Centre for Alternative Technology,
Machynlleth, Wales

CAT: Inspiring the green revolution

The environment is, at last, near the top of every Government's agenda, and if one organisation can take credit for winning the debate it is the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales.

CAT aims to inform enable and inspire individuals, businesses, communities and governments to lead more sustainable lives. The CAT project was planned to show the nature of the problem and show positive, alternative ways of going forward. CAT developed into a visitor centre in 1975 and, since then has grown to become Europe's leading eco-centre. It is staffed by 120 permanent staff and volunteers all year round, and a further 30 people during the summer months: around 65,000 visitors every year come to learn about the Centre's work.

CAT's main projects today include ZeroCarbonBritain, an alternative energy strategy which demonstrates a framework to take us to zero carbon emissions in 20 years. Driven by science and not by what is seen as politically expedient, ZeroCarbonBritain is packed with bold ideas for restructuring our management of energy and for generating all our future energy from renewables.

CAT also operates the Graduate School of the Environment, offering a wide range of postgraduate courses in the field of sustainability, architecture, energy, and environment studies and has guided over 1,000 students into future careers.

CAT is primarily an education centre; designed to re-skill our nation to face the challenges of tomorrow. And the latest development at CAT looks set to secure that role for many years to come. The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education will provide a state-of-the-art environmental education centre, and its programme will give business leaders, policy makers, professionals and students the opportunity to explore, in practical terms, the complex interactions between land-use, energy, food production, buildings, transport, waste management and all aspects of human society.

CAT is not just a world leading centre in its field, It's also unique in embracing research, education and tourism.

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