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Carbon Literacy Wins at Unlock Net Zero Awards

July 2024 by Alice Henderson & Sojan Johny

The buzzword for last week was housing, housing, and more housing. The sunshine in Manchester brought us good luck as we scooped the Skills & Training Award at this year’s Unlock Net Zero Awards!

Coinciding with Housing 2024, the UK’s largest annual housing conference hosted at the impressive Manchester Central Convention Centre, the Unlock Net Zero Awards, held in partnership with the British Property Federation (BPF), recognise and champion progress on the journey to decarbonisation for the UK housing, built environment and property sectors.

Against some seriously tough competition, and with a strong start being nominated in three categories, we were absolutely delighted to win in the Skills and Training category.

The feedback from the judges, delivered by the delightful host, Laura Tobin, noted:

“An outstanding submission demonstrating how they are supporting the sector to change culture and increase competencies. We were particularly pleased to see real-world examples, targets and impressive performance figures throughout.”

This award recognises the integral role that Carbon Literacy plays in tackling the tough challenge of decarbonising the UK’s housing sector, particularly given its ageing and inefficient housing stock.

Our Social Housing Toolkit Courses, which include both our staff course and newer householders course, offer social housing organisations a ready-made, adaptable set of training materials. These courses help employees understand climate change and its global and local impacts, develop low-carbon interventions, and communicate climate change meaningfully.

Our Social Housing team, who were lucky enough to attend, have provided their reflections on both the conference and awards:

Alice Henderson, Social Housing Coordinator

“This was my first experience representing the Carbon Literacy Project at a major conference and awards, and what an act to follow!

The Housing conference, which Sojan and I attended on both Tuesday and Wednesday, was a brilliant opportunity to network with a huge variety of professionals within the housing sector. We attended some super informative talks on various climate-related topics, from nature and biodiversity developments to how housing organisations can craft meaningful sustainability strategies.

In one of the panels, we were very pleased to hear a shout-out for Carbon Literacy, with a housing association praising the benefit of Carbon Literacy training in engaging their staff and tenants in climate conversations.

I was particularly encouraged to see the huge number of retrofit and sustainability-related companies exhibiting at the event and the number of discussions about net zero going on. This was certainly not the case a few years back, which reflects how climate change is finally becoming a central part of the housing agenda.

As for the Unlock Net Zero awards, it was a delight to accept the award with the Carbon Literacy team (even if there was a twinge of guilt taking the credit as a relative newbie!). I also loved hearing about all the other wonderful initiatives and innovations pushing climate change action within the housing sector.

Finally, a big shout out to the organisers and their efforts to offer a fully vegan, locally sourced menu for the evening, which we all agreed was delicious!”

Sojan Johny, Social Housing Officer

“When I entered the Housing 2024 venue, I was surprised to see the number of stalls and organisations present, each boasting new solutions and innovations for modern-day problems within the sector. The talks I attended, which focused on tenant engagement and the use of AI to improve productivity and sustainability, were a delight.

The cherry on top of a great few days in Manchester was us winning the Skills and Training Award at the Unlock Net Zero Awards! We are looking forward to more collaboration and working with housing associations to jointly achieve our net zero targets.”

If you would like to learn more about our Social Housing toolkit courses or have a chat about how we can support your organisation’s low-carbon future, please get in touch via housing@carbonliteracy.com.

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