Carbon Literacy for SMEs

What is the Carbon Literacy® SMEs Course Kit?

The Carbon Literacy SMEs Course Kit is a comprehensive course designed to equip small and medium-sized enterprises with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complex landscape of climate change. In this engaging journey, participants will step into a dynamic learning experience, delving into modules covering climate change impacts, carbon footprints, policy positions, and actionable strategies. From understanding the role SMEs play in the broader climate action context to crafting personalised action plans, each module propels learners toward Carbon Literacy certification. The course culminates in a commitment to tangible, measurable actions, fostering a community of SMEs dedicated to low-carbon practices.

How the SMEs Course Kit can help your organisation meet climate goals

In the face of global climate challenges, SMEs emerge as pivotal players in creating a sustainable future. This Course Kit addresses the critical “why” and “how” by exploring the specific roles SMEs play in climate action, unveiling opportunities unique to their sector, and highlighting co-benefits awaiting proactive engagement. As we draw on insights from recent COP conferences, UK policies, and local climate strategies, the course emphasises aligning SMEs with broader climate goals. Beyond compliance, Carbon Literacy for SMEs becomes a catalyst for growth, innovation, and resilience, setting the stage for a collaborative and sustainable business landscape. Join the movement — where each SME becomes a cornerstone in building a low-carbon future.

How to start your journey

To get started with your Carbon Literacy journey, you can browse the available pathways below to help you find the most suitable option for your organisation.

Please click on each block below for more information.

Key Questions

What does the SME Course Kit contain?

The Kit includes a guidance document on how to use the Carbon Literacy for SMEs Course Kit, training materials including slides, an activity pack and a course outline for trainers with timings. You will also have access too supporting documents including a preparation checklist for trainers, polls template, resource document for sharing with learners after the training, email template to participants, a sample post-training feedback form and a criteria checker form template.


What modules are included?

The course is structured into four modules:


An overview of climate change and its impacts, setting the foundation for understanding the urgency and relevance of Carbon Literacy.

Module 1 – Climate Change and its Impacts, Carbon Footprints

A deep dive into the intricacies of climate change, exploring its impacts and understanding carbon footprints as a crucial measure.

Module 2 – Policy Position, Role of SMEs, Co-Benefits of Climate Action

Examining the policy landscape, defining the unique roles SMEs play in climate action, and uncovering the co-benefits associated with proactive engagement.

Module 3 – Personal and Business Carbon Footprints, Case Studies

Exploring personal and business carbon footprints, enriched by real-world case studies to provide practical insights and application.

Module 4 – Action Planning, Communicating Climate Change, Wrap Up

Guiding participants through the development of actionable plans, effective communication strategies for addressing climate change, and a comprehensive wrap-up to solidify key learnings.

Can I use my own branding?

The colour themes on the slides can be adapted to fit your organisational branding and you can include your own organisational logo.  We ask that you keep the Carbon Literacy logo, ensuring there is 25% spacing around the logo at all times, and those of the two partnering organisations in place.

How can I deliver the SMEs Course Kit?

The four modules can be delivered as a whole or be broken up into segments and delivered over several weeks, face-to-face or remotely via Teams or Zoom.

Carbon Literacy encourages discussion and the development of collaborative cross-team solutions so in-house training within SMEs using peer-to-peer delivery is our model of choice.

The process to become an in-house trainer simply requires you to be Carbon Literate yourself (i.e. attend a Carbon Literacy course) and have attended the free short 1.5h Delivering Successful Carbon Literacy workshop. From here, you can choose to become an accredited Trainer with the support of our Trainer team. If you would prefer to have external support for course delivery, you can hire a Carbon Literacy Trainer from our Trainer Directory.

It can also be delivered by organisations such as Local Authorities or University business support teams, local Chambers of Commerce or any other business support organisation (consultants), as long as the peer-to-peer element is being guaranteed. In this instance, we will ask for more rigorous trainer qualifications to ensure the best outcome for learners.

Training can be delivered in one single full day, two half days, or even multiple sessions at a few hours each. As long as the training totals a day’s worth of learning, the precise format can be discussed with our Criteria Checking team.

Can the Carbon Literacy for SME Course Kit be tailored to fit my organisation’s needs?

Customisable slides throughout the training allow you to tailor sections to your organisation and location.

For organisations who want a highly bespoke course, we suggest you use the Carbon Literacy for SMEs Course Kit as a baseline of materials which you can then adapt to your own needs.

In both cases, your course will need to be submitted to the Project for criteria checking before being delivered.

With staff shortages, can I commit my team's time to this training?

Yes! With many employees (particularly younger employees) now wanting to work for employers who take sustainability action seriously, Carbon Literacy training can help with both staff recruitment and retention.

Training such as Carbon Literacy should be seen as a form of professional development, helping to engage and empower staff, and giving all members of the team a say in how your business can be more sustainable.

What are the costs of accessing the Carbon Literacy for SMEs Course Kