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50,000 Carbon Literate Citizens

January 2023 by Lucia Simmons

We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have started the year as we mean to go on, having hit a mindboggling milestone of 50,000 learners certified as Carbon Literate, exactly halfway into January 2023!

Reaching this milestone means that over 100,000 actions have now been pledged – in communities, businesses, local authorities, schools, and universities – worldwide, to cut carbon emissions across all sectors of society.

More than a Milestone

These 100,000 actions have saved an estimated 180,000 tonnes of CO2e*. But this figure represents more than just an abstract stat. Behind it stands 50,000 Carbon Literate citizens, spread across the globe, all – doing things differently; affecting their organisations and their communities; creating the market for low-carbon goods and services; and changing society with increasing rapidity. It represents a cultural shift that is not only anticipated but already occurring.

This is demonstrated by the snapshot of pledges below, made by pledgends among the batch of learners whose successful certification pushed us over the 50,000 mark. A #pledgend is a learner who has pledged a high impact (or ‘legendary’) action as part of their Carbon Literacy training. That there were a number of pledgends in this milestone-making group (trained by Nottingham Business School) is indicative of the ever-increasing impact of Carbon Literacy in catalysing tangible action and low-carbon culture change.

Marked by Action 

Pledgend #1: Chikwanha Tinotenda, Student – University of Sussex (Zimbabwe)

Group Action: Chikwanha will work with agronomists and farmers using an Outgrower Scheme in Zimbabwe to reduce the methane production of cattle farmers across Africa, utilising experience (gained prior to their current studies) developing a similar scheme in Zambia. This will be achieved by altering cattle diets to include seaweed/algae (which have been demonstrated to reduce ruminant methane production by 80%) and sprouted grains. These practices will also be aligned with Rainforest Alliance’s Sustainable Cattle Production Standards, so farmers can be certified to indicate they do not clear additional land to raise their cattle.

Pledgend #2: Yves Plourde, Associate Professor of Management and Sustainable Development – HEC Montréal (Canada)

Individual Action: Yves will be taking several actions regarding city politics to encourage sustainable/active travel, including encouraging community members to lobby for cycling infrastructure and having their children’s school lobby the city officials to develop sustainable travel infrastructure. Yves is also developing a course for the executive training programme on ‘The Road to Net Zero’. This course will be a manipulated version of a study-abroad experience that Yves created called the ‘Net Zero Bike Tour’ which required students to travel by bicycle and experience their destination using sustainable transit rather than by automobile.

Pledgend #3: Géraldine Valentin, Change Maker & Course Instructor – Excelia Business School (France)

Group Action: Géraldine and colleagues will establish ‘Climate Awareness Week’ as part of the ESG assessment offerings for staff and students at Excelia, including Carbon Literacy training. A detailed plan was attached to this pledge which provides a potential pathway for 5,360 Excelia staff / students to be certified by September 2024.

Pledgend #4: Hettie Bawden, Sustainability Coordinator – Nottingham Trent University Students’ Union (UK)

Individual Action: Hettie has successfully pushed to shift Nottingham Trent Students Union’s net-zero target date, bringing it forward to 2040. After completing their CL training, they have convinced the University to include Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 in their carbon assessment & reduction plans!

Unprecedented Growth

We finished 2022 tantalisingly close to the 50,000 mark, having begun the year hitting 25,000 certified learners less than a week into January. So, in just over a year, we have doubled the cumulative total of citizens certified as Carbon Literate – a figure which took nine years to achieve.

In that time, we have also more than doubled the number of certified Carbon Literacy training professionals – having certified a further 75 – as well as engaging a further 1,858 organisations, and accrediting an additional 159 unique Carbon Literacy courses which are being used to educate, engage and inspire citizens across the globe.

Thank you!

We could not have achieved this incredible milestone or the scale of growth we’re experiencing, without all of the hard work of the Carbon Literacy community – our valued team of volunteers and staff, our recognised Partners, the hundreds of trainers, and the thousands of organisations and learners who have undertaken and achieved Carbon Literacy. Thanks to all of you, concrete action against climate change is being taken and delivered worldwide.

We are incredibly excited to see what the rest of 2023 has in store and what else we can achieve together, this year, to progress Carbon Literacy and solidify a low-carbon culture among the places we live, work and study.

Support Carbon Literacy

If you want to find out how Carbon Literacy would work for your community, group or organisation, please get in touch.

If you’d like to support the continued growth and expansion of Carbon Literacy, you can become a Partner of The Carbon Literacy Project via our recently launched Partner Scheme. As a small charity operating on a global scale with no government funding, we rely on the support of our generous Partners to help us continue this unprecedented (and necessary!) growth in demand for Carbon Literacy, all whilst maintaining our rigorous quality control.

*Our most up-to-date stats are updated monthly and can always be found on the About Us page, alongside information on each metric and descriptions of how we calculate these.

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