Latest updates

The Three Questions – Supercool

Since 2004 Supercool have been collaborating with ambitious, forward-thinking clients – from big music venues to intimate theatres, global touring companies to local festivals – on websites, digital applications, digital strategy and consultancy, and branding projects.

Who you are and what your organisation does?

Katie Parry – a co-owner and director at digital design agency, Supercool. We craft beautiful, accessible, and performant websites for arts and culture sector clients across Wales, England, and Scotland.

What has Carbon Literacy training done for you and the organisation?

On the personal side, the Carbon Literacy training offered by Sustain Wales has given me a good understanding of – and ability to talk with others about – the basics of climate change. I now feel more confident discussing it with friends and family.

My personal pledge was about eating and drinking more locally/sustainably. Since becoming carbon literate, I’ve reduced the amount of meat I eat, I buy more produce locally, and have switched from supermarket plastic bottled milk to local milk delivery in reusable glass bottles.

As for work, making my ‘group pledge’ related to our work at Supercool is a great motivator to get it done! My pledge was to write a guide to having sustainable in-person meetings, and I’m hoping to get this written and published over the next couple of months.

Thinking about your organisations journey with sustainability. What would your advice be for a business starting down this road? (3 top tips)

1) Work out your business’s carbon footprint – there are lots of online tools that can help you with this

2) Review and reduce your energy consumption – from small things like using LED lightbulbs in the office, to big things like ditching the office altogether.

3) Make sustainability an intrinsic part of your company – we’ve seen business benefits including improved recruitment and retention, and it’s helped us to win new clients too.

“I found the Carbon Literacy course run by Sustain Wales an enjoyable and time-efficient way to boost my knowledge and confidence around climate change, and what we can all do about it.”

Katie Parry

You can find out more about Supercool’s sustainable journey, by reading the following blog posts:

Sustainability Update + 2022 Action Plan | Supercool (

Carbon Footprint Update – 2022 | Supercool (

To find out how Carbon Literacy training can benefit your business, visit our training web page or contact

Photo od the three new members of staff

Cynnal Cymru welcomes three new staff members

In the last month, Cynnal Cymru has welcomed three new employees to support our growing work programme. Our team of 12 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 Nature Wise training programme, led by Clare Sain-Ley-Berry, we welcome our new Training and Development officer Sara Wynne-Pari. Together they will be helping more organisations in Wales to improve their understanding of the nature crisis and take action to reverse it.

To take forward the real Living Wage in Wales and support Welsh Government’s fair work agenda, we welcome Grace Robinson as the Living Wage Programme Officer and Alys Reid to support with the accreditations. Alys will also be supporting the Cynnal Cymru team in her role as HR and Administraton Officer.

Sara Wynne-Pari

Based in North Wales, Sara joined us in April as our new Training and Development officer. Sara will be delivering Nature Wise eco literacy programme. She has a background in supporting and mentoring environmental volunteer organisations and developing cross sector partnership projects in natural environment, sustainable development and pro-environmental behaviour change. 

Alongside her role at Cynnal Cymru, Sara also works part-time for Llais y Goedwig, the grassroots network organisation for community woodlands in Wales.

In her spare time, she enjoys nothing more than making the most of her backyard in Snowdonia whether that’s exploring, swimming or riding her electric bike.

Grace Robinson

Grace is the newly appointed Living Wage Programme Officer. She was born in Cardiff and has lived here most of her life – the only exception being an undergraduate degree in Swansea. She has a background in human resources and has always been passionate about equality, justice and fair work practices. Grace previously worked on the Living Wage Programme during her master’s degree in HR, which is what made her enthusiastic about this particular initiative. She looks forward to working for Cynnal Cymru and advocating for the Living Wage across Wales.

In her spare time, Grace enjoys being as creative as possible and always has a project on the go (currently a baby blanket for an expecting friend). She also enjoys being active and going for a sea swim when she can.

Alys Reid Bacon

Alys is joining us as a HR & Administrative Officer to provide support on the Living Wage accreditation process and Cynnal Cymru’s human resources. Alys is fluent in both Welsh and English and is currently working on her PhD in Biological Sciences, titled, “The influence of genotype, environment & management factors on yield development, grain filling & grain quality in oats”.

She has experience of dealing with members of the public in different environments, including as a hospital receptionist, administrative assistant and Ward Clerk and as a Youth Worker. She has also been involved in work to promote STEM subjects in schools across mid Wales funded by Salters’ chemistry institute.

Alys is passionate about sustainability and enjoys spending her free time walking, sea swimming, cooking, eating and gaming.

