News

We’re recruiting: Director

Salary: £55,000 – £60,000 based on experience, pro rata

Duration: Permanent

Hours: 30 or 37.5 hours per week (4 or 5 days)

Location: Flexible working / Cardiff office based / home working

Start date: As soon as possible

Closing date for applications:12 noon 3 May 2024
Interview date:17 May 2024
Interview location:In-person, Cardiff

Cynnal Cymru is the leading sustainable development organisation in Wales.  With charitable aims at our core, we provide advice, training and connections to help organisations take bold decisions for a fairer and more secure future.

The past few years have seen rapid growth both in the staff team numbers and in our reach. We have been working hard to deliver our unique services, and have done remarkably well. But now is the time to reflect and consolidate our success – before we step forward to further grow our impact for a sustainable future.

Could you be the person to take us forward with this ambitious agenda as our new Director?

We are looking for someone who can help us strengthen our skills and expertise and lead us through a period of consolidation and change as we continue to deliver our ambitious agenda of enabling action towards a fair and just society, a low carbon economy and a thriving natural environment.

You may be an experienced CEO or an experienced senior manager looking for a step up. Our new Director will be skilled in both people and organisational management, with very good business and financial acumen.

We are a lively and progressive charity at an important stage in our development. If our mission resonates and you share our aims, we would love to hear from you.


How to apply

Eastside People is supporting Cynnal Cymru in the recruitment of this role.

All applications will be anonymised to ensure no subconscious biases advantage or disadvantage anyone.


Further information

How we work

We understand that our staff have commitments and priorities outside of work and are therefore happy to explore any flexible working arrangement that will enable you to deliver your best work, providing the organisation business needs can also be met.

We are actively seeking to reach a diverse pool of candidates and we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that any potential employees may need to be successful.

Our office is based in the centre of Cardiff and is easily accessible by public transport. We operate a hybrid working model with staff working between the office and home.

Diversity and Inclusion 

Cynnal Cymru is committed to providing equal employment opportunity in all its employment programmes and decisions. We recognise that a diverse and inclusive movement is critical to solving climate change and other sustainability challenges, and that we must ensure that all those directly impacted – particularly those who have been excluded in the past – are at the centre of the movement for change.

We actively seek out training and advice that can make our staff positions accessible to all potential team members, regardless of race, colour, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, assigned gender, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation or identity, religion or creed, veteran status, and marital or parental status. We strive to recruit team members from communities most impacted by climate change or impacted by other kinds of environmental, social, and economic injustice. We therefore strongly encourage applications from people from ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ people, and members of marginalised communities including those with a visible or hidden disability.

We guarantee an interview to any applicant from the above groups that meets the essential criteria for the post.

Sustainability  

We expect you to carry out your job responsibilities in a sustainable manner, ensuring as little damage to our world as possible.  Our aim is to ensure all resources are used effectively, efficiently and ethically.

Welsh Language Policy     

In carrying out our work, we try to be as bilingual as possible in our daily operations and treat the English and Welsh languages equally so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practical.  

We’re recruiting: Director Read More »

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 membership@cynnalcymru.com

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 »

