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Together For Our Planet campaign announces Wales’s award-winning green small business

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Onesta with product

CLOTHING business Onesta will be highly commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition today at a special awards ceremony hosted by Intuit at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow.

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own climate commitment.

The lifestyle brand, based in Carmarthenshire, Wales, were highly commended in the micro business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing eco-friendly materials locally, removing toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and re- purposing fabric scraps to make sustainable products for Surfers against Sewage.

Gabriella Diana, CEO and Founder of Onesta, said:

“It feels great to be part of a group of like-minded businesses that have come together for the good of the planet. The community and resources make a difficult challenge seem attainable.

“Saying you will do something is the easy part but joining together and making those changes, holding ourselves accountable, is what makes a Hero of Net Zero. We are honoured and incredibly grateful to be selected as a finalist and honoured to be invited to the awards ceremony at the COP26.”

Onesta won over the competition judges for their actions taking great strides in limiting waste in their business using circular economy principles and for reducing their carbon footprint by a tangible amount.

The business provides high quality, timeless clothing for men and women. Onesta meaning honesty represents their transparent approach to work; from the way they source and make clothing to protecting workers, the environment and upholding animal welfare.

The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The competition was supported by BT, SSE and NatWest Group, who contributed a prize package worth £4,500 for the winners in the micro business category, PPE manufacturer Design Abled, of Stanmore, in Harrow.

The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith. He is today due to present Onesta and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with awards and celebrate their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus.

The event will be live streamed from 11.45am on the UK government’s YouTube channel. 

UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said: 

“I am delighted to be celebrating The Heroes of Net Zero today at our special COP26 event. Representing a diverse range of industries and locations, the finalists spotlight the actions that UK businesses of any size can take to cut their own emissions and help us build back better.” 

Chris Leahy, Global Corporate Affairs Leader at Intuit QuickBooks said:

“UK small businesses will continue to play a critical role in building a more climate-positive future and we are proud to have sponsored these awards to showcase the winners’ great achievements. We will continue to work closely with SMEs, to support them as they commit to carbon reduction through our partnership with Together for Our Planet.”

Gabrielle Ginér, Head of Environmental Sustainability at BT said: 

“I am very pleased to see that so many small businesses have signed up to net zero targets. The winners showcased innovative and inspiring ways of reducing their impact on the climate and environment. I hope they will serve as exemplars for many more small businesses to take climate action.”  

Nikki Flanders, Managing Director of Energy Customer Solutions at SSE said:

“The Heroes of Net Zero competition has been a great opportunity to celebrate success and inspire businesses across the UK to take action. We’re excited to work with winners Design Abled and VMI.TV, helping them to further accelerate their journeys to net zero with our Energy Manager consultancy.”

James Close, Head of Climate at NatWest Group said: 

“It is inspiring to see small and medium size enterprises doing so much to commit to a net zero future. Not only is it good for their businesses, it’s also good for their customers and the planet and sets a great example to others.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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New recycling facility opens for Carmarthenshire businesses

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A new commercial waste recycling centre located in Nantycaws has been launched today (Monday October 31) by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with CWM Environmental Ltd.

Located next to Nantycaws Household Waste Recycling Centre, the new facility will focus on providing an outlet for businesses in Carmarthenshire to recycle their waste responsibly, with the waste collected at the site recycled or re-used to create sustainable products whenever possible.

The paid for service accepts a range of materials including metal, cardboard, plastic, plasterboard, soil, hardcore, paint, glass, asbestos (double bagged), large white goods including fridges and mixed general waste.

Costs will be competitive to encourage as many businesses as possible to use the facility and will vary depending on the type and amount of waste presented.

A valid waste carrier’s certificate and waste transfer note will be required to use the site.

Cllr Edward Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services said: “We hope to significantly increase the amount of waste being recycled from businesses in Carmarthenshire thanks to the introduction of this new recycling centre in Nantycaws”.

“Our long-term ambition is to change the perception of recycling for businesses by supporting them to recycle as much as possible. We want to promote responsible waste practices in the county and minimise the levels of business waste being presented at our household waste recycling centres, which has risen in recent months.

The new commercial recycling centre will help to achieve Carmarthenshire’s ambition of delivering a circular economy throughout the county as well as becoming a leader in recycling and re-use within Wales.

For more information visit the recycling section of the Council’s website – Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/recycling

A circular economy focuses on eliminating waste by cutting down on throw away consumption and turning materials that would have previously been sent to landfill into a valuable resource.

This project has been funded through Welsh Government’s Circular Economy fund.

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National Botanic Garden of Wales welcomes new director

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Dr Lucy Sutherland is the new Director of the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

She has joined the Welsh institution from her role as a strategic consultant to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which manages the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

She started in her new job on Monday October 24.

Dr Sutherland said: “It is an exciting and rare chance to lead a relatively young botanic garden through its next phase of maturity.

“It is also a unique opportunity at a time when the global population is facing multiple crises and there is growing ambition and support for addressing climate change and continuing efforts towards biodiversity conservation and a sustainable future.”

Dr Sutherland sees the National Botanic Garden of Wales as “continuing to have a critical role in this agenda.”

She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide and was previously the Director of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium in South Australia, Acting Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the National Co-ordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership.

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