What open source means to Afallen

Afallen is a small company that delivers sustainable projects in Wales. We aim to keep money and skills in Wales. We also champion and support open source ways of working as stated in our values:

“We champion the use of Creative Commons and open source solutions, and we embrace the right to online privacy, free from surveillance capitalism”

Without diving too deeply into the detail of Creative Commons (CC) or ‘free and open source software’ (FOSS), our ‘championing’ of the sector means that we want to see a world that is more supportive of a digital ‘commons’ that belongs to humanity, rather than the current headlong rush to grab digital assets, often creating huge wealth for the owners of companies, often at the expense of the privacy of individual users.

Without getting into the details of licensing, both FOSS and CC aim to generate public bodies of work (including code or software) that are available to everyone for free, and for any use. Perhaps the best-known example of this type of platform is Wikipedia.

Afallen is particularly interested in how the esoteric concepts that underpin a digital commons are embedded into how we work, and how they can add value for us and for the people and organisations we work with. In this article I will be focusing on FOSS, although CC has many similar benefits associated with it.

There are a number of different themes that are relevant to the perspective of a small business – equally applicable to small charities or not-for-profit organisations.

  • Values
  • Innovation
  • Learning and development
  • Cost
  • Anti-surveillance


Firstly, as a values-based organisation, FOSS is strongly aligned with our corporate objectives of seeing a fairer, more prosperous and more environmentally friendly Wales. In fact, most of the Future Generations Goals are supported by using CC and FOSS products or platforms, in contrast to closed source or proprietary tools (see image).

As an example, most commercial products require an up-front or on-going licence fee to be paid in order to use the software. The software companies are generally based outside Wales, contributing towards economic leakage from Wales. FOSS software can usually be used for free, eliminating the barriers for payment to access it. 

FOSS products can be modified or adapted, particularly interesting in Wales where this functionality enables projects to be readily translated into Welsh; I am currently a volunteer translator for a number of open source projects, including Impactasaurus, Zulip, Open Collective and Pixelfed.

FOSS can allow older hardware to run more efficiently, reducing the need for frequent upgrades of computers, and reducing the environmental impact of organisational tech use.


Entering the world of FOSS is to embrace a beautiful ecosystem of people, organisations and technologies that co-exist with the overall purpose of ensuring access to all for the code that is created under the FOSS umbrella.

There are literally millions of people working on FOSS projects globally at this instant; most of the code that you are using to read this blog post, from the operating system to the tech that allows the hardware to operate, will have an open source aspect. 

This huge and frenetic mass of activity is constantly propelling different software projects forward, and in ways that are often as advanced as their commercial counterparts. This process creates innovation, which is something that can be highly beneficial to small businesses.

Indeed, many FOSS projects are directed specifically at small businesses. The process of understanding your current organisational needs, and then figuring out how different FOSS components could offer alternative solutions, can result in surprising innovations, to the benefit of your organisation and clients. The ability to modify FOSS projects means that they can be altered for your organisation’s specific needs.

Learning and development

Closely tied to the innovation aspect is the opportunity to learn and develop skills associated with deploying FOSS platforms. As an example, my first experience with FOSS through business was to create a website for RenewableUK Cymru using WordPress. That led on to developing multiple websites for various events, and then onto hosting FOSS polling platforms for an awards programme.

Since leaving RenewableUK Cymru I have branched out further, and am now – despite not being a ‘coder’ – very comfortable deploying FOSS products such as online forums, direct messaging platforms, information repositories and peer-to-peer video calling. The astonishing thing for me is that this stuff is pretty straightforward; if you can copy and paste instructions, you can almost certainly do this yourself. Yet the implications are quite profound for me as an individual, building confidence and capacity that I am now also able to deploy pro-bono for the public sector and charity.


One of the most attractive features – for me anyway – about FOSS is that it is free at the point of use. This can make it a very interesting alternative to commercial applications.

Whilst there is a cost for hosting the software on your own server (I am currently paying about £5/month for each deployment of forum, messaging platform, information repository and website), those costs are generally a small fraction of the costs associated with the commercial equivalents.

For example, Slack, a popular messaging application, costs between £5-£10 per month per user for more than ‘basic’ use. An open source equivalent, Zulip, is totally free if self-hosted. For organisations seeking to reduce their overheads, these cost differentials can be alluring.


Although this component of FOSS is not on the radar for many organisations, the ability to use software without ourselves or our customers being tracked online is an important consideration for Afallen. Many commercial platforms require users to abide by licence agreements that require them to surrender their digital privacy in exchange for the use of the platforms. Such requirements are not generally needed for FOSS software. 

