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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As 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.
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)
Since becoming a social enterprise Canolfan Beaumaris Leisure Centre has been looking for ways to reduce its reliance on gas and electricity, to improve its green credentials and help ensure a financially sustainable future.
Working with the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change and the Sustainable Business Team provided Age Connects North Wales Central (ACNWC) with an opportunity to assess their organisation’s strengths.
The Welsh Government’s strategy for Older People, 2013-2020, emphasises that people need to have access to social, environmental and financial resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face. ACNWC decided on two ways to increase the impact of their services on these resources.
Staff have been encouraged to improve recycling rates and ACNWC have started to discuss eco-centred projects with external partners. Offering a free Welsh course to staff and volunteers has helped improve the Welsh language service they offer clients.
We have been able to build coherent and robust Welsh Language policies and assess Environmental impact which has led to changes in staff perceptions and motivation. A key marker was the buy-in of our staff and this was helped and facilitated by this guidance and support’, said Judith Wynne, CEO.
Sabine Hoekema talks about the Welsh language in her business (Beginner’s Welsh with subtitles and fluent English. To access the subtitles click on the settings button (cog) in the video player bottom bar and select “English (United Kingdom)”)
Providing useful information to customers and visitors is central to successful organisational operation, and linking it to geographical locations is a big bonus.
Based on the Llŷn Pensinsula, Felin Uchaf wanted to promote relevant local services and attractions to its customers and visitors to Wales using a fully fledged mobile app. Unfortunately, with no expectation of significant financial return, justifying this proved problematic.
Creating web content is something most organisations already take seriously, so when Felin Uchaf approached our team about their idea, we were able to harness the power of their existing web content to create a ‘web-app’ map of all the local services and attractions, which is compatible with all modern web browsers and mobile devices.
Not only can web apps provide a cost effective, low risk way to engage with customers and visitors, they can also be used to prototype and develop the business case for fully fledged mobile apps.
For more information, contact our team.
The sustainability team held a special sustainability forum with Mike Palmer (Wales Audit Office) on the Future Generations Bill.