I want to get a certificate

Excellent! Good to hear it. You’ll be joining several thousand individuals (and growing!) that have also taken Carbon Literacy training in Greater Manchester.

Becoming Carbon Literate is one of the first steps you can take to learn more about climate change and understand how your everyday activities might effect the environment. It’s all about learning what steps you can take (and indeed everyone should take) to improve your way of living, reduce carbon emissions and save money all at the same time. Following completion of your day’s worth of learning, you’ll be awarded with a Carbon Literacy certificate which contains your unique reference number.

Why should I become Carbon Literate?

The Carbon Literacy Project has been set up in Greater Manchester, and is completely unique worldwide. No one else is doing anything quite like it. If you live, work or study in Greater Manchester then you have the opportunity to be a part of it. If this isn’t reason enough, here are some others: –

1. Becoming Carbon Literate is the most cost efficient way of cutting your carbon emissions, through taking on board some simple behaviour changes to reduce your energy and water usage. The UK aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from a 1990 baseline) by 2050; and Greater Manchester by 41% (from a 2005 baseline) by 2020. In order to achieve this reduction we need to move to a more energy efficient, low carbon economy, through encouraging businesses and households to reduce energy usage, make buildings more efficient and use more energy from renewables. However, if occupants of an energy-efficient building do not have the knowledge of how to operate it, or how to make low-carbon choices, there won’t be any significant change in terms of energy and carbon saving – therefore Carbon Literacy reduces this rebound effect.

2. Carbon Literacy is CV building. Employers are always striving for the best candidates, and competition is fierce out there. Becoming Carbon Literate will put you heads above the rest, no matter what the job role is that you’re applying for. Show your potential employees that you are thinking about climate change, sustainability and the environment, and prove that you can add something unique to the team. It’s likely to provide an interesting talking point in your interview too.

3. The topic of climate change is enormous. It is no longer something under debate, and is negatively effecting the world, the UK, Greater Manchester and you already. Becoming Carbon Literate will mean you’ll be able to understand and talk about climate change to others, and answer questions when it comes up in conversation. To be Carbon Literate is to take responsibility for our actions, pull our heads out of the sand, teach those around us. This isn’t something new that we’re trying to change. This is simply re-tracing our steps and going back to our old way of thinking. Carbon Literacy is about learning how our actions are effecting the planet, and using this knowledge to make choices about how we want to act because of it.

4. Did we mention it was unique?

What do I need to do to join a Carbon Literacy training course?

Carbon Literacy training is currently being delivered by a wide range of Freelance Trainers and Training Organisations to workplaces, communities and places of education within Greater Manchester. This list is constantly growing. Check our Training Directory to see who’s actively training at the moment.

There are two routes to becoming certified as Carbon Literate: –

(1) Join a Training Course. Please email us so that we can give you information on the training courses running in your area.

(2) Speak to your colleagues, managers, CEOs, housing association, community networks, teachers, lecturers or similar about rolling out Carbon Literacy within your organisation, community or place of education, then drop us a line and we’ll advise you on the next steps.

What do I need to do to get my certificate?

In order to become certified as Carbon Literate, you must take part in a day’s worth of learning. This piece of training must comply with the Carbon Literacy Standard (your trainer will make sure that it is before your training begins), through one of the routes above. Following completion, you will be awarded with a Carbon Literacy certificate which will be unique to you.

A day’s worth of learning can be achieved in a number of ways: e-Learning, Workshops, and/or Self-Directed learning (e.g. homework set by your trainer) and must add up to at least 8 hours. Have a chat with us or your trainer to see how your training will be delivered.

What will I learn?

Your Carbon Literacy training will teach you the basics of climate change science, what’s already happening globally and locally, how your actions may be affecting climate change and what you, as an individual, can do to help. During your piece of training you will also make a couple of low-carbon pledges. You will:

1. Create at least one significant action, as an individual, to reduce your own personal carbon footprint.
2. Create at least one significant action involving other people to reduce the collective footprint of your workplace, community or place of education.

You will discuss ways in which you can reduce your impact, and the benefits of doing so. You’ll also learn about some of the excellent things that those around us are already doing (good, wholesome inspiration!) and find out how to motivate and inspire those around you, including gaining the confidence to express your carbon literacy to others.

Do I need to have any experience before taking my Carbon Literacy course?

Not at all. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of climate change to take part in this course. You do need to be keen, and willing to learn though. It would also help if you did a little background reading prior to your course. There is lots of information online, although it might be hard knowing where to start.

Training at Great Places

Who will issue my certificate?

Certificates are only issued by Cooler Projects on behalf of the Project. In order for your training to allow you to be certified it must conform to the CL Standard and Cooler will work with your trainer to make sure that this is achieved. During your workshop your trainer will be collecting evidence from the session (these can be photos, questionnaires or anything that we can use to see that you’ve taken part in the learning, and created a personal and group action). When this evidence is submitted to us by your trainer we will review it and use it to certify you as Carbon Literate. We will then issue your certificate to your trainer, who will distribute to you.

Is the course hard?

Becoming Carbon Literate requires a relative amount of hard work. Learning about climate change, for one, isn’t easy, but it’s the most important thing you’ll ever learn.

In order to achieve your Carbon Literacy certificate you do have to put in some effort. It’s not an ‘easy ride’, and we only certify individuals that have shown engagement, enthusiasm and have contributed to the workshop activities and discussions. You must create significant personal and group actions too. The most important thing is you’ll have all the support you will need from your trainer and the other learners in the room. Your trainer will also give you advice on where to find out more following completion of your course.

What are the costs involved?

That depends on your trainer. The Freelance Trainers and Training Organisations that deliver Carbon Literacy each have their own prices. Make sure you talk about this with them. Neither The Carbon Literacy Project nor Cooler Projects benefit directly from the prices given to you by your trainer/ training organisation.

The Carbon Literacy Project receives no central funding, so for obvious reasons there has to be a charge for the work required to certify training and certification (to cover our own costs). Whilst these costs are a fraction of the cost of other certification schemes, they are real and need to be factored into training planning. View our Pricing Matrix (in the ‘Quick Links’ box) and talk to your trainer/ training organisation to see how it might apply to you. Do remember, the financial benefits of Carbon Literacy alone outweigh the costs many, many times over.

Great, I’ve got my certificate. What next?

Ensure you put it on your CV. It will show potential employers how driven you are, and how serious you are about the environment. Your certificate will have a unique number on it: this is your number. Sometimes employers get in touch with us to check this number and we’re able to confirm that you are Carbon Literate using this code.

Keep the conversation going. Now you know more about climate change you can talk about it to others. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer to a question (there is so much to learn about climate change, no one can ever know it all!) but speak out about what you know. If you encounter a difficult question then Skeptical Science is an excellent place to go to find the answer, plus it gives you the science behind all the most common climate change myths that you’ll encounter.

Can I become a Trainer?

Absolutely. We seek to ensure that Carbon Literacy training is, wherever possible, delivered by people who share a common background with the participants. Indeed, much of Carbon Literacy training that has been delivered so far has been done so by non-professional trainers who belong to the peer groups of the participants. This is exactly as intended, and is likely to remain the case.

If you would like to become a trainer, then read more here, and then get in touch. We offer support to all our trainers and we’ll be able to give you advice on the next steps.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, keep carbon in the conversation and be mindful of your actions. That’s what being Carbon Literate is all about.