As an example, our website is based on WordPress, the most popular and widely used blogging platform. We have eschewed third party add-ons that collect website visitor data, so when you view our website you know that nobody is tracking you. The social media feeds embedded on our website are Pixelfed and the Welsh version of Mastodon called ‘Toot.Wales’. Neither of them embed any tracking software on your browser when you visit.

Developing digital

If you’ve made it to the end of this article, you may still be scratching your head about how to start your FOSS journey. Here are some suggestions:

  • Send me a message or give me a ring – I am always happy to chat through ideas
  • Search the ‘Alternative to’ website for the software that you’re currently using, and see if there’s a recommended open source equivalent
  • If you don’t have the time or inclination yourself, recruit a Digital Degree Apprentice (it could be an existing staff member) to experiment and deploy FOSS assets on your behalf. The current Welsh Government programme, run by UWTSD, is an extremely attractive offer
  • Join meetings of the Senedd Cross-Party Group on Digital Rights and Democracy, which often discusses issues around FOSS in Wales

Yellow TSE is Coming to Cardiff City Centre

Yellow TSE will open its doors in the Morgan Arcade on Earth Day 2022, for an exclusive launch event to celebrate sustainable business and a new way of shopping coming to Cardiff.

Founder and CEO Tamsin Ford, has planned, plotted, lived and breathed, Yellow TSE for the past three years. When COVID-19 hit, she wasn’t sure it would ever be a reality. But, after battling all hurdles in her way, it’s full steam ahead for this inspirational business venture.

Tamsin is well-known for sustainable retail through her business born in Pontcanna, Blossom & Nectar. Now home to the second location for Yellow TSE, Blossom & Nectar fuelled her passion for sustainable business and inspired her to encourage wider change in retail

Following the launch event, the Morgan Quarter venue will under-go sustainable construction work from Sampson Carpentry & Build, who have worked with businesses such as Kin & Ilk to deliver stylish and sustainable fittings.

The venue is set to be open for the public in May 2022 in plenty of time for what’s set to be abooming summer in the Welsh Capital, post-Covid restrictions. Featuring art from KatherineJones Artist, and other local sustainable businesses as concessions, Yellow TSE is your one-stop sustainable shop, work-space, and cafe in Cardiff City Centre.

Get a taste for what’s to come at Yellow TSE, in Pontcanna. Already open for business, the secondary venue is settling in nicely to the suburb, with many locals eager to get their hands on the app as soon as possible.

Tanya Lynch, Creative Director and Expert Connector for Yellow TSE, said:

“The journey of Yellow TSE is one story I’m so proud to be a part of. So far it’s required a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an unbelievable amount of patience.

Our founder Tams is one remarkable human being who is carving the way for a better and more sustainable shopping experience. It takes passion, grit and dedication to launch such an epic business venture. Tams and her team will bring a department store like no other to the streets of South Wales. I do believe the people of Cardiff will love what Yellow has to offer!”

It’s out with the old and in with Yellow TSE. Sustainable shopping is not for a niche group of people and it’s not a trend, it’s for all and it’s the future.

Find out more on the TSE website >>

Opening & closing times:
Pontcanna: 10-5.30 Wednesday- Saturday
11-4 Sunday
Morgan Quarter: 9.30-6 Mon-Sat
11-4 Sundays

Pontcanna: 6 Pontcanna Mews, Pontcanna, Cardiff
Morgan Quarter: 1 Barry Lane, Morgan Quarter, Cardiff

New Campaign Calls on Motorists to ‘Drive your Litter Home’

With more vehicles than ever before on our roads and a significant increase in our food and drink on-the-go culture, roadside litter is a growing problem in Wales. It is harmful to our environment and wildlife. It ruins the beautiful views for locals and visitors alike, whilst also being difficult, dangerous and expensive to clean up.

Research shows that 78% of vehicle litterers feel guilty after littering. [i] Keep Wales Tidy’s new campaign encourages drivers to have a guilt free journey with no regrets and to ‘Drive your litter home’.

The nationwide campaign is being run as part of Caru Cymru (a Welsh phrase meaning ‘Love Wales’) – an inclusive movement led by Keep Wales Tidy and councils to inspire people to take action and care for the environment.

As part of the campaign, outdoor advertising will appear across roadside litter hotspots in Wales such as roadside billboards, back of buses and petrol pump adverts. This will also include radio and digital audio advertising to target drivers listening to their favorite channels.

