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Coleg Sir Gar launches new sustainability skills initiative

Coleg Sir Gâr has launched a new sustainability project that will equip people and organisations in Carmarthenshire with the vital knowledge and skills they need to become net zero by 2030.

The Green 24 initiative aims to demystify the subject of sustainability and share greener living and working practises to anyone with the desire to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

To enable people to think global and act local, Green 24 is delivered through a range of engagement events, community outreach activities, and qualifications. These range from a 2-hour Introduction to Net Zero course, through to a 15-day IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management.

A first-of-its-kind initiative for Carmarthenshire, the programme is designed and driven by industry experts who will impart their real-world experience and knowledge to employers, workforces, and members of the public, seeking access the programme’s valuable hands-on and practical learning opportunities.

Green 24 has been developed as a response to the Welsh Government’s Climate Emergency declaration in 2019, which was backed by Carmarthenshire County Council and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group. In 2020, Carmarthenshire County Council made a further response by declaring an additional Nature Emergency.

Jemma Parsons, Head of the Green Skills Academy at Coleg Sir Gâr, said:

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“Sustainability is no longer a buzzword, but a necessity. Our planet is facing unprecedented environmental challenges, from climate change to resource depletion and it’s up to us to take action. 

“Green 24 will upskill individuals in sustainability practises, preparing ourselves not only for the future job market, but also making a tangible contribution to a more sustainable and equitable world.”

The first of many engagement events across the county, Green 24’s launch celebrations at the National Botanic Garden of Wales brought Coleg Sir Gâr experts together with the programmes pioneering early adopters, who include Carmarthenshire Council members, local employers, and members of the public.

There, attendees heard speeches from Dr. Andrew Cornish, Principal at Coleg Sir Gâr, and Rhodri Griffiths, Head of Place and Sustainability at Carmarthenshire County Council, as well as songs from Llandeilo Primary School choir.  

Guests were also encouraged to write their own sustainability pledge and hang it on a pledge tree, which will be taken to future events to build pledges and build on Carmarthenshire’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2030.

Dr. Andrew Cornish, CEO and Principal at Coleg Sir Gâr, said:

“The Welsh Government’s Future Generations policy talks about a prosperous Wales, a resilient Wales, and a healthy Wales – all of which, really, fit under the umbrella of sustainability.

“Having this project sets the tone of what we want to do going forward. We are incredibly proud to be driving the Green 24 programme, as at Coleg Sir Gâr, we know that engaging learners in conversations around sustainability is key to a sustainable future for our planet.”

The launch of the Green 24 initiative follows recent news that the Coleg Sir Gâr Green Skills Academy was recently named an IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) Centre of Excellence, based at the Gelli Aur Campus in Llandeilo.

Coleg Sir Gâr’s Green 24 programme is by the UK Government, Shared Prosperity Fund. The Fund has also allowed the college to establish several additional programmes that are each designed to empower communities across the region by addressing specific needs faced by organisations and individuals. These include, Care 24, Cook 24, and a numeracy focused adult learning provision, Multiply.

For further information, or to enquire how Green 24 can enable you, or your organisation, to gain the skills you need to become Net Zero, please contact[email protected] or visit www.colegsirgar.ac.uk/index.php/en/employers/green-skills-academy.

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