Two women sit back to back on a step

Cynnal Cymru’s advice team grows

Camille will b responsible for helping guideing Cynnal Cymru’s clients towards more effectiveand through their transition to sustainable practices by providing them with personalised andmanageable action points. Camille joins our team of specialists providing advice to organisationswho want to become sustainable, led by our Sustainability Strategist Dr Karolina Rucinska., whohas recently been promoted as a manager to lead this growing team.Karolina said:‘Camille brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and has a talent for systems thinking,explaining complex topics in a engaging and impactful way, and insights that help shift mindsetswhile offering practical solutions.’Camille previously collaborated with Cynnal Cymru on sustainability guides for SMEs alongwith co-creator Gillian Rumsey. Theis free guides delves into a range of topics, such as wastemanagement, energy efficiency, responsible material sourcing, and sustainable supply chainmanagement, among others. Each guide delivers clear, actionable recommendations, illustratedwith real-life examples to motivate and steer SMEs towards a sustainable future.Camille said:‘As a recent Sustainable Development graduate, I am thrilled about the possibility to not onlycarry out my knowledge and skills in practice, but to work with a talented and inspiringSustainability Strategist who is able to think holistically in her approach to addressingunsustainable practices. Already in my first two weeks of being in my new role, I have beenencouraged to set goals for yearly progress that merges my personal passions with project ideasthat can be developed within the organisation. As you can image, I am excited to get started onsome of these projects and work towards minimising unsustainable business practices aroundWales.Whilst new to the role, this is not my first time working with Cynnal Cymru. Earlier last year, Idid a four-month internship working with Karolina Rucinska to develop sustainability guides forSMEs. It was based on this positive experience that I decided to apply for a job in theorganisation. However, I was unsuccessful in the first attempt. Nevertheless, the feedback I wasgiven following the interview process gave me great insight into what I did well and what I couldhave done better. So, when another relevant job posting surfaced from Cynnal Cymru monthslater, I applied for the job and I applied the feedback, which, I believe, is what gave me theadvantage. Being a little persistent does have its charm I suppose.’Camille moved to the UK from Denmark, pursuing her passion for and education in systems-focused approaches, and specifically how their application can build and enhance localcommunity agency and ownership. She brings with her extensive knowledge and understandingof how global challenges interlink, and their impact on local communities, and is always keen toexplore these challenges and find effective strategies for addressing them.CTA (signpost to new Sustainability Advice page or email?):So, whether your organisation is taking its first steps towards emissions-reduction or in need of acomprehensive footprint and action plan, we have the expertise to help you achieve your goals.If developing a sustainability strategy, action plan or staff workshop for idea-generation has been on your to-do list, then Camille and Karolina are keen tohelp! Please get in touch at…. Or learn more here (if Advice page ready

Camille will be responsible for helping Cynnal Cymru’s clients towards more effective and sustainable practices by providing them with personalised and manageable action points. Camille joins our team of specialists, led by our Sustainability Strategist Dr Karolina Rucinska.

Karolina said:
‘Camille brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and has a talent for systems thinking, explaining complex topics in a engaging and impactful way, and insights that help shift mindsets while offering practical solutions.’

Camille previously collaborated with Cynnal Cymru on sustainability guides for SMEs along with co-creator Gillian Rumsey. The free guides delves into a range of topics, such as waste management, energy efficiency, responsible material sourcing, and sustainable supply chain management. Each guide delivers clear, actionable recommendations, illustrated with real-life examples to motivate and steer SMEs towards a sustainable future.

Camille said:
‘As a recent Sustainable Development graduate, I am thrilled about the possibility to not only carry out my knowledge and skills in practice, but to work with a talented and inspiring Sustainability Strategist who is able to think holistically in her approach to addressing unsustainable practices. Already in my first two weeks of being in my new role, I have been encouraged to set goals for yearly progress that merges my personal passions with project ideas that can be developed within the organisation. As you can image, I am excited to get started on some of these projects and work towards minimising unsustainable business practices around Wales.

Whilst new to the role, this is not my first time working with Cynnal Cymru. Earlier last year, I did a four-month internship working with Karolina Rucinska to develop sustainability guides for SMEs. It was based on this positive experience that I decided to apply for a job in the organisation. However, I was unsuccessful in the first attempt. Nevertheless, the feedback I was given following the interview process gave me great insight into what I did well and what I could have done better. So, when another relevant job posting surfaced from Cynnal Cymru months later, I applied for the job and I applied the feedback, which, I believe, is what gave me the advantage. Being a little persistent does have its charm I suppose.’

Camille moved to the UK from Denmark, pursuing her passion for and education in systems-focused approaches, and specifically how their application can build and enhance local community agency and ownership. She brings with her extensive knowledge and understanding of how global challenges interlink, and their impact on local communities, and is always keen to explore these challenges and find effective strategies for addressing them.

So, whether your organisation is taking its first steps towards emissions-reduction or in need of a comprehensive footprint and action plan, we have the expertise to help you achieve your goals.

If developing a sustainability strategy, action plan or staff workshop for idea-generation has been on your to-do list, then Camille and Karolina are keen to help! Please get in touch at advice@cynnalcymru.com or learn more here.

Cynnal Cymru’s advice team grows Read More »

An image of two people walking in the park, one holding a bike

Reconnecting face-to-face in a climate-conscious world

While convenient, virtual meetings can’t fully replicate the power of in-person interactions. Non-verbal cues, spontaneity, and the energy of shared space contribute to trust, understanding, and ultimately, sharper collaboration. Pre-pandemic travel patterns could have been better, but dismissing in-person meetings entirely ignores these significant benefits.

The answer lies in strategic, mindful choices with multiple co-benefits:

Reducing emissions: Connecting locally

  • Prioritise local clients: Connect with nearby clients face-to-face, favouring trains or carpooling for reduced emissions and increased productivity during commutes.
  • Embrace hybrid approaches: Combine virtual elements with smaller, local teams for distant clients, fostering strong relationships while saving travel time and costs.
  • Optimise travel when necessary: Choose the most fuel-efficient mode – trains, buses, or carpooling – for reduced emissions, individual cost savings, and potential networking opportunities.
  • Advocate for change: Encourage clients and organisations to prioritise sustainable travel options and infrastructure development, contributing to a wider positive impact on the environment and society.

Beyond the footprint: Optimizing for more than the environment

  • Maximising time: Careful planning and efficient travel modes can minimise travel time while maximising productivity, boosting your personal efficiency and client satisfaction.
  • Boosting well-being: Balancing virtual and in-person interactions offers both focused solitude and stimulating social interaction, contributing to increased personal well-being and potentially enhancing creativity during client meetings.

Leading the way: Beyond words, actions that speak volumes

As consultants, we have the opportunity to champion sustainable practices in a post-pandemic world. By demonstrating that face-to-face connections can thrive alongside environmental responsibility, we can:

  • Inspire clients and organisations to embrace sustainable travel solutions, driving positive change within the business community.
  • Drive wider change by advocating for infrastructure development that prioritises sustainability, contributing to a more liveable and environmentally friendly future for all.
  • Become exemplars of walking the walk, showcasing how success can be achieved while minimising our environmental impact, building trust and respect with clients who share similar values.

Leading by example: Cynnal Cymru’s commitment to sustainable client meetings

While the pandemic sparked the widespread adoption of virtual meetings, the desire for face-to-face client interaction is undeniably returning. At Cynnal Cymru, however, we recognise that prioritizing the planet shouldn’t come at the expense of strong client relationships. That’s why we’ve implemented specific measures to ensure our consultations are both fruitful and environmentally responsible.

Our travel policy: Walking the talk

  • Active Travel First: We prioritise walking, cycling, and public transport for all local meetings. By making this the default option, we minimise emissions and promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Open Communication: We openly discuss our travel policy with clients, explaining our commitment to sustainability and encouraging them to explore eco-friendly travel options when visiting our office.
  • Transparency and Tracking: We’ve added a dedicated line in our expense claims for employees to specify their mode of travel and destination. This allows us to monitor our impact and identify areas for further improvement.
  • No to Flights: As an organisation, we’ve made a conscious decision to avoid air travel entirely. While this may restrict our geographic reach, it underscores our unwavering dedication to minimising our carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Directions: We provide clients with detailed instructions on reaching our office using public transport, cycling routes, and walking and wheeling paths. This empowers them to make informed choices that align with their own sustainability values.