Advertising will step up a gear during busy weekends and bank holidays over the summer months to target as many drivers as possible.

Keep Wales Tidy has also developed resources for haulage companies and other commercial drivers to utilise.

Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive Lesley Jones said:

“We’re putting our foot down on roadside litter. Not only is it a blight on our beautiful country, and often the first thing visitors see when arriving into Wales, but it also has a significant impact on our environment and wildlife. We estimate that the cost of collection and disposing of roadside litter in Wales is at least £3.5 million every year.

Our new roadside litter campaign takes ‘do the right thing’ up a gear by highlighting how littering makes people feel. The vast majority of drivers know that littering from their vehicle is unacceptable, and we want everyone to have a guilt free journey with no regrets.

When you’re out and about in your vehicle please leave nothing behind you. Keep your conscience and our roadsides clear by driving your litter home or disposing of it in the nearest bin.”

To find out more and download free materials, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website:    

Caru Cymru has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

[i] Highways England. (2021). Understanding Vehicle Littering Research Report.

Transparency: An Introduction

With the rapid development of sustainability as a consumer priority, it is unsurprising that many businesses are prioritising increased transparency of their operations and their supply chain. As consumers will likely have noticed, many organisations are weaving ‘green’ narratives of environmentalism into their strategy and product development, but how beneficial is such marketing when an organisation’s core business model does not align with sustainable development principles?

This article is an introduction to transparency and its role within the sustainability agenda. It will briefly discuss what transparency is, the jargon and inaccessibility that characterises it, why it is important for businesses, and how it might be implemented. It will be the first in a wider series discussing the essential role of transparency in collectively working towards a sustainable future. The following pieces will touch on areas including self-reporting support for businesses, how transparency intersects with consumerism, and the complicated moral ethics surrounding transparency.

What is ‘transparency’?

The term ‘transparency’ within sustainability can vary depending on its context, and what exactly someone is attempting to measure, report and communicate. However, for the purpose of this article, I shall be referring to transparency as a ‘set of concrete criteria that is necessary to improve sustainability practice and standards…’ [Oxford Language]. Unfortunately, the ‘set’ criteria for transparency isn’t always so clear cut. It can be almost impossible to navigate the excessive terminology, frameworks, and information that exists out there without professional guidance.

Therefore, the next section will consider the prolific jargon that exists within such frameworks and information, and how the sustainable agenda may be inaccessible to both consumers and businesses with little to no prior knowledge. 

Jargon and Inaccessibility

As the global agenda of sustainability constantly develops, the integral need to intersect it with work to achieve equality becomes increasingly obvious. As certain academics are now beginning to explore, this link is essential in discussions around transparency, as the excessive jargon and overly complicated process of self-reporting can be weaponised against individuals to make the discussion inaccessible.

For example, look at the variance between the following terms:

  • Net zero – target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere [Oxford Language]
  • Carbon neutral – making or result in no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, especially as a result of carbon offsetting [Oxford Language]
  • Carbon negative – the reduction of an entity’s carbon footprint to less than neutral, so that the entity has a net effect of removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it adds [British Antarctic Survey]

With no clear understanding of these definitions, it isn’t surprising that many assume them to be the same thing and use such terminology interchangeably despite having very definable differences. As a result, these terms, which were intended to act as guiding frameworks, have become an added complexity to both those businesses trying to report their impact, and for consumers attempting to understand the impact of their decisions.

It is in this context that I introduce what is arguably the key term to understand such jargon: greenwashing. First coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, it refers to ‘a marketing tool used to deceive consumers into believing a product or brand is environmentally friendly.’

It originated due to hotels encouraging guests to reuse their towels to save energy, without actually implementing any other ‘green’ initiatives. Westerveld believed such a scheme to be profit driven and not of environmental benefit, and therefore marked it the first official example of greenwashing.

The varying nature of greenwashing can make it highly difficult to identify, especially with the complex jargon used to disguise it. After all, as this RTS article explains, it can characterise something as small as incorporating images of our natural environment into the packaging of processed foods, or even purposely misinforming ‘consumer practices through green marketing’ and presenting data in a skewed manner. TerraChoice Environmental Marketing have identified ‘seven sins’ that represent the most common greenwashing practices. Take a look and keep these in mind from both a business and consumer’s perspective. If individuals are increasingly aware what greenwashing actually constitutes, the subsequent accountability can put pressure on institutions and companies alike to sincerely improve their sustainability practice, rather than simply misrepresent it.

