Meet Us

The Carbon Literacy Project was created and founded by Cooler Projects CIC which is now delivering The Carbon Literacy Project on behalf of The Carbon Literacy Trust.

The Carbon Literacy Project would never have been possible without our past and current entirely wonderful Project Workers and Volunteers.

The Project was created and is currently being led by:


Dave ColemanDave Coleman

Cooler co-founder. Having graduated in biochemistry, Dave began his career with Deloittes, and then spent twelve years working in IT becoming a director of one of the North West’s top IT companies. He then founded a small consultancy and spent ten years working as a management trainer and coach in the commercial sector.

Having spent six years on the boards of Friends of the Earth, he chaired the “Energy” writing group of “Manchester A Certain Future”, and now sits on its steering group, chairing the Low Carbon Culture aim.

Dave is an experienced public speaker and advocate and has appeared widely on BBC TV and Radio, ITV, C4 and Sky and in the regional and national press, and recent work has included management consultancy advising a corporate on product sustainability, developing a feasibility study for a sustainable business network, work creating, developing and leading The Carbon Literacy Project, and general  advocacy, advisory and chairing work.


Phil KorbelPhil Korbel

Cooler co-founder. Phil is a long standing social entrepreneur, broadcaster and community activist based in Manchester.  He wants to leave his children ‘a future not an apology’.

Phil has been a long-time activist for sustainable development, moving from local work with Friends of the Earth in the 1980’s to riding a tandem back from Sydney raising awareness of rainforest conservation in 1990.  Having studied law at Manchester Polytechnic, Phil enjoyed a successful career in radio working as a presenter and producer of features and documentaries for BBC Network Radio, and working for programmes as diverse as You and Yours and Mark Radcliffe.  One of his proudest moments remains giving the first-ever radio airplay to The Inspiral Carpets.  Between making programmes Phil delivered media training to a wide range of national and local clients, from the RSPB to Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

In 1999 he was the moving force behind setting up the leading community media charity Radio Regen ( working in community engagement and creating community solutions from the ground up. This work led to a place on the Board of the Manchester Local Strategic Partnership where he sits as an independent member, ensuring a high profile for sustainable development in the City’s over-arching strategies.  Phil was also a lead lobbyist in the successful campaign establishing legislation for community radio – working with ministers and civil servants to that end. He is still Director of Radio Regen, working part time there as Cooler grows.

In 2007 Phil was one of the founders of the high level climate change advocacy network The 100 Months Club, which in turn led to involvement in the drafting of the city’s climate change action plan: Manchester:A Certain Future,  ( as part of which he led the ‘Buildings’ writing group. He still contributes to the MACF Steering Group and is also a member of the Board of Manchester’s Local Strategic Partnership.


Emma Charlotte Richards

Emma joined the project as a volunteer in 2016, though first became involved with the Carbon Literacy Project a year previous. She has worked for Cooler Projects as Project Coordinator since May 2017.

Emma graduated with a First Class degree in Geography in the summer of 2017. She was amongst the first qualified Carbon Literacy Trainers, since training students and communities at Manchester Metropolitan University and ENSEEIHT in Toulouse. Having interned with Cooler throughout the final year of her degree, Emma was invited to become Project Coordinator as her first graduate role.


Rachel Harding

Dr Rachel Harding joined Cooler Projects as a volunteer in January 2017 after deciding on a career change from earth science research. Since May 2017, Rachel has been working as Project Coordinator and is focusing on our Salford Consortium, our customer relations management system, and research development. Rachel is passionate about science communication and spreading the word on how individuals can help mitigate climate change.

Rachel is a published academic author with a PhD in the how the waxing and waning ice sheets of the earliest Quaternary (2.58–1.78 Ma) fundamentally changed the landscape of the southern North Sea and surrounding coastlines. She also has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia and a Master’s in Geoscience from the University of Manchester.


Virginia HarveyVH headshot cropped

Virginia has been working as the Carbon Literacy Project Coordinator since 2014, but has been involved in the Project since January 2013. She is currently working one day a week with the Project alongside studying for a PhD.

