Monday, March 11, 2013 - 17:00

Cornwall’s Clear About Carbon project was recognised at the prestigious 2013 European Social Fund Innovation, Transnationality and Mainstreaming Awards – held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Savoy Place, London, recently.  

The awards ceremony formed part of a final celebratory event to venerate the 32 projects across the UK that have made up the European Social Fund programme of developing workforce skills and employment since 2007.

The four-year Clear About Carbon project (a partnership between Eden Project, Cornwall Development Company, Duchy College and the University of Exeter Business School), which finishes at the end of the month, has a mission to find new ways to increase carbon and climate awareness within businesses and the public sector. Working with staff in Cornish organisations, the project has been developing a number of initiatives and training programmes to encourage and assist local firms to reduce their carbon emissions and save money.  

Represented on the day by Paul Holmes, Eden’s Sustainable Business Development Manager, and Simon Ramsay, Associate Research Fellow at University of Exeter Business School, and facing stiff competition from other inspiring regional projects, the Clear About Carbon project scooped the top award for Mainstreaming, with the organisers stating “This award celebrates the project that has reached the pinnacle of achievement by ensuring a legacy post-funding. It will have had an impact on policy, plus will have been transferred beyond its original context.”

Mark Yeoman, head of ESF Convergence Communication, said: “Clear About Carbon winning this national award is testament to both the effective use of ESF investment bringing innovation to tackling real issues, and to the partner organisations that are taking the ideas and lessons and using them to great effect.

“Mainstream investment is being used to ensure that the benefits of the proven good practice are embedded more widely. Many congratulations to all concerned.”

One of the major achievements of Clear About Carbon was the development of a free, on-line carbon literacy resource to help public sector employees understand climate change, greenhouse gases and carbon footprinting. It was put together by the Defra-led National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme in collaboration with the Clear About Carbon project. The e-learning course has now been rolled been out across the whole of the NHS procurement teams.

Paul Holmes, Project Manager based at the Eden Project, said “We’re really thrilled to win this prestigious award. The project partnership based in Cornwall developed training resources that have now gone national and it’s great to get this recognition.

“I would urge any business supplying the NHS, or any other public sector institution, to take a close look at the training that public sector procurers are now undertaking. As well as price, quality and delivery, carbon reduction strategies will increasingly be used by Procurement Managers in the decision making process.”

All the carbon literacy resources are available free from: