey crews and coming up with ways to make sure the system works properly.

Is there anything you think is particularly special about nature in Wales?

I grew up in west Wales and we have fantastic beaches there – one of my favourite spots is Tresaith (in Ceredigion). I love seeing birds, seals and dolphins. Since moving to the valleys I really appreciate the waterfalls and forests, and I like walking at Garwnant (in the Brecon Beacons, near Merthyr Tydfil).

Why did you take the Nature Wise course?

I was interested because I saw it as an opportunity to link my work with my interest in nature. I like spending time outdoors, doing walking and cycling in the Brecon Beacons, so I often think about how to improve the environment.

How useful did you find the course?

It was very helpful to focus on what you can do as an individual, how I can think in a more eco-friendly way and talk to others about preserving nature for future generations. I really liked hearing success stories like the recovery of the red kite.

Why should someone do Nature Wise?

It’s great for beginners, as it explains why it’s important to look after the natural environment, sets out the problem and lays out solutions. For those with more knowledge it’s a refresher. We need policy makers to have these attitudes embedded.

What have you been doing to help nature since doing the course?

Arup’s very good at considering the impact of its actions, but I have presented what I learnt to my colleagues and that’s been a useful reminder.

Personally, I’ve been working on my garden and had been planning to dig up the tree stumps. I’ve now realised they’re a vital habitat that’s being lost. I’ve explained this to my children – it’s a good teaching opportunity! Another thing in my plan is to try to have more native plants.

What about the future?

I hope construction will use more nature-based solutions, like using wetlands. And I hope that will filter through into the general population and people will realise how important nature is, and have more of a connection.

What is your message to other engineers?

I’d say that the more we involve nature in solutions, the more durable that project will be. So let’s work with nature rather than fight against it!

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

Nature Wise for Business – Working in harmony with nature Read More »

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