Latest updates

How carbon literacy makes a difference

An infographic sharing the small actions Fiona takes to reduce her carbon emissions

Probably like a lot of people, I sometimes wonder what I, as just one person, can really do to effect the change we need in the world. The news can be depressing – even overwhelming. It’s easy to fall into a fatalistic mood and think that nothing we do will really change anything.

Becoming Carbon Literate has given me a more optimistic view of things. At work, I’m surrounded by people who care about the challenges of climate change – and are doing something positive about it. I work closely with the Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) consortium, a group of Welsh registered social landlords who came together to improve Carbon Literacy within their organisations by pooling their knowledge and resources. Cynnal Cymru worked with the Carbon Literacy Project to create a certified course tailored to the housing sector, and volunteers from each member organisation learned how to deliver it and then began rolling it out to their colleagues, providing the peer-to-peer training that is a key tenet of Carbon Literacy. I facilitate regular Community of Practice meetings for the consortium to provide a platform for support and networking, and the enthusiasm and hard work of the trainers are inspiring – and have so far resulted in more than 400 people becoming certified as Carbon Literate. With the consortium due to continue into 2023 and beyond, that number will continue to grow. As part of my own Carbon Literacy group pledge I’ve also been working with the Cynnal Cymru team to create content for our newsletter and social media, providing advice and tips on how everyone can reduce their daily carbon footprint.

Outside the office, I’ve been doing my best to reduce my own carbon footprint – and the training has given me the knowledge I need to make meaningful changes. It taught me that some of my preconceptions were wrong, and that something as simple as buying a new pair of jeans can have a huge carbon footprint. I’ve now restricted myself to only buying essential items of clothing, buying second hand if possible, and if not then choosing companies that have good sustainability policies. We’ve also just made the switch to a full electric car – it’s a bit of a step into the unknown, but should significantly lower our household’s carbon footprint. My individual Carbon Literacy pledge was to not take another commercial flight, but I’ve also become much more aware of the importance of the things I do every day. Taking a shower, making a cup of tea, even sending an email – everything we do has a carbon footprint, and thanks to the training, I understand much better now how to make changes to the little things that will have a much larger cumulative effect. The Carbon Literacy training bridges the gap between enthusiasm and knowledge, providing the keystone that informs what we do and the impact we can have. The choices I make now are far more informed, and I am confident that they are making a difference.

Find out more about our Carbon Literacy course

Our New Members in November

Asbri Planning

Asbri Planning is a planning and development consultancy. They work in the development industry with the main aim to see their clients obtain planning consent for development.

Find out more about Asbri Planning >>

Tree Law

Tree Law is a law firm based in the Glamorgan. It is a carbon neutral firm which specialises in all law around trees, whether that is planning, damage, rights or protection. Their USP is that 10% of fees get donated to the client’s choice of charity on conclusion of their legal case. In Wales, those donations are asked to be in line with the Future Generations Act.

Find out more about Tree Law >>

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 >>

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

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

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

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

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