An example that previously featured in international news was concerning global fast-food company McDonald’s switch from single-use plastic straws to a paper alternative in 2018. This was part of a wider scheme to source ‘100% of their packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025’. Yet, following leaked internal communications, the straws were exposed as non-recyclable in 2019. This demonstrated the prolific use of purposeful misinformation and greenwashing within organisations to promote unrealistic progress towards sustainable agendas. 

Unfortunately, the continuation of greenwashing practices continue to happen with varying levels of accountability. This is not helped by the array of different reporting frameworks and sustainability standards that exist and sometimes contradict each other.

In response, many organisations or credible sites have begun to develop glossaries to simplify the language around transparency. In particular, this British Antarctic Survey glossary and this The Chancery Lane Project Glossary are incredibly useful for individuals just starting out on their sustainability journey.

Ultimately, disparate regulatory bodies can only go so far in mitigating such practices, so transparency and accountability are integral in countering this rise of misinformation. This is particularly relevant in the age of digitisation and globalisation, which will be considered more extensively in the following articles.

Why is transparency so important?

The role of transparency within business and corporate operations will be discussed more extensively within a separate article, so this section will provide an initial introduction into why it is so key in working towards the global sustainability agenda.

Companies are facing more demand by regulators, investors and consumers to be transparent in their environmental, social and corporate governance. Despite attempts by certain companies to displace blame for the climate emergency onto the individual [read this interesting article to find out more about the history of the carbon footprint], personal virtue and commitment to reducing our own ‘footprint’ is not effective enough on its own to prevent further change. Rather, collective action needs to be accompanied by policy and relevant transparency within businesses and organisations to successfully address our current situation.

Furthermore, analysing an organisation’s full impact doesn’t simply benefit international attempts to counter the climate emergency; it can have extensive benefits in responding to new patterns of consumption, increasing the perceived value of a brand, and improving supply chains. For instance, through openly sharing their operations and production stages, transparency can benefit businesses and organisations in two ways:

(1) the findings can help to improve standards throughout supply chains.

(2) it providers consumers and buyers with the necessary data to make fully informed choices.

In reference to point (1), this typically results through the identification and subsequent mitigation of social and environmental risks. This in turn encourages the implementation of minimum guidelines, as well as incentivising more ambitious industry standards. As research has demonstrated, the complex nature of global supply chains is one of the key contributors to unsustainable production practices, so increased transparency within the creation and distribution of products is essential.

Concerning point (2), such transparency across the board is essential in increasing the accessibility of information to all individuals. By providing consumers and stakeholders with the so-called ‘full-story’ at a comprehensible level, you can help remove the barriers that characterise sustainability policy and politics. This accessibility is essential in supporting individuals in making fully-informed decisions about the things they consume – after all, new evidence is showing that new purchase patterns are emerging in response to attitudes around sustainability and environmentalism. For instance, in the 2021 UK Ethical Consumer Markets Report, ethical consumer spending and finance was found to have increased by 24% in the space of a year. Moreover, this survey found that 52% of those aged 18 to 25 were “keeping an eye on the business practices of the companies they use”, and that a fifth of UK shoppers had stopped purchasing items from a brand due to their association with greenwashing claims.  

In this context, I want to explain the ‘value proposition’ of being increasingly transparent about your practices and operations. The term, defined as ‘an innovation, service or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers’, is a key tool used by organisations to demonstrate the benefits of their products or services to consumers. In this instance, by being so vulnerable with customers – as well as demonstrating a genuine commitment to improving your sustainability practice – you can align your priorities with those of the customer. In turn, you are opening your organisation up to public accountability, and thereby increasing the perceived value of your organisation from the perspective of your target audience.

How can businesses be more transparent?

  1. Self-report your impact and develop a sustainability strategy

Whilst many organisations are taking the first steps towards measuring their impact at an immediate and direct level (e.g., the emissions produced by your production, warehouse or shipping), calculating your emissions throughout your entire supply chain and life cycle is integral to achieving full transparency.

Whilst the second article in the wider ‘Transparency Series’ will focus on the frameworks and guidance available for self-reporting your emissions and carbon footprint, there are resources which can help in the meantime.

If you are struggling to develop a sustainability strategy and calculate your own impact, Cynnal Cymru can provide consultancy support to help you in your journey. Visit our consultancy page to find out more.

2. Pay your workers a Living Wage

Paying workers at each stage of the supply and production chain a real Living Wage is essential in ensuring the global journey towards net zero is a fair and just transition. Accrediting as an official real Living Wage employer can also have significant benefits for your business, as research conducted by Cardiff Business School demonstrated 86% found their reputation had improved as a result.

