Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and broadband provider Fibrus have teamed up to deliver carbon literacy education to 150 employees and contractors in Cumbria.

The partnership, facilitated by CAfS, a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation, involves training that centres on understanding carbon footprints, the consequences of everyday actions on the environment, and the urgency of undertaking collective action to re-establish our planet's fragile balance.

The aim of the partnership is to promote a more sustainable, eco-friendly community, as well as to establish partnerships and extend the training to project partners.

Conducted over Zoom in two half-day sessions, the training has been described as ‘enlightening’ by the first group of local Fibrus staff who have now completed their accredited course.

Fibrus, with plans to invest £700 million, continues to focus on bringing full-fibre broadband to homes and businesses in the UK's remote towns and villages that need it most.

Last year, the UK government awarded Fibrus a £108 million contract to provide up to 60,000 rural premises across Cumbria access to next-generation connectivity.

Alongside this, Fibrus and CAfS have committed to delivering carbon literacy training for 150 staff and contractors across various roles.

This investment is part of Project Gigabit, a £5 billion UK government scheme to enable hard-to-reach UK communities access to ultra-fast, gigabit-capable broadband.

Hazel Graham, Carbon Literacy Training Manager said: “Carbon literate employees understand the scale of the climate crisis and what to do about it – how it relates to them, at home or at work.

“They understand the need for, and the benefits of, an organisation’s climate strategy and how they can drive it forward in their role.

“They can confidently talk about the problem and the solutions and the benefits of taking action. They will tackle the climate crisis through informed decisions and practical actions, helping their organisation to truly have an impact on their carbon footprint."

Fibrus say staff felt ‘motivated to take tangible steps towards emission reduction’.

Libby Bates, a Fibrus employee, said: “We’re pretty good at recycling in our house but haven’t previously thought much about how we can introduce other interventions to reduce our carbon footprint within the family. After completing the training, I feel that I am a lot more aware of my contribution to the bigger picture, and that we cannot delay in making the change.”

Following the training, each staff member vowed to implement specific actions to minimise their carbon footprint within their own lives and the wider Fibrus community.

Suggestions included investigating fibre cable recycling and planting four new trees for every telecom pole installed.

Environmental and Sustainability Specialist at Fibrus, Rachel Bain said: “Everyone who has attended the training so far has been enlightened and motivated to make changes, big and small, and I can’t wait to see how this will cascade through Fibrus and help us do more to reach our net zero goals.

“CAfs are the perfect partner to deliver this training, with their knowledgeable and friendly staff, not to mention being base in Cumbria, helping Fibrus contribute to Zero Carbon Cumbria reaching its net zero target of 2037.”