Climate series: Empowering our community towards carbon literacy

As the UN’s climate summit COP26 approaches, we’re looking at the ways in which Business School staff and students are raising awareness of sustainability and helping to combat the climate crisis.

One of the ways the School is making progress in the climate sphere is by providing staff and students with the knowledge, capacity, and motivation required to create a positive shift to catalyse action to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis. We’re doing this through Carbon Literacy Training.  

The training is part of the School’s Blueprint for Sustainability, which addresses goals that are designed to embed sustainability in everything we do - teaching, researching and working - with the aim of becoming net zero by 2030.

In conjunction with Speak Carbon, an accredited provider for the Carbon Literacy Project, the training has already seen over 160 successful participants from both the student body and faculty staff.

Now with close to 5,000 students at the Business School, the aim is for 16% of the student population, that’s 800 students, to be certified Carbon Literate by the end of December 2021, with a further launch of an eLearning course – the first of its kind in the University – as we move into 2022.

An increased awareness of carbon costs and climate change impacts of everyday activities will empower our community to shift attitudes and mobilise action towards becoming greener and more sustainable in all aspects of our lives.

Akshay Sarkate (MA Human Resource Management) undertook the training and is now one of several students who have gone on to become Student Carbon Literacy Trainers. He commented:

With the skills learned in this training, I am sure that I will be able to spread the awareness regarding individual, organisational and national carbon footprints wherever I work or in my circle of influence.

Members of staff who participated were also challenged to consider their responsibilities regarding their carbon footprint. Natalie Jackson from the Management Department’s Professional Team added: “I am now aware of my area of influence in my position at work, and at home. I hadn't even been aware that I had any influence over this before completing the training. The questions posed, and resulting discussions in the group exercises, have really made me think about what I am able to change as an individual, and to take action at work (and home) to help support the University's Sustainability Strategy”.

Professor Vera Trappmann, Director of Sustainability, commented:

The climate crisis needs all our full attention and it’s through growing awareness and empowering individuals that we can show that no-one is powerless in making positive steps towards a greener future for our planet.

Find out more about sustainability at Leeds University Business School.