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Unmasking CNR’s climate heroes

January 12, 2022

Climate heroes Wayne Holmes and Karen Adkins from Clydach Nickel Refinery. Photo: Vale Archive

There are genuine heroes amongst us. Climate heroes. They include Emma Jones, Wayne Holmes, Karen Perry and Karen Atkins – all from our Clydach Nickel Refinery (CNR) in Wales.

Emma, Wayne, Karen and Karen all have a lower-than-average carbon footprint thanks to their environmentally sensitive practices such as cycling or walking to work, using public transport, shopping locally and taking their own bags, avoiding food waste, purchasing only what they need and gifting what they don’t. 

Their respective carbon footprints, which is each person’s total greenhouse gas emissions expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents, were calculated on the free-to-use ClimateHero website. According to the website, which is run by environmentally conscious entrepreneurs, “239,807 people have used the ClimateHero calculator and have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint by 503,595 tonnes CO2 per year, the equivalent of removing 335,730 diesel cars from our roads.”

“For a long time, the Sustainability team at CNR has been curious about employees’ personal impact on the environment,” said Fiona (Fi) Sharp, Sustainability coordinator at CNR. 

Then, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) took place in Scotland last October for two weeks, and the team knew the time was ripe for CNR employees and leaders to take a carbon footprint test. The online ClimateHero calculator provides scores and suggested areas for improvement and associated positive impacts. For example, changing to a greener energy supplier could reduce a score by around one tonne alone. 

Climate hero Emma Jones from our Clydach Nickel Refinery. Photo: Vale Archive

Results were split into Climate Villain, Climate Consumer and Climate Hero. “The average in the U.K. is around 13 tonnes per person so it was wonderful that the average score across the Refinery was just over eight tonnes per person,” said Fi, adding, “It’s been a really great and eye-opening process.”

Most of our CNR colleagues fell into the Climate Consumer bracket but Emma, Wayne, Karen and Karen came out as our Climate Heroes. “Their masks and capes are on the way!” Fi joked. 

Darren Poland, Plant manager, said “The point of the exercise was not about judging anyone. Rather, it was about raising awareness around how our individual carbon footprint impacts on the environment and how we can take steps to improve. 

“Whilst governments must make legislative changes,” Darren continued, “the ClimateHero calculator is helpful in understanding what is within our own power to affect positive change. The calculator shows how subtle changes by each person can contribute to a significant carbon reduction.”

Richard De Filippo, Sustainability supervisor said, “Employees are able to redo the survey online at any time to see how the changes they have made improves their scores.”

Want to calculate your carbon footprint. Click here to use the ClimateHero carbon calculator

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