Eden appoints officer to work on zero carbon and biodiversity commitments

Eden District Council has appointed a Sustainability Coordinator to join its sustainability team.

The team are working to deliver the zero carbon and biodiversity commitments made when the Council declared a climate and ecology emergency in 2019. The Council’s ambition is to make the authority carbon neutral by 2030.

Corentin Cortiula-Phelipot joins the authority to help make progress on its zero carbon strategy, which also includes a focus on protecting the biodiversity of Eden’s natural environment.

Corentin will be coordinating work across the council’s services and departments and is currently focusing on carbon literacy training for staff and members, as well as the Greening Eden Business project.

Delivered in partnership with the Cumbrian Business Environment Network (CBEN), the Greening Eden Business project’s aim is to help businesses assess and reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. The team are also working to build links with local and national partner organisations to help deliver on the council's commitments.

Corentin said: "We are looking at all the ways that the council can act sustainably and be as eco-friendly as possible. We are also currently auditing the council to establish its own carbon footprint with a view to identifying areas we can reduce it and increase our bio-diversity.

"We’re also working on a number of innovative projects that will assist Eden businesses and residents with improving their own carbon footprints and sustainability. The team are looking forward to making some exciting announcements about these projects in the coming weeks and months."

In the meantime, Council members and staff have been attending specially commissioned carbon literacy training sessions, which have been developed and delivered in partnership with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CafS). Those that successfully complete the course, which runs over two half-days, receive a qualification issued by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

"The feedback from courses has been fantastic," says Corentin. “It goes into the science behind the data to give a real understanding of the climate emergency we face. Everyone taking part is then asked to outline one action they can take personally and one change they could make within their department to reduce their carbon footprint, or improve biodiversity and sustainability."

"The plan is that all Council members and staff will be able to take part in the training, because the knowledge and understanding they gain will enable us to make more sustainable collective and individual decisions, going forward."

Leader of Eden District Council, Cllr. Virginia Taylor, said: "I am so pleased that Corentin has joined EDC to help realise our goals - making EDC's operations zero carbon by 2030, helping Eden district to become net zero carbon, and improving biodiversity while protecting our working cultural landscapes and economies.

"We want to be leaders in shaping a sustainable model for living in changing times and for Eden to become a centre of excellence for the latest green technologies - all this can only happen with co-operative working inside and outside the council, and having Corentin with us will bring all these partnerships closer."

Corentin moved to Eden in 2019 after completing an MSc at Edinburgh University and a European project looking at the impact of climate change on the English wine industry. He lives in Langwathby and loves living in Cumbria, with its amazing landscape, which reminds him of his home region of Grenoble in southern France.

Corentin's appointment completes the council’s sustainability team, which consists of corporate policy and research officer, Jasmine Holliday, and part-time Sustainability Coordinator, Adrian Banford, who both work on zero carbon, biodiversity and sustainability at the Council.