Cynnal Cymru is the official Welsh accreditation body for the Living Wage Foundation and can assist your organisation in uplifting your workers and ensuring your sustainability strategy works alongside the fair work agenda.

Find out more about the real Living Wage and how to accredit.

3. Be open and vulnerable with your consumers

As discussed in the article, being more transparent and vulnerable around your supply chain, production and process is arguably one of the top actions that businesses can take towards sustainable development. Not only can you identify areas for improvement beyond your immediate remit of control or knowledge, but you can also improve your relationship with consumers, encourage wider implementation of “kindness-economy” ideals, and provide consumers with the knowledge to make their own informed decisions.

4. Educate staff

Organisations are increasingly introducing company policy and guidelines specifically to deal with sustainability. However, if your staff are not equally well-versed in the values and standards you are wishing to implement, then sustainability policy can only go so far.

Cynnal Cymru provides both Carbon Literacy and Nature Wise training for individuals with any level of knowledge or experience. We can even develop bespoke training specific to your organisation or sector. Visit our training page to find out more.

Our members can benefit from up to two hours free specialist support and two free places on our training courses. Contact to find out more or register your interest.


To summarise, simply being honest with consumers and stakeholders about your environmental impact can have a significantly positive effect on your organisation. Not only can you identify areas where a sustainability strategy needs to be developed, you can encourage similar shared values of transparency and honesty within your sector. This increased accountability is integral in pushing forward the sustainability agenda, both within your organisation and beyond, as disparate regulatory bodies and frameworks can only solve part of the issue. Not to mention, from the perspective of a value proposition, transparency can increase the perceived value of your organisation by providing consumers with the information required to make fully informed decisions.

After all, the new generation of consumers are more and more concerned about the future of our planet, and their choices reflect that. As highlighted in this ScienceDirect article, the implementation of simple sustainability commitments are frequently criticised for being tokenistic and ‘lacking any clear implementation strategy’. Therefore, to engage with the sustainability agenda and respond to its impact upon consumerism, it is essential to analyse your organisation’s impact, implement the necessary strategy, and be open and honest about your challenges as well as your successes.

This article was written by our Development Officer, Abi Hoare, who has joined us on a one year placement as part of the Charityworks graduate scheme. This introduction and subsequent series was born out of previous conversations in the office about what ‘transparency’ actually means and how to make a complicated topic accessible to both businesses and consumers alike.

Wipak UK’s Advanced Paper Butter Wrap Set to Disrupt Market

Made from renewable, FSC-certified paper, the highly decorative butter wrap is aluminium-free and covered in highly advanced, ultra-thin natural coatings, which have excellent oxygen and water vapour barrier properties compared to standard paper, as well as superior grease resistance. 

“Most butter wraps in the UK market are made of parchment paper or a grease-resistant paper which is commonly made into composite laminates with aluminum and polyethylene,” explained Wipak UK’s Technical Development Manager, Keith Gater. “Although made from renewable resources, coated parchment papers do not promote a circular economy as they’re not easily recyclable.  

 “Unlike existing butter wraps on the market which are complex material structures, our consumer-friendly paper solution is fully recyclable within the kerbside paper and cardboard waste stream once it has been cleaned. What’s more, it maintains the look and feel of a traditional butter wrap, can be fully printed with brand imagery, and runs on existing butter wrap machinery.” 

Having successfully passed shelf-life trials following packing on automated wrapping lines, Wipak UK’s recyclable butter wrap has also scored an A+ rating in recycling tests2 carried out by the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University. “This classification is the highest possible score that can be achieved for paper recycling efficiency, whereby the pulp recovery must be a minimum of 98.5%,” continued Keith. “Our wrap is also compliant with UK-set guidelines for claiming paper recyclability, which require a minimum paper content of 85%.”  

 The butter wrap format is one of several exciting new product development projects developed using Wipak UK’s state-of-the-art combi laminator – part of a recent £5million+ machinery upgrade to significantly enhance the packaging supplier’s sustainable product offering. This significant investment is helping Wipak UK move closer to its goal of reducing its company carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. 
“With growing pressure from consumers, brands and retailers need to take decisive action with disruptive sustainable packaging solutions that challenge traditional methods,” said Keith. “Solutions like Wipak UK’s butter wrap will not only have significant environmental benefits, but will help to keep brands relevant in an increasingly competitive market.”

To find out more, call the Wipak UK Sales Team on 01938 555255 or email Alternatively, please visit Wipak UK on stand A94 at the Packaging Innovations Birmingham trade show between 25 – 26 May at the NEC.


