Low Carbon Economy
Low Carbon Economy
Overview of our aims and objectives for creating an inclusive and low carbon economy and why it matters.
A group of independent coffee shops and restaurants in Cardiff has teamed up to promote #ContactlessCoffee, and encourage the safe and hygienic use of reusable coffee cups as lockdown restrictions lift.
Pettigrew Bakery & Tearooms, Bloc Coffee, Brodies Coffee, Dusty Knuckle, and The Little Man Garage have all pledged to accept reusable cups again as they reopen, and to offer discounts and special offers to the customers who use them.
The campaign is based on an initiative from City to Sea, the award-winning, Bristol-based organisation turning the tide on single-use plastic. They recently launched the #ContactlessCoffee campaign, which began as a pilot in Bristol, with a short video for cafes highlighting the latest best practice for accepting reusable cups safely.
Upon seeing the video on social media, a group of local Cardiff businesses got talking over Twitter and agreed it was time to bring the movement to the Welsh capital.
Jo Morley, Head of Campaigns at City to Sea said: “Plastic pollution doesn’t stop for a pandemic. As we start to come out of lockdown, it’s been brilliant to see cafes and bars open their doors once more, but restrictions have led to an inevitable increase in single-use packaging. We want to get reusables back on the menu, and we’re working with businesses to make sure they’ve got the support and guidance they need to do this safely.”
She added: “I’m thrilled to see Cardiff businesses take up the baton in Wales, helping the public choose to reuse and reduce the amount of packaging that may end up littering our streets, parks and beaches.”
David Le Masurier, co-owner of Pettigrew Tearooms and Bakery, said: “Brilliant Coffee is vital to the success of our business and in lockdown ‘grabbing a coffee with your daily bread’ was a little taste of normality for many. We saw Covid-19 instantly halt all the progress in change of behaviour towards reusable cups, so it’s great to be part of the rallying call to keep reusables coming in Cardiff.”
Alex Parker, owner of Bloc Coffee in Victoria Park, said: “The increased use of disposable coffee cups was something that concerned us, but after watching the video guide from City to Sea we could see a really simple way to reintroduce reusable cups. We’ll be encouraging our customers to bring their own wherever we can.”
Rob Cooper, founder of The Little Man Garage in Riverside, said: “We’re offering £1 off a cake or pastry for customers who bring their own cups – we’re looking forward to seeing this become the norm again.”
Phill Lewis, co-founder of Dusty Knuckle Pizza said: “Though we aren’t able to welcome people back to our sites just yet, we’re delighted to be supporting #ContactlessCoffee to raise awareness about the safety of reusables. We’ll be accepting them as we look to open our shipping container in Canton, and later, our new site at the Goodshed in Barry.”
Ian Brodie, co-founder of Brodies Coffee, said: “Takeaway Coffee has always been at the heart of what we do and the ability to deliver great coffee both sustainably and safely in these trying times means the world. Contactless Coffee is a huge hit with our customers both regular and new – we haven’t found a drink yet that we can’t do contactless, and if you’re lucky you might even get some latte art!”
Jane Cook, who writes local sustainable food blog HungryCityHippy, said: “It has been distressing to see the rise in single use during the pandemic, but City to Sea’s video clearly illustrates that accepting reusables is both easy and safe. I am really excited to be able to enjoy takeaway coffee from my local independents in a sustainable way again.”
The campaign is also being supported by Cardiff’s first zero waste shop, Ripple Living, based in Roath.
Sophie Rae, founder of Ripple Living, said: “With the easing of lockdown, many of our community are eager to return to support the fantastic independent coffee shops around the city. Being able to use a reusable coffee cup in a contactless transaction is a good, safe way to uphold the city’s green credentials and help business to thrive in a post COVID19 climate.”
Any business in Wales can join the initiative by checking out City to Sea’s online resources, accepting reusables and by using the #ContactlessCoffee hashtag.
Members of the public are also encouraged to get behind the campaign by snapping a picture of their reusable cups in action, tagging @citytosea_, and sharing with the hashtag #ContactlessCoffee.
City to Sea’s big ambition is to see businesses of all shapes, sizes and locations pledge to re-introduce reusables in time for Plastic Free July.
