What is Carbon Literacy (& Why Is It Important)

What is Carbon Literacy

We are all aware of climate change. But how much do we understand all its different causes and the impact we can have? This is where carbon literacy comes in.

Carbon literacy is defined as: ‘an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.’

Or, more simply, an understanding of climate change and the climate impact of everyday actions.

The Carbon Literacy Project aims to increase climate understanding at all levels, from individuals to communities to organisations.

In 2015, the UN recognised it as one of 100 worldwide ‘transformative action programmes’. Saying it can substantially change the way we deal with climate change. But what makes it so vital, and can it truly help us?

Educational content written by Carys Burton 

author, Carys Burton

Why is Carbon Literacy Important?

You might think you already know everything there is to know about climate change. But whether you’re an expert or a complete beginner, carbon literacy has something to offer you. After all, you can’t solve climate change without a genuine understanding of it first.

The training provides up-to-date knowledge of climate science and its impacts. But it also empowers learners, giving them the power and agency to recognise their role in the climate solution.

Part of the training is usually dedicated to considering, designing, and developing action pledges. This supports learners to begin or continue on their journey to a low-carbon lifestyle. And with their newfound motivation and skills, they can have a wider impact in their own communities.

Carbon Literacy training often involves developing action pledges
Carbon Literacy training often involves developing action pledges

For Organisations

For organisations, carbon literacy may be even more critical. This is due to many businesses now aiming to lower their footprint and have a more positive impact on the environment. Training your staff has a crucial role to play in achieving that.

It can help get everyone on the same page and know what to do to reach the organisation’s climate goals. Furthermore. businesses taking part emerge with upskilled, motivated employees who are ready to take action.

Carbon literacy training can also help leaders, managers, and board members start their carbon reduction journey and make the right decisions along the way.

Of course, having a carbon literacy certification as an organisation can also greatly boost your public image. It shows that you are dedicated to improving your practices and are taking climate action seriously.

Carbon Literacy can help leaders make better decisions
Carbon Literacy can help leaders make better decisions

All of these benefits show that climate understanding should be a part of anyone’s sustainability journey. It is a great foundation to start making climate-positive decisions and reducing your carbon footprint. So, how can you get started?

How To Improve Your Carbon Literacy

Anyone can improve their carbon literacy by learning more about climate science and carbon footprints. 

But to get a good foundation of knowledge and get officially certified, you can take part in a certified course.

For individuals, this is a great way to start reducing your carbon footprint and living a more climate-friendly life.

Furthermore, open, community-facing climate training courses are being put on more and more frequently. 

You can find organisations with courses certified by the Carbon Literacy Project here.

Carbon Literacy training is certified by the Carbon Literacy Project
Look for training that is certified by the Carbon Literacy Project

Our Training Partner

For businesses, Play It Green partner Lighthouse Sustainability provides fast-paced, empowering and action-focused courses. This is because they are designed using years of experience and are also accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project.

Lighthouse has a proven track record of working with businesses to deliver sustainability improvements. Their next course will be on the 14th and 16th of February, which you can sign up for here. Or you can reach out at hello@lighthousesustainability.co.uk.

Of course, even once you are fully Certified, you can still find ways to improve your carbon literacy.

To be honest, it’s just the start of your journey.

Our partner, Lighthouse Sustainability provides certified Carbon Literacy courses
Our partner, Lighthouse Sustainability provides certified Carbon Literacy courses

Play It Green Supports Your Ongoing Journey

Play It Green members receive a weekly newsletter keeping you up-to-date on the latest sustainability news.

And they also receive a new tip every week on how to cut down their carbon footprint, along with a discount code on a sustainable product.

We also provide Net Zero support, template frameworks and policies, signposting and much more to help businesses start their journey and stay on the right track.

The first step to doing more for the environment is knowing what to do and why you’re doing it.

Improving carbon literacy will help everyone live a more climate-friendly life and create a better future for tomorrow.

Join Play It Green

And be the solution to climate change
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