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Free CL Tools for Universities & Colleges

November 2020 by Chloe Andrews

What students want 

Students are the leaders of tomorrow and educational institutions play a crucial role in ensuring they graduate with the skills and knowledge required to lead the world to a fairer and more just future for all. 

SOS-UK research in 2019-20 showed that 65% of the 6000 student respondents from further and higher education want to learn more about sustainable development.  

With 300,000 students in the UK alone taking to the streets to demand more substantive action on climate change, universities and colleges are making unprecedented efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. But how well trained are staff and students to tackle the Climate Emergency and reduce emissions in line with legislation, local and organisational targets, and student interests? 

Environment specialists cannot tackle the climate crisis on their own…  

Providing timely support on delivering effective action to reach net-zero 

With the launch of the University and College Carbon Literacy Toolkit, every UK university and its professional services staff, academic staff, and students, have access to free Carbon Literacy courses. These deliver a days’-worth of relevant action-based training, that empowers learners to play their full part in the transition to a low carbon society.  

They also enable your university or college to be a catalyst for further action across your sector and region, to unlock the multiple civic co-benefits of action, from cleaner air to warmer homes, to safer streets. 

The courses are in a ready-to-go, easily accessible format for in-house delivery and enable universities and colleges to create dynamic, interactive training. Theare already accredited and free to download for any university or collegeAs such, the only cost to the institution is the £10 certification application fee for each learner. 

Manchester Metropolitan University’s course was the first to be released. It was funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with a working group of higher education professionals across the UK contributing to and testing the toolkit. 

Enhancing the student and staff experience from home 

Manchester Met’s course is split into modules, altogether forming a days-worth of learning. Each module can be delivered either online (blended learning, with self-study elements and webinars) or face-to-facemeaning the course offers a fantastic opportunity to engage staff and students with sustainability while working or studying from home. 

The Modules are:

1: The Science of Climate Change

2: Exploring Carbon Footprints

3: A Zero Carbon World

4: Our Wider Influence

5: Taking Action 


As the UK accelerates its drive towards Zero Carbon, the boost to student employability CL training offers is clear. Learners start with the science of climate change and end by devising significant actions for themselves and their colleagues or fellow students. Their work is evaluated and successful participants are certified as Carbon Literate. This kit is suitable for training academics, professional services or students. Another excellent kit, designed by Nottingham Trent University will follow very soon, and an HE leadership course will follow that. 

The Carbon Literacy Toolkits for Universities and Colleges provide that key pathway to a definitive strategy and action plan.  To find out more please visit our Universities and Colleges webpage, then contact the team via education@carbonliteracy.com to discover how easy it is to begin the process.

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