The mass of miss information
Alarmed by the misinformation around reported increased hygiene benefits of single-use plastics in response to Coronavirus, City to Sea is leading the charge to ensure consumers can still safely take reusables to their favourite cafes and take-aways as they reopen.
Jo Morley, Head of Campaigns at City to Sea added: “Despite what the plastic industry wants us to believe, single-use plastic is no safer. Coronavirus doesn’t care which we use, but when it comes to the planet, there is a big difference between single-use and reusable.”
Reusables during coronavirus
Jo continued: “Safety is quite rightly the number one priority for all of us right now, and it’s understandable that cafes may be considering only offering single-use coffee cups when they re-open. However, no one material is guaranteed to stop the virus. That’s why the World Health Organization and other health authorities continue to emphasise that washing our hands and sanitizing surfaces are still the best things we can be doing.”
2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK – enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times, irreversibly damaging our environment and polluting our oceans.
Government guidance advises “the individual business to decide whether they allow the use of reusable cups or containers during this period”, so City to Sea want to support businesses in making the right decision by providing them with relevant guidance and support.
Over 115 health experts from eighteen countries signed a statement this week assuring retailers and consumers that reusables are safe during COVID-19, pushing back on claims made by the plastic industry. The health experts emphasize that disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilized safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene.
Supporting businesses to return to normal
Reusables CAN be used safely and accepting them doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact it can be super simple!
1. Customers place their clean reusable cup (lid off) on a designated tray and steps back two metres.
2. The barista takes the tray with the customer’s cup over to the coffee machine, extracts the coffee into a normal crockery cup or espresso cup, and steams the milk, as required.
3. Without touching the customer’s reusable cup, the barista pours the coffee and milk into the customer’s cup (no latte art!), takes the tray back to the till and steps back two metres.
4. Customers enjoy coffee in their favourite reusable coffee cup and reduces the prevalence of single-use cups – high five!
City to Sea created this video to show how the process works in practice:
The response to the Covid crisis says a lot about a company. As Chair of Welsh Water Customer Challenge Group, I have had the opportunity to have an insight into how our not for profit water company has responded to the crisis. The company of course is well used to dealing with crisis caused by severe weather conditions but never a global pandemic that impacts across all its operations.
At the outset Peter Perry as the new Chief Executive made a personal commitment to employees that there was no intention of cutting jobs, reducing salaries or furloughing the workforce.
Staff safety and well-being was seen as the top priority. While homeworking was applied for those who could from the start the continuation of the vital water services required over 1500 staff to be working in the field to ensure services meet customer needs
For most customers their contact with the customer comes through the 500 staff working from customer service centres. At the start of the lockdown there was no technical ability or equipment to allow these staff to work from home, but within a week 480 were fully functional working from home. The fact that the company has since recorded its highest ever “net promoter score” – a key measure of customer satisfaction and indicator for the Customer Challenge Group – is evidence of the success of this rapid transformation.
As a customer Challenge Group, we have a particular concern for how the company supports vulnerable customers. The company has sector leading support package with over 130000 customers benefiting from financial support with their bills -. The company has responded to the additional pressure on business and domestic customers over this period, working to provide support including reduced payment plans, payment holidays, and financial assistance funds.
The wider impact of the virus on communities has also been recognised with the tripling of the Community Fund. The additional funds have been allocated through Business In the Community, the Community Foundation and the Trussell Trust to support community projects including supporting food banks and getting provisions such as cleaning products to those who need it most. While some of the fund has been allocated to staff to support projects in their communities.
Dŵr Cymru provides an essential service and the not-for-profit model means the company does not have to worry about dividends to shareholders. There is no doubt that the economic impact of the crisis will have an impact on future income at a time when the regulator has imposed a very challenging price review. Customers have been clear as to the importance of the company continuing to invest in improving the long-term resilience of the network and there is no doubt that the company will face financial challenges in meeting its investment plans. It is going to be important that customers play their part in enabling this investment to take place through reducing the demand on system by being more water efficient and avoiding the significant costs of removing blockages in the system caused by the flushing of wet wipes.
The response of our communities also tells us a lot about the sort of Wales we want. Both the company and communities have demonstrated a great ability to adapt with amazing efforts across society. This rekindled community spirit of partnership will be essential for our long term response to recovery
Peter Davies, Chair of the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Customer Challenge Group
The Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Customer Challenge Group (CCG) is independently Chaired by Peter Davies with independent secretariat support provided by Cynnal Cymru. This includes producing minutes for the meetings and liaising with the members and Chair of the group to ensure the smooth running of the CCG.[:]
Online learning from Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales
Building knowledge and empowering action for a sustainable future
Online learning from Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales
Cynnal Cymru supports individuals and organisations from the public, private and voluntary sector to understand why and how they can take action for a sustainable future.
Our mission is to create affordable, flexible learning to accelerate action and impact on the most urgent issues of sustainable development.
From Wales, for anyone, anywhere
Our courses are designed for individuals and organisations from any sector or industry. Whether it’s the first step in making positive changes or supporting the development of strategies and integrated reporting that quantifies the value of financial, environmental and social benefits and measures sustainable change in a systematic way.
We are based in Wales but our courses are for everyone, no matter where you are in the World.
Whether you are a sustainability professional wanting to make changes within an organisation or someone with no prior knowledge of sustainable development eager to make lifestyle changes, our courses provide the knowledge needed to take action on the most pressing issues affecting our future.
Our courses combine online tutor-led sessions and peer-to-peer learning with self-directed study. This provides the opportunity to fit learning around work and caring commitments whilst also enabling you to focus on areas of interest within a subject.
Whilst our courses give insights into the latest science and policy, they help you to develop (and commit) to practical actions – including motivating and enabling others.
Online learning from Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales
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Introduction to Carbon Literacy
Carbon Literacy is:
“An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions on an individual, community and organisational basis.”
Who is this Course for?
Carbon Literacy works on the principle of peer-to-peer learning and encourages people to learn together, sharing knowledge and experiences along the way. The climate science is pitched for beginners but the approach to enabling and identifying positive action works for all abilities.
This course is suitable for those in a position to lead, organise or support others. This could be senior managers and teams leaders, board members or trustees, support workers or volunteers.
Individuals will understand the causes and consequences of climate change, locally and across the world. They will be able to evaluate the contributions they make to climate change and the power they have to make a positive difference.
Teams, community groups or small organisations of up to 15 people will develop a shared understanding of how organisational activity relates to climate change and be able to design responses that are relevant and appropriate.
For larger organisations and consortiums that want to take the next step to becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation through support with roll out of peer to peer learning and the creation of tailored courses for different learner groups.
*On successful submission of your evidence form and commitment as an individual you will receive your Carbon Literacy certification.
Planning for a Successful Learning Experience
We recommend a minimum of 4 hours of self-directed learning, including time to read articles, watch videos and complete assignments.
The course includes three virtual sessions with your course-tutor and fellow students. These sessions are essential to achieving your certification as well as providing a valuable opportunity to reflect on your learning and explore each topic in more depth.
To participate in the online facilitated sessions you need access to a computer or tablet with a mic (video camera optional) as well as access to Zoom video conferencing.
Tues – Wed
About the Tutors
Rhodri Thomas is the Principal Sustainability Consultant and training lead at Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales.
Rhodri is educated to Masters level in Environmental Management and has a Professional Graduate Certificate (PGCE) in Adult Education & Training. Rhodri is currently the only certified Carbon Literacy trainer in Wales.
Bethan leads on Living Wage Accreditation in Wales as well as providing project support across the whole team. In 2020 she became a trainer for our Carbon Literacy distance learning course.
About the Carbon Literacy Project
Carbon Literacy is a concept created in Manchester by Cooler Projects Ltd. and its partners. It is governed by the Carbon Literacy Trust.
The Carbon Literacy Project offers everyone a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning, covering – climate change, carbon footprints, how you can do your bit, and why it’s relevant to you and your audience.
The Carbon Literacy Project is globally unique – there is nothing else quite like it anywhere. It was recognised as such by the UN at COP21, in Paris, where it was awarded as a TAP100, one of 100 worldwide Transformative Action Programs.
About Cynnal Cymru
Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales.
Cynnal Cymru is the official partner in Wales for the award-winning Carbon Literacy Project.
In April 2020, Cynnal Cymru was further recognised as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation – the first in Wales.