(1) Carbon footprint reduction of 68% versus an aluminium/ low-density polyethylene (LDPE) /paper laminate 

(2) CEPI’s recyclability laboratory test method (version 1) 

Landmark Rule Makes Manufacturers Responsible for Waste Created by Their Products

But Wales, alongside Scotland, is going one step further by committing to ensuring companies responsible for the most commonly-littered items that scourge streets, communities and the countryside, cover the clean-up costs.

Under the new rules, a standard recycling logo will be required on all packaging to help consumers know what they can put in their recycling bins.

Brand owners, importers, distributers and online marketplaces will be charged according to the amount and type of packaging they place on the market.

Industry will be penalised if their packaging is harder to reuse or recycle or if they fail to hit recycling targets. The fees they pay will be used to fund improved kerbside collections of packaging waste from households.

Payments to local authorities for the handling of packaging waste will begin in 2024.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said:

How did we get to a point where a quick snack can be wrapped up in materials that take hundreds of years to break down?

When littered, packaging can wreak havoc on our wildlife and our health. It doesn’t disappear when you have finished with it, even when disposed of correctly, costing the taxpayer dearly.

We’re proud to be introducing these landmark changes which will lead to producers to think about the packaging they are putting on the market and help to incentivise recycling, alongside our fellow governments in the UK. 

We are going further again, by committing to charge producers if their items are commonly littered.

We will not shy away from the challenges ahead. Since devolution, we have worked incredibly hard to turn around our recycling record, from being one of the world’s worst to one of the best.

With a Team Wales effort we can create a real circular economy where we recycle and reuse, strengthening our local supply chains, reducing our reliance on imports and protecting the planet. World events show us just how urgent this is.

Wales is also joining forces with England and Northern Ireland to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, which will include PET glass bottles, steel and aluminium cans.  However Wales, alongside Scotland, is going yet another step further by committing that glass bottles will also be included in the scheme.

Further details on the Deposit Return Scheme design will be published in due course.

Larger coffee shops and fast food chains will also be required to have dedicated recycling bins in-store from 2024 for the collection of paper-based disposable cups.

The UK uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups a year and around half a million coffee cups are littered every day, according to a recent report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

The cups are difficult to recycle – they are largely made from paper lined with plastic and soiled. There are currently only three specialised recycling facilities in the UK which are able to process them. This means that only a small fraction of single-use coffee cups are disposed of correctly and recycled.

The Welsh Government has ambitious plans to become a Zero Waste Nation by 2050 and is currently driving the move to a circular economy – where waste is turned into a resource and kept in use for as long as possible.

As well as cutting damaging CO2 emissions that lead to climate change and the pollution of our wildlife habitats, a circular economy model will build resilience in Wales’ supply chains as it cuts the reliance of imports from overseas.

Sustainability Glossary for Businesses Unpacked: Net Zero

As a business owner, the word “net” is part of your vocabulary. You make net profit, and you have net profit margins. Net is, as you know it so well, what is left after you take away the expenses and tax. Net in the “Net Zero” is therefore what is left after you reduce your carbon emissions to zero.  

Think of “Net Zero” as a shorthand for lowering carbon emissions from your entire operations to almost zero. However, the emissions that cannot be reduced any further, can be offset.  

According to Climate Change News, this concept has emerged out of discussions in 2013 as to how to convince the world to fully decarbonise, in other words, to achieve zero emissions so that global temperature does not rise above 1.5C and therefore limit the impacts of the changing climate on this planet.  

Knowing this may be difficult to embrace, as no economy or an individual can be emitting zero carbon, Net Zero was introduced instead. Since then, the concept has entered into everyday vocabulary; it has been translated into law in the UK and countless countries and companies have even pledged to be Net Zero by 2050.   

Unlike carbon neutrality, the concept of Net Zero focuses on reduction of emissions as far as it is possible. It is not about offsetting what is emitted into the atmosphere, but rather, it is about offsetting what cannot be reduced after emissions are almost at zero. So when others speak of Net Zero, they hopefully mean the same thing. However, despite its wide use, there was no common definition and so multiple interpretations followed. So, if you feel you got it wrong, do not worry as Net Zero has only recently been defined. In 2022, Science-based Targets Initiative published a Net Zero standard for businesses and in it said that it covers “a company’s entire value chain emissions, including those produced by their own processes (scope 1), purchased electricity and heat (scope 2), and generated by suppliers and end-users (scope 3). Most companies will require deep decarbonization of 90-95% to reach net-zero under the Standard”1