In 2007, Virginia graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor with a First Class degree in Zoology with Marine Zoology. In the years immediately following, she pursued a number of ventures, researching human effects on the natural environment – her career passion. Virginia’s involvement with the CL Project reflects her goals of dedicating a working career to help devise solutions for the biggest crises our Planet faces. Within this remit, Virginia is currently completing an Masters of Philosophy (MPhil; University of Manchester) in the subject of Biology – her published research of which is helping fight the case for the protection of areas of high biodiversity in the world.


Our Project Workers and Volunteers

Throughout the development of The Carbon Literacy Project, we have been graced with the opportunity to work with a number of greatly talented and passionate Volunteers and Project Workers. Find out more about them below.

Henry Greenwood

Henry joined the Carbon Literacy Project in October 2017, shortly after finishing a degree in Politics and International Relations. Looking to gain experience in the environmental sector, he focussed largely on the Project’s social media and marketing, producing research reports, statistical analysis, and set out guidelines both for branding, and how the Project could better utilise social media and increase its public exposure. Now going travelling, he hopes to use the knowledge, experience and skills he’s gained from his time at The Carbon Literacy Project to gain a full-time role in sustainability on his return.

Belkais Zagandi

Belkais joined the Carbon Literacy project in summer 2017. She is a second year biomedical science student at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she gained certification as Carbon Literate in 2016. She wanted to enhance her CV whilst learning more about sustainability, so found the Carbon Literacy Project a really good opportunity to learn new skills and support the environment. Belkais is involved with a number of tasks including using the Salesforce software to update the CL database, as well as creating and scheduling social media content.

Joseph Dodd

Joe joined the Carbon Literacy Project in 2017. After completing an internship in the spring, he is set to resume his studies over the summer before returning to us in the autumn. In his time with the project, he helped with the launch of the Salford Consortium. He is currently undertaking an MSc in Environmental Governance at Freiburg University, Germany. His thesis is on the topic of local climate governance in the UK.

Emma Charlotte Richards

Emma joined the Carbon Literacy Project in 2015 through a CL training session. She then went on to become certified as a CL Trainer, training students at both MMU and ENSEEIGHT in Toulouse. She then interned with Cooler Projects CIC from the summer of 2016 alongside the final year of her Geography (BSc). During this time she has been involved with a number of tasks and projects including the production of a report into the effectiveness of CLK e-learning. Her work with the Carbon Literacy Project has catalysed a career in sustainability engagement. She has since joined us as Project Coordinator.

Ned Gatenby

Ned's first involvement with Cooler Projects and the Carbon Literacy Trust was through his CL Facilitator training, lead by Jane. After completing this he has trained a number of his fellow students at MMU. He has written us a number of posts for our website and after graduating his degree in Environmental Management and Sustainability he has taken work in York but promises to keep volunteering with us remotely to maintain our online presence.
Involvement in the Project has helped him to find his passion for sustainability education and awareness and we hope he takes this into all his future endeavours.

Joshua West

After graduating from Plymouth University in 2014 with a degree in Conservation Biology and later completing a solo travel adventure, Josh wanted to gain more experience in environmental sustainability and carbon reduction, and joined Cooler in August 2015 via Manchester: A Certain Future. Josh took on primary responsibility for our social media and written communications and collated a new digest for the Carbon Literacy website. He also became one of our primary researchers, researching everything from funding opportunities to climate change facts, and helping generate content for our e-learning framework: "Carbon Literacy: Knowledge". Directly Utilising this experience, Josh secured a full-time role as a sustainability officer at Leeds University in January 2016, where we are very confident he is a great asset to the team.

Jack Smith

Jack joined Cooler as an intern as part of the work-experience component of his MMU degree course in Geography, and we gave him responsibility for creating and assembling the Low Carbon Walking Guide to Manchester, a Cooler Project in support of Carbon Literacy. He researched a range of exemplar low carbon projects going on all around us in Manchester, but largely invisible to the casual passer-by. The online guide reveals some of these hidden "low-carbon gems" via a structured walk around the city, with pictures and audio content at each location. From the energy efficient lighting systems at the Royal Exchange (pictured) to a close brush with bees on the roof of the Cathedral, the project left Jack with quite a buzz! Jack is now completing his degree, but we hope to borrow him back for the launch of our new app!

