Carbon Literacy training toolkit launched to help universities to tackle climate emergency

A free open-source Carbon Literacy toolkit which will support universities across the globe to tackle the climate emergency, reduce emissions in line with legislation and local targets, and boost student employability has been launched by Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

The NTU Carbon Literacy Course for Universities enables anyone with training experience and knowledge of climate change to teach university staff and students from all departments and disciplines.

The training covers a day’s worth of learning and action-planning – currently designed as four, two-hour virtual interactive sessions due to the pandemic – and consists of slides, activity resources, and a comprehensive trainer manual which can be adapted for the local context.

Learners explore high impact climate solutions together with climate science before devising significant actions for themselves and their colleagues or fellow students. The course also includes the use of En-ROADS, a climate change solutions simulator developed by Climate Interactive in collaboration with MIT Sloan, USA and Ventana Systems.

The Toolkit follows the international success of the Carbon Literacy Training for Business Schools programme, which was designed by Nottingham Business School, part of NTU, in collaboration with the UN PRME Champions, Oikos International and The Carbon Literacy Project.

The new training has been developed by the NTU Green Academy and Nottingham Business School and tested by a working group of higher education professionals across Britain, Denmark and the USA.

All work is evaluated, and successful participants are certified as Carbon Literate by the Carbon Literacy Project.

Professor Petra Molthan-Hill, head of the Green Academy at NTU, said: “Universities know they have large carbon footprints and influence on global decision-making through their research and graduates, but sustainability professionals cannot tackle this on their own.

“This easily adaptable training enables all students and staff at universities to be a catalyst for further action across the sector and in their own regions, to unlock the multiple civic co-benefits of action, from cleaner air and better health, to warmer homes and safer streets. As the UK accelerates its drive towards zero carbon, the boost to student employability is also clear.”

NTU’s dedicated Green Academy team works to embed Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into the curriculum, helping academic staff to integrate sustainability into scholarship and teaching practice; and supporting students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.

The NTU Carbon Literacy Course for Universities will be launched at an online event on Wednesday 20 January. For further information visit the Green Academy website.