The key message here is that Net Zero means deep decarbonisation in phases in order to archive its target by 2050  while keeping your business profitable in the long term. 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint – because knowing how much you emit and what parts of the operations have high emissions, you can be practical about decarbonisation. 
  1. Integrate decarbonisation strategy into your business strategy –  because to keep your business going for years to come, you must redesign your operations so they are not impacted by the changing climate, legislation, distruption to supply chains and consumer backlash, 
  1. Set targets and a decarbonisation plan – because this cannot be done in one day and as a business owner you know that having a plan and targets keeps you on the right track. 
  1. Be honest about your efforts before you make the pledge – because staff and consumers stand behind businesses that back up words with actions and as you know it all too well, without them you cannot trade for years to come.  

Net Zero is an opportunity for businesses to thrive for years to come and to be rewarded by consumer and staff loyalty. A sustainable mindset, communication, education and actions are paramount to effective decarbonisation and therefore your future. 

Useful resources for businesses for Net Zero:

Ambitious corporate climate action – Science Based Targets

UK – SME Climate hub

How to Measure, Reduce, and Offset your Company’s Carbon Footprint – FutureLearn

Climate Clauses | The Chancery Lane Project

The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030

However, there is increasing evidence of climate action, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today.

Since 2010, there have been sustained decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.  “I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective.  If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group III report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change was approved on April 4 2022by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that started on March 21. It is the third instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year.

We have options in all sectors to at least halve emissions by 2030

Limiting global warming will require major transitions in the energy sector. This will involve a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).

“Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

Cities and other urban areas also offer significant opportunities for emissions reductions.  These can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature. There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities.

“We see examples of zero energy or zero-carbon buildings in almost all climates,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea. “Action in this decade is critical to capture the mitigation potential of buildings.”

Reducing emissions in industry will involve using materials more efficiently, reusing and recycling products and minimising waste. For basic materials, including steel, building materials and chemicals, low- to zero-greenhouse gas production processes are at their pilot to near-commercial stage.

This sector accounts for about a quarter of global emissions. Achieving net zero will be challenging and will require new production processes, low and zero emissions electricity, hydrogen, and, where necessary, carbon capture and storage.

Agriculture, forestry, and other land use can provide large-scale emissions reductions and also remove and store carbon dioxide at scale. However, land cannot compensate for delayed emissions reductions in other sectors.  Response options can benefit biodiversity, help us adapt to climate change, and secure livelihoods, food and water, and wood supplies.

The next few years are critical

In the scenarios we assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C (2.7°F) requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030; at the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. Even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold but could return to below it by the end of the century.

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),” said Skea. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

The global temperature will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5°C (2.7°F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2°C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s.  

This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2°C (3.6°F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.

Closing investment gaps

The report looks beyond technologies and demonstrates that while financial flows are a factor of three to six times lower than levels needed by 2030 to limit warming to below 2°C (3.6°F), there is sufficient global capital and liquidity to close investment gaps. However, it relies on clear signalling from governments and the international community, including a stronger alignment of public sector finance and policy.

“Without taking into account the economic benefits of reduced adaptation costs or avoided climate impacts, global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be just a few percentage points lower in 2050 if we take the actions necessary to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) or below, compared to maintaining current policies,” said Shukla.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Accelerated and equitable climate action in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts is critical to sustainable development.  Some response options can absorb and store carbon and, at the same time, help communities limit the impacts associated with climate change. For example, in cities, networks of parks and open spaces, wetlands and urban agriculture can reduce flood risk and reduce heat-island effects.

Mitigation in industry can reduce environmental impacts and increase employment and business opportunities. Electrification with renewables and shifts in public transport can enhance health, employment, and equity.

“Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production,” said Skea. “This report shows how taking action now can move us towards a fairer, more sustainable world.”  

Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Working Group III report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions.  It explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals.

Working Group III introduces several new components in its latest report: One is a new chapter on the social aspects of mitigation, which explores the ‘demand side’, i.e. what drives consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  This chapter is a partner to the sectoral chapters in the report, which explore the ‘supply side’ of climate change – what produces emissions. There is also a cross-sector chapter on mitigation options that cut across sectors, including carbon dioxide removal techniques. And there is a new chapter on innovation, technology development and transfer, which describes how a well-established innovation system at a national level, guided by well-designed policies, can contribute to mitigation, adaptation and achieving the sustainable development goals, while avoiding undesired consequences.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) as well as additional materials and information are available at

Scroll to Top