Brittany Heap

Brittany joined the Project in November 2014, after hearing about Cooler Projects through Action for Sustainable Living. She wanted to gain practical business experience in sustainability after graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in Environmental Biology. She helped create the CLP Newsletter, was our primary climate change researcher, and set up an automated Twitter feed full of interesting facts to promote Carbon Literacy and expand the project's social media presence. She undertook a paid internship in sustainability, before rejoining us as Project Coordinator in 2017. She is currently working towards a PhD studying the roll of stress on crop productivity.

Mariana Grava

Mariana always wanted to work in the sustainability sector, but it took her a while to find this out. After working as a teacher and travelling the world as a flight attendant, she found the perfect opportunity to take the first step towards a professional career in sustainability: through a casual conversation with a passenger on her flight, who just happened to be the MD of the founding sponsor of The Carbon Literacy Project - Westford Mill. She joined the team in January 2015 as a full time Project Worker for a one-year post, and was instrumental in helping develop the e-learning framework; Carbon Literacy: Knowledge, our certification processes, research, events; basically everything that Cooler could throw at her! Mariana completed her year in Paris, as we worked for two weeks as part of our TAP award at COP21 in December 2015. We owe her many thanks for her year's dedication and hard work.

Parisa T. H. Azar

Coming from an Architectural Engineering & Environmental Design background, Parisa assisted us in the development of our e-Learning course 'Carbon Literacy: Knowledge, Parisa was also our primary climate change researcher and our graphic designer. Parisa worked to issue Carbon-Literacy certificates and approve Criteria Checkers from Carbon Literacy Trainers. Parisa has been undertaking a series of paid contracts in the sustainability sector, but between contracts continues to work with us

Amy Bennett

After graduating in Environmental Science and working in environmental education, Amy initially met the Carbon Literacy team at the 2014 Carbon Active event, through volunteering with Action for Sustainable Living, another Manchester-based organisation. After a day of encouraging the public to take action to lower their carbon footprint, Amy was inspired to help spread the word on Carbon Literacy. She began volunteering for the project in August 2014, contributing to a range of tasks from research for the e-Learning resources to criteria-checking and fundraising.

Maria Pfeifer

Maria joined the team in June 2014. She initially worked to map the environmental criteria of Manchester schools, followed by a comparison of our Carbon Literacy Standard against other qualifications. Maria spent time working as an excellent personal researcher, gathering up-to-date scientific facts on climate change and injecting them into our e-learning project - an e-learning resource that we have developed to help deliver Carbon Literacy online. She left us only to move to London and start a family.

Bernadette Chapman

Bernadette joined us in April 2014 and volunteered to gain experience and skills whilst she completes her MSc in Environmental Governance at the University of Manchester. Bernadette was our experienced website editor, newsletter writer and reporter, and visited Carbon Literacy trainers and other VIPs to find out more about what they are doing to train in Carbon Literacy. Thanks to her, we were able to release our online newsletters more regularly than we have ever done otherwise before or since!


Colin joined us for his student placement as part of his degree in Environmental Management and Sustainability, at Manchester Metropolitan University. He got stuck in to some really complex and challenging work for us, mapping our Carbon Literacy Standard against other environmental qualifications and courses. His work has enabled us to build our Carbon Literacy connections across Greater Manchester and for organisations which are training their staff to other environmental qualifications to use these as accredited prior learning for Carbon Literacy. Following his placement, having been insufficiently scared working for Cooler, Colin ventured to South Africa to work with lions, and then returned to MMU to complete his degree.

Micaela Rossi

Micaela volunteered with us to supplement her professional experience, after working for a year following a degree in Communications and PR. She worked primarily on the project website, advised on social media technology and events, and designed our email newsletter and the back-office systems which run it. She left to take a full-time role as a copywriter with a Media City based communications agency Media Agency Group. In the picture, Micaela represents The Carbon Literacy Project as she leads Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government Sir David King, through a Carbon Literacy floor-game at DECC's British Energy Challenge event (September 2013).

Ayma Kazmi

Ayma volunteered with us across the summer of 2013 and into her third year, to supplement her academic work on her degree in Management from the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was however already Carbon Literate, having completed one of the very first Carbon Literacy courses piloted at MMU. She quickly helped streamline our certification processes, helped criteria check and certify training initiatives, worked on our online resources library and helped deliver and then blog about our public facing events.
Ayma took a break to focus on her final year but still pops in from time to time to help and support us.

Pedro Rubio

Pedro, a passionate advocate for environment, energy and low carbon culture, came to us as a voluntary Project Worker. Already very experienced in the sector, he supported us enormously by setting up a new, comprehensive version of the Carbon Literacy Resource Library, populating the database and creating the slide library, and supporting the development of Powerpoint material for Carbon Literacy Trainers. Finally, he gave us a welcomed helping hand (and legs) during our Carbon Active 2013 event (Yep: that's him on the bike.)
Pedro put his experience to good use to gain a place on the Masters programme in Energy Management at the University of Stirling and then by moving directly into full-time employment as an energy analyst at a Scottish Energy company.

Matilde Christensen

Matilde joined the Project after recognising an opportunity in a casual conversation at the coffee bar in Pop-up Bikes! She worked with us throughout the summer and autumn of 2013 to fulfil the work experience requirement of her degree in English from the University of Huddersfield. Matilde certified participants and courses, helped with our trainer certification process and helped with the early stages of our Carbon Literacy for Registered Providers project (CL4RPs), before returning to the University of Huddersfield to finish her degree.

Rebecca Hardy

Rebecca joined the project after becoming one of the very first Carbon Literacy graduates from one of the very earliest Carbon Literacy courses piloted at Manchester Metropolitan University. She helped organise and deliver the Project's public launch in 2012, worked on our huge Carbon Active event in Climate Week 2013 and wrote case studies for a range of Carbon Literacy training initiatives. Graduating in the summer of 2013 Rebecca, used her work experience directly, being recruited to join the UK arm of Handelsbanken, one of Sweden's top full-service banks.

Virginia Harvey

Virginia initially volunteered for Cooler during the run-up and delivery of Carbon Active 2013, joining to work specifically on this event and building her experience in Events Management. Virginia then returned to us in 2014 to work for us full time as our Project Co-ordinator. She continues to work on all aspects of The Carbon Literacy Project, though now divides her time with a Masters degree at The University of Manchester.

Jane Mörk

Jane joined the project after graduating with a degree in Environmental Management and Sustainability from MMU. Already experienced in the world of work, she wanted to enhance her CV, and move into the area of sustainability, and saw experience in The Carbon Literacy Project as a good way to do this. And so it proved. Having worked extensively on the pilot stages of the project on everything from admin to certification to event organisation, she successfully applied for a full-time role working for MMU on Carbon Literacy within the sustainability team. As such she can genuinely claim to be the world's first Carbon Literacy employee. She has gone on to support MMU's pledge to make all its staff Carbon Literate, and support its status as the UK's "No1 Greenest University" in the UK universities league table. Jane now works as a Carbon Literacy Trainer, rolling out Carbon Literacy across Greater Manchester.

Safia Griffin

Safia was Cooler's very first volunteer and managed to work regularly with us one day a week whilst also completing a full working week managing volunteers for Age Concern. Safia worked with us developing our earliest administrative systems, our contact databases, certification processes, designed and issued our very first e-newsletter. She helped us organise workgroup meetings and events and undertook volunteer inductions and supervision. Safia generally helped get us going at a vital time in our development. She took her Carbon Literacy expertise to GMCVO where she now works full time as an organisational administrator. Safia has now started developing her own Carbon Literacy courses to roll out across Greater Manchester.