Partner spotlight: Cumbria Action for Sustainability

Cumbria Action for Sustainability has been a sustainability charity in Cumbria for 25 years.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) is a team of more than 40 staff, most of them part time, led by the CEO and board of 7 trustees. CAfS is delighted to have carbon footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee as the patron.

The vision is a zero carbon Cumbria by 2037.

Zero Carbon Cumbria

CAfS is a co-chair of the Zero Carbon Cumbria project – a wide-reaching and aspirational partnership that brings together over 80 influential organisations to work towards a net nero Cumbria by 2037. The partnership commissioned a full baseline of Cumbria’s emissions in 2019, and is working with sector groups from key emission areas to plot a trajectory towards net zero. The partnership has it’s own website at

CAfS also manages many locally based projects to support carbon reduction across communities. Here is just a flavour of the work and projects that CAfS supports and delivers.

CAfS’ Climate Trainers taking part in a ‘Climate Fresk’ as part of their training.

Retrofit Made Easy

This retrofit project will help householders across Cumbria with their retrofit journey. It involves a programme of free in-person events across Cumbria, as well as online webinars. CAfS has trained volunteers that can conduct a free thermal imaging survey to support planning. Trained home energy experts can then establish options and advise with design.

Last year over 1,250 people watched online webinars launched by CAfS.

Farm Futures – Farmhouse Retrofit

Experts at CAfS know that farmhouses are often older properties that can be draughty, hard to keep warm and losing heat through walls, doors, windows and roofs. These beautiful, traditional properties need an understanding of heritage skills and appropriate materials to fix and maintain. CAfS has been working with farming families to offer a fully funded Home Retrofit Planner – a comprehensive, independent energy audit for farmhouses. The properties will then be detailed in case studies so CAfS can share the learning and examples with others across Cumbria.

Cold to Cosy Homes adviser Amy in the home of one of the clients

Climate and Carbon Literacy

Education, behaviour change and empowering others in their climate action journey is a powerful parr of what they do at CAfS – the Climate and Carbon Literacy training comes in many shapes and sizes – including an award-winning full day course accredited from the Carbon Literacy project.

Last year CAfS trained over 550 people – with 95% agreeing strongly that they ‘improved their knowledge of climate change’

Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria

The award winning Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria project offers free and independent energy saving advice and equipment to help make homes warmer, more comfortable, and cheaper to heat.

In 2023 CAfS saved their householders over £25,000 in energy costs!

People Powered Retrofit is collaborating with Cumbria Action for Sustainability by providing its assessment software. This partnership focuses on developing retrofit services and supplying back-end tools such as the Home Retrofit Planner. This collaboration improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, ensuring homeowners receive the best possible service and support in their journey.

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