The Sustainability Lab shaping brighter futures

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bangor in top 10% of World’s Greenest Universities

January 19, 2015 No Comments

Bangor continues to maintain its position as a sustainability leader

Read More

Welsh means business
Ffalabalam Nursery

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Menna Jones talks about the Welsh language at the nursery (Fluent Welsh)

Behavioural change and principles of sustainable development help businesses stand out from the crowd

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Delphius, a coaching and consultancy business, worked with the Sustainable Business Team and the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change to embed principles of behaviour change and neuro-psychology into its approach to leadership and consultancy.

Janet Hamilton-Wilks, Owner-Director, used the Sustanable Business HealthCheck and a free WCBC workshop to identify areas in which to strengthen her business, leading her to write key policies. Frameworks of business sustainability helped Delphius define its brand. By examining the activities which have multiple social, environmental and economic impacts, Janet was able to explore those aspects which differentiate her business from others.

Tailoring an Environmental Policy to her business helped satisfy Janet that Delphius was not just ticking boxes, but making a real contribution to enhancing the environment. Delphius has also made a commitment to the Welsh language. Examining the business case for using Welsh helped identify the benefits of making Welsh visible on publications and marketing materials, and of encouraging staff to speak Welsh.

Identifying selling points using the Sustainable Business HealthCheck
Marchnad Ogwen

January 4, 2015 No Comments

So much more than just a farmer’s market, Marchnad Ogwen provides an outlet for locally produced foods and crafts, reflecting the linguistic, agricultural and artistic heritage of the Ogwen valley.

As part of a project to increase footfall and the variety of produce sold the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change used the Sustainable Business HealthCheck to help identify the market’s strong selling points.

It soon became clear that the use and promotion of the Welsh language drives many of Marchnad Ogwen’s positive impacts.

The bilingual market attracts local stallholders, reducing the tendency to sell products sourced from further afield, lessening the impact of transport on the environment. It also increases the value of the market as a place to bring English and Welsh speakers together. This results in an appeal to a very dense local market and consequently a high economic impact on the local community. The market is thriving and has recently moved to a new location, Neuadd Ogwen.

For further information please visit

Rhai o'r stondinau :: Two of the stalls

Y Lasynys Fawr Mansion House
Friends of Ellis Wynne

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Y Lasynys Fawr, Harlech, Gwynedd, is an important Welsh cultural site. The birthplace of Ellis Wynne, a Welsh clergyman and author of an influential piece of literature, Visions of the Sleeping Bard published in 1703.

Friends of Ellis Wynne are responsible for the Mansion House. Their aim is to enable the local community to use the house for cultural events. They intend to increase visitor numbers and are developing plans for a new interpretation centre. To develop a sustainable management system our Ecological Engineering team conducted a biodiversity assessment of the grounds. The final report contains information on the surrounding habitats, the local plant and animal species, management plan, and the importance for sustaining biodiversity. This information will be available on public interpretation boards. Y Lasynys Fawr can be part of a network of businesses that encourages attractions to work together enhancing the visitor experience and encouraging longer stays.

Developing the Llŷn
Menter y Felin Uchaf

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Menter y Felin Uchaf is a land-based social enterprise on the Llŷn Peninsula offering training courses and workshops specialising in traditional skills and a year-round programme of cultural events. A new Centre for Living Arts & Science is opening soon which will host a new visitor centre.

The Team and Menter y Felin Uchaf have been collaborating on projects that contribute to the development of the organisation and the wider community on the Llŷn:

  • A biodiversity baseline survey (plants and animals) and a habitat management plan for the site
  • A mapping exercise using GIS looking at the present provision of services, attractions and accommodation on the Llŷn for visitors
  • Development of a new map-based mobile ‘app’ showing all the local attractions and services
  • In-depth research on opportunities to sustainably develop the tourist industry on the Llŷn, bringing economic and social benefits to the community whilst preserving the environment.

How warm is warm enough?
Local businesses

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Gas and electricity are available at the flick of a switch. If we pay for it by automatic direct debit we often don’t notice how much we use, how much it costs and how much we could save. Whilst it may be easy to monitor consumption it is difficult to engage with people to effect positive behaviour change towards energy efficiency.

This graph illustrates data from monitors installed in four homes. The interesting feature is the wide variation in temperatures acceptable to the householders. Reasons for the differences include type of house, lifestyle, phase of life, health conditions, fuel prices and sometimes environmental ideals.

The Sustainable Businesses team at Bangor University is developing further demonstration pilots, experimenting with data collection from offices, public spaces etc with the aim of identifying better ways to engage with staff and embed energy management practices. Please contact us to discuss your energy efficiency needs.

Recycled materials boost creativity

January 4, 2015 No Comments

Siân Hutchinson, an Art Therapist working across Wales, Britain and further afield, has decided to emphasise her use of recycled, re-used materials and minimal waste as part of her marketing strategy.

Having contacted the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change (WCBC) in order to explore the possibilities for co-working, Siân was able to take advantage of the business sustainability support offered in conjunction with the Sustainable Businesses team. Exploring issues around the Welsh Language and Environmental impact led to her writing policies in these areas. She was the first of the WCBC’s clients to receive the Sustainability CharterMark . Siân’s Welsh Language policy emphasises making the visual aspects of her business more bilingual and although there may be costs related to translation she regards this as a worthwhile investment to make her work more accessible to a greater audience. Siân Hutchinson

It was easier than I thought to write an Environmental Policy, all I had to do was emphasise what I already do anyway in terms of minimising waste and re-using and re-cycling materials. I find that recycled materials boost my creativity so it’s beneficial to the quality of my work, reduces costs and benefits the environment all at once.” says Siân.

To find out more about Siân and her work visit her website.

Reducing electricity costs through analysing patterns of consumption
Bangor University

January 4, 2015 No Comments

In order to help businesses understand how to get the most out of electricity monitoring systems, the Sustainable Business Team decided to start at home by gaining a better understanding of electricity use on Bangor University’s campus.

Heat mapAs a first step a ‘heat map‘ that allows us to compare electricity use for every half hour period over the whole of 2013 was produced. It clearly shows that electricity is mostly consumed during normal weekday hours (red), as well as in the evenings during term times (at the halls of residence). Knowing our ‘patterns of consumption’ gives us clues on how and where we can realistically change our behaviour. Insight like this enables us to reduce energy costs and reduce CO2 in a way that fits our operational needs.

This is a work in progress. If you’re interested in understanding more about your own business’ energy use, please contact us to find out more.

Welsh means business

January 4, 2015 No Comments

The templates and guidance available from the Sustainable Business Team and WCBC teams at Bangor University helped in the designing of policies for the use of the Welsh Language, for Equality and Diversity and for Environmental Management.

In fact so straightforward was the process that Steps4ward was awarded the Sustainability CharterMark within a week of Sandra Myer’s initial contact with our Sustainability Advisor.

Building people’s self confidence in their capabilities is a prime focus of Sandra’s Steps4ward programme with the aim of enabling people to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Communication being a key skill it was natural for the need to use both Welsh and English to be a primary consideration in the design and running of the resource.

It’s been lovely working with all the wonderful people at the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change. I feel very blessed indeed with all the support that everyone has given me”, Sandra Myers, Owner.

Sandra talks about the Welsh language in her business (Fluent Welsh)

Animated Social Media Icons by Acurax Responsive Web Designing Company