Beyond the policy: Continuous improvement

While we’ve made significant strides, we acknowledge that there’s always room for growth. One area we’re focusing on is onboarding new staff. We recognise that not everyone instinctively integrates active travel into their business travel routines. We have incorporated sustainability awareness training into our onboarding process to ensure everyone understands and embraces our travel policy.

Join the conversation

We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on navigating the balance between client relationships and environmental responsibility. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for all.

Reconnecting face-to-face in a climate-conscious world 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 »

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 »

Take action for nature - Event resources & links

How to take action for nature

For making links with voluntary or community organisations in your local area, the County Voluntary Council CVC is a good place to start. You can find your nearest CVC by visiting their website and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

For specialist nature advice, you can contact the Local Nature Partnership Coordinator for your local authority area and find ideas for projects to support or link in with on the LNP Cymru website.

For a monthly calendar of seasonal actions you take for nature at home or at work, we have the Nature Wise Actions for All Seasons calendar.

There are also great resources for ideas on environmental volunteering, monitoring and recording, community gardens and more on the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website.

If you have any community project links, be sure to check out the Local Places for Nature scheme that provides free guidance and free ‘garden packs’  with plants, seeds and tools, to groups wanting to create and care for wildlife-friendly areas.

And finally, if you would like to learn more about ecosystems – how to understand them, talk about them and take action to protect and restore them – join one of our next Nature Wise training sessions.

Cynnal Cymru members benefit from one free training place per year on one of our our Nature Wise or Carbon Literacy open training courses.

A full event summary and round-up will be available soon.

How to take action for nature Read More »

Cynnal Cymru welcomes two new staff members

In the last month, Cynnal Cymru has welcomed two new employees to support our growing work programme. Our team of 17 sustainability specialists work to support organisations across three core programme areas: (i) low carbon economy, (ii) natural environment and (iii) fair and just society.

To support our connections agenda, we welcome our new Policy Engagement officer Phoebe Nicklin. They will primarily be working on the Foundational Economy network that Cynnal Cymru facilitates on behalf of Welsh Government.

To support our internal operations, we welcome Beli Evans as our Communications and Marketing Officer. They will be part of a team of creatives, advisors, trainers and facilitators, who are passionate about supporting our clients, members and communities to take bold decisions for a fairer and more secure future.

Phoebe Nicklin

Phoebe is the Policy and Engagement officer supporting the Foundational Economy network that Cynnal Cymru currently facilitates on behalf of Welsh Government. She also works to build collaboration around sustainability issues including fair work, a just transition, climate and biodiversity.

Phoebe has a diverse set of skills and knowledge from previously working for Cardiff University on research and community engagement projects to connect Welsh communities to nature for health and wellbeing. Phoebe has a strong background in innovation, working with the NHS on healthcare initiatives to encourage engagement with green spaces, increasing biodiversity through rewilding, pollinator and citizen science projects.

Phoebe is excited to be supporting the Foundational economy network as she is passionate about equality and access to essential goods and services. 

Outside of work Phoebe enjoys spending time in nature, ice skating, gaming and gardening. 

Beli Evans

Beli joins Cynnal Cymru as the Marketing and Communications Officer. They have spent the past decade in similar communications roles across the nonprofit sector, including most recently as the Marketing and Communications Director for SpokesPerson CIC, improving cycling accessibility across Cardiff and South Wales.

Beli is excited about the opportunity to delve more into climate and sustainability communications and engage more closely with Cynnal Cymru’s wide array of communities and stakeholders. They are an expert in trans and disability accessibility and look forward to bringing that to the role.

Beli’s life and career so far has been varied in kind and location – ask them about living and working in LA or their early career as a dog trainer! Outside of work, you’ll find them singing in Songbirds Choir, organising with Disability Collective Cymru and South Wales Drag King Collective, or hunkered down finishing their novel.

Cynnal Cymru welcomes two new staff members 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 »

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