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A Communicator’s Journey: CL Learner to CL Trainer

December 2022 by Matthew Freeman

The following is a guest blog written by Digital Marketer, Matthew Freeman (bottom left) about his journey from being a Carbon Literacy learner to becoming a Carbon Literacy trainer and, in doing so, using the power of marketing and communications as a force for good.

This has been one of the most important actions of my career so far.

Over the past 6 months, I have been working with The Carbon Literacy Project to create change and deliver action to combat climate change.

So, who am I and what do I do?

Hi, I’m Matt, and I work as a Digital Marketing Executive for the MSP Group, and this is my Carbon Literacy journey.

For a bit of context, the MSP Group consists of two businesses, Micro Spring & Presswork, and Irvine Springs, which both operate in the engineering sector. The MSP group is also part of the wider Indutrade group which is an international technology group with 200 companies in 30 different countries.

What have I been doing?

In June I became Carbon Literate which certified that I have an awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions on an individual, community and organisational basis.

But how did I do this?

I attended a training session at Indutrade UK which educated me on the science behind climate change, the issues of social equality and climate change, and what you can do to act on climate change. The training also covered strategies and skills for communicating action on climate change (this was my favourite as a marketer!).

What did I do next?

At the end of the training, we were asked to create an individual and a group pledge which contained actions we were going to take.

So what were they?

My individual pledge was to use my position as a marketer to communicate my learnings to others, and our group pledge was to ensure every individual in Micro Spring & Presswork Ltd., Irvine Springs and the rest of Indutrade UK Ltd received Carbon Literacy training.

So how am I getting on?

For my individual pledge, I have been using digital channels to make a difference. This includes MSP’s and Irvine Springs’ social media pages and websites, as well as my own personal social media accounts, to inform others of the urgency of the situation and what we can all do to make a difference.

Even the smallest details like adding my Carbon Literacy badge to my email footer have created awareness and sparked some crucial conversations. I had people asking me what Carbon Literacy meant, how they could play their part in reducing their footprint, and how they could become Carbon literate themselves, along with a vast array of other great conversations centred around sustainability and Carbon Literacy.

But what about the group pledge?

Over the past few months, I have been training to become a Carbon Literacy trainer, so I can deliver the training myself. This has involved working with Dr Helen Rodgers MEng PhD, Susanne Bearblock, MSc and the rest of the team to immerse myself in the content, learn best practices and develop my own section of the course.

After a few months, I was ready to co-lead my first Carbon Literacy session alongside Alan Wallace.

What did I talk about?

I chose to deliver the communications module which explores the best ways to communicate your Carbon Literacy to others (I’m doing it right now by writing this!).

I chose this as it related heavily to my passion for marketing and connected this to my passion for sustainability. I also remembered the impact that this section had on me when I received the training, and I wanted to ensure others felt the same way I did!

How was it received?

The day went brilliantly, and I thoroughly enjoyed delivering my first session. I received some amazing feedback from the trainees, as well as messages showing examples of ways they had been communicating their Carbon Literacy just days after the session.

I also posted on LinkedIn about my journey and the training I had delivered, to further drive momentum and bring others along. By doing this I encouraged others to do the same, and I started to see more and more Indutrade UK businesses and employees posting about their Carbon Literacy journey. These posts became incredibly popular on the platform. This was great to see, and showed me the impact that my training had on those in the room!

What’s next?

In my next session, I plan to add the pledge to act module to my section as I look to further develop my skills as a Carbon Literacy Co-Lead.

This will see me work with the trainees to create their pledges which will kickstart their personal Carbon Literacy journey!

What can you do?

Reducing our Carbon Footprint is imperative, and we need to act now. There is no Planet B, so we need to avoid delay and start today.

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