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A Positive Team with a Net Zero Goal

Welcome/Croeso to the Cynon Taf Carbon Reduction and Sequestration project! This joining of forces aims to measure, reduce, and sequester the embedded and operational carbon for existing Cynon Taf Housing Association (CTHA) residential stock. This is no small undertaking, requiring a broad portfolio of skills and knowledge to ensure success. The ideal solution was a SMART Partnership (SP) led by Cardiff Metropolitan University for and co-funded by Cynon Taf Housing Association and the Welsh Government - to support the Down to Zero Project. The SP Project title is: Cynon Taf Housing Association Carbon Reduction and Land-Based Carbon Sequestration Strategy.

The four organisations have ambitious plans to achieve Cynon Taf's sustainability goals for net zero carbon and promoting local food security, community opportunities, and growing the knowledge base of land-based carbon solutions. Follow us on twitter (@Jack_Net0 and @DowntoZ) for more frequent and informal updates on our project progress!

Our Carbon Reduction Associate is Jack Nodwell, supported by Down to Zero’s Project Manager Tom Addiscott, Cynon Taf’s Chief Executive and Cardiff Met’s supervisors Professor John Littlewood, Kirsten Stevens-Wood, and Dr Fausto Sanna. Jack will be posting regular blogs to disseminate the progress of the Smart Partnership project. This first blog post introduces the core team:

Tom Addiscott (Down to Zero) is the Down to Zero Project Manager brining the drive, organisation, and connection between Down to Zero, Cynon Taf and Cardiff Met to support Jack in delivering all stages of the Smart Partnership project. Tom’s background in financial advising, team management, and education provides key skills and knowledge to the management of the project along with extensive great strength in both building and engaging the local community.

The Cardiff Met Team (From left to right)

Prof. John Littlewood (Cardiff School of Art & Design) is Professor of Sustainable and Resilient Buildings and Lead for the Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment research group (SuRBe). Prof Littlewood is Academic Lead Supervisor. For a full academic bio click here. John brings expertise in helping housing associations reduce their operational carbon and embodied carbon emissions; and organic no-dig principles and practice for food growing that can inform the evaluation of land-based carbon sequestration plans, ensuring a sustainable utilisation of land.

Kirsten Stevens-Wood (Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy) is a Lecturer with experience in the disciplines of Health & Social care, Community Development, and targeted focus in exploring creativity in communal living. Kirsten is Lead for the Intentional Communities research group. To see a full academic bio, click here. Kirsten will draw on both her research and her experience of working with communities, including working as a national development worker for the City Farms movement (now known as Social Farms) and has considerable community development experience. She is also personally invested in this project as a long-term woodland owner, beekeeper, and environmental and ethical vegan. opportunities to engage the community and promote environmental sustainability through bee related land-based carbon sequestration.

Dr. Fausto Sanna (Cardiff School of Art & Design) is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department (Architecture & Built Environment). Dr Sanna who is an Architect and brings his expertise in evaluating the environmental impacts of buildings through life-cycle assessment (LCA) based upon many complex parameters, and of conducting uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis. Dr Sanna’s expertise in analysing the thermal performance of the building envelope which impact upon operational carbon emissions, and mitigation and adaptation strategies to tackle climate change will guide the projects aims of reducing climate impact. For a full academic bio click here.

Jack Nodwell (Cardiff School of Art & Design) is the Carbon Reduction Associate, and will be completing the initial audit, strategy research, and strategy drafting for the project. Jack comes from a background in Biology (St. Mary’s University) and Sustainable Resource Management (University of Limerick), with focuses in plant-based solutions to pollution and communication methods required to combat the growing greenwashing occurrence in household purchasing.

Additionally, the Cynon Taf Housing Association team are providing diverse project assistance from departments ranging from Surveying, Maintenance, Communications, Development, Financial Administration, and Asset Management to assist our core team. These areas are crucial to various steps of the project and will be explored as the project gets underway.

Finally, a big thanks to the Welsh Government for co-funding this Smart Partnership project. The promotion of our actions to create local social, environmental, and financial wellbeing and resilience through sustainability is much appreciated.

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