What is The Carbon Literacy Project?

Carbon Literacy® is relevant climate change learning that catalyses action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Carbon Literacy Project works to provide access to this learning to everyone who lives, works and studies and is expanding rapidly across the UK and beyond.

The Carbon Literacy Project is based on the key aim that if we are to cut our carbon emissions by the kind of reductions demanded of us by science, then we will need to change culture alongside technology.

Carbon Literacy training is offered through workplaces, educational institutions and communities.

Carbon Literate citizens understand how climate change will affect them – both geographically and sectorally – and have acquired the knowledge and skills to lower their carbon footprint, with typical realised carbon savings of 5-15% per person (Jacobs 2018).

Training professionals and organisations delivering Carbon Literacy are quality assessed or kite-marked, and there is high profile branding for organisations putting their people through a Carbon Literacy programme.

NB: Places of education are currently not eligible to apply, and will instead be able to apply to the soon-to-be launched CLE accreditation.

Introduction to Carbon Literacy Pack

"Jacobs is monitoring staff pledges and has noted 'significant behavioural and lifestyle changes.' [Carbon Literacy is] a great opportunity to embed sustainability into work; whether this was through design, procurement or strategic choice.”

Jacobs, Manchester – Silver CLO

“Energy consumption peaked in 2014 and has been steadily falling since. This has been achieved by behaviour change activities such as Carbon Literacy, and also through activities such as reducing the light levels in the corridor, and using the cool water from the Combined Heat and Power plant instead of using water from the chillers.”

Dock 10 – Gold CLO

“We were looking for a training course that would ensure all staff received the same level of environmental understanding, for a reasonable cost. Carbon Literacy fit these criteria perfectly”.

Great Places Housing – Platinum CLO

“The training empowered [staff] to engage more readily with our sustainable business model and made a big impact on the team. As a result of the training, this work has in itself become sustainable, with people taking ownership of their own responsibilities towards climate change, both in and out of work.”

ITV Studios – Silver CLO

“Since the training has been completed our Green Energy Advisor has been inundated with requests from our teams to provide energy advice to our tenants... Based on the pledges the staff made during the training, the estimated initial carbon saving is 77 tonnes CO2.”

Northwards Housing – Platinum CLO

What is a Carbon Literate Organisation?

A Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO) is an organisation that has been accredited by The Carbon Literacy Project as having a substantial commitment to Carbon Literacy. CLO accreditation supports the development (and recruitment and retention) of a Carbon Literate workforce and requires an organisation to engage positively with its audience or community in developing and delivering low carbon behaviour.

The accreditation has been designed to showcase significant dedication to Carbon Literacy. The four tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold, & Platinum – ensure distinction between organisations of differing levels of commitment.

Why become a Carbon Literate Organisation?

CLO accreditation is the visible ‘badge’ that showcases an organisation as – committed to Carbon Literacy (CL), having a substantial number of people who are Carbon Literate, and having a commitment to support its Carbon Literate people and maintain its low carbon culture.

An organisation uses this status to better interact with its communities, whether they are staff or customers, neighbours, learners, suppliers or stakeholders.

A Carbon Literate Organisation will typically experience a decrease in energy and resource consumption, improved organisational profile, healthier and happier staff, a healthier working environment, a safer supply chain, lower variable costs, enhanced competitiveness, and reduced commercial risk. CLO accreditation also demonstrates an organisation’s corporate social responsibility in the clearest possible way.

Educational Sector Organisations

Organisations whose fundamental purpose is the delivery of education have a unique role in society, and a unique level of agency when it comes low carbon culture change.

Like any other organisation, an educator needs to operate its physical premises and assets in a sustainable way, however an educator’s influence extends far beyond its buildings and processes, and extends over its learners, academic staff, professional services staff, management, governance, external stakeholders and the many communities with which it interacts.

Because of this, the CLO accreditation is not suitable for most educators. We have therefore created an organisational standard especially adapted for educators. The Carbon Literate Educator (CLE) accreditation scheme differs substantially from CLO in its requirements, and enables an educator to demonstrate its success and cultural Carbon Literacy in every sphere in which it operates.

As a result of the availability of this dedicated standard, we no longer accept applications for CLO from organisations which are primarily learner-facing, and conversely, organisations which are not learner-facing may not apply for CLE.

Learn more about our Carbon Literate Educator (CLE) accreditation scheme.

BBC Staff give feedback following their Carbon Literacy training within the BBC (2 minutes)

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