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Unique Manchester Charity in David vs Goliath battle for National Eco Award

June 2018 by Emma Charlotte Richards
Manchester charity The Carbon Literacy Project has been shortlisted for Environmental Awareness Campaign of the Year in the national Business Green Leaders Awards up against giants such as the Bank of England-backed Climate Disclosure Standards Board and Southern Water
The Carbon Literacy Project has just been shortlisted for Environmental Awareness Campaign of the Year in the Business Green Leaders Awards 2018. The national awards are some of the “Oscars” of the business world as regards sustainability, and the project is competing against much larger rivals such as the Bank of England-backed Climate Disclosure Standards Board and Southern Water. Other short-listees include global corporations Barclays Bank and Mars. The award winners are announced in London on June 27th.
Carbon Literacy Project MD, Dave Coleman, says, “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this award and I’m extraordinarily proud of all the hard work that’s brought us here – not just from our team, but from the hundreds of people and organisations working to implement Carbon Literacy across Greater Manchester and far beyond. Despite being created and delivered by a tiny organisation, The Project punches way above its weight when it comes to innovation, impact and putting Manchester on the global low carbon map.”
The Project, which featured heavily in Mayor Andy Burnham’s recent Green City Summit, was established in 2012 to offer a day’s worth of learning on climate change to everyone who lives, works and studies in Greater Manchester and beyond. It does this with a unique approach. Growing at a rate of 50% a year, The Carbon Literacy Project continues to oversee action-based climate change learning within employers, communities, schools and universities. Thanks to its efforts, the region now hosts the world’s first Carbon Literate TV production team (Coronation Street), the world’s first Carbon Literate museum (Manchester Museum), the world’s first Carbon Literate arts venue (HOME) and more than 5000 Carbon Literate citizens.
Carbon Literacy’s aim of creating a low carbon culture is a collaborative project bringing together organisations into groups to share the best green practices and work towards common goals. This has seen the development of the MediaCityUK consortium with competitors sharing best practice – made up of BBC North, ITV, Peel Media and Dock10.  Salford is also home to the first area based consortium (convened by City Mayor Paul Dennett)  and there is also a consortium made up of most of Greater Manchester’s social housing providers.
Carbon Literacy is not just a Greater Manchester phenomenon as other cities and sectors adopt the Manchester approach. On February 6th this year, Carbon Literacy training was delivered over 4,000 miles apart in both Vancouver, Canada and Lerwick, Scotland, and next month is launched in Amsterdam. A major international sporting federation is also trialling the scheme for its staff next month and the Project was recognised as globally unique at the historic Paris climate talks in 2015. Carbon Literacy is now being taken up across sectors from museums to financial services and from engineering to TV and Film.
Head of BBC Children’s and BBC North, Alice Webb, praised the Project in her speech at the Green City Summit in March:
“What was great about the Carbon Literacy course was it actually showed a world where we do get our act together and how we can have a positive impact. The lasting thing that came out of the course was the way to not feel out of control is to take control and do something different. ”
Project co-founder & Director Phil Korbel said “Our Mayor has set a necessary but challenging goal for Greater Manchester to be carbon neutral by 2038.  Anyone thinking that this can be done without getting everyone on board is fooling themselves, but in Carbon Literacy, Manchester has a unique way to enable that to happen. Well-known pioneers are putting this into practice in all sorts of ways – and being shortlisted for this national award will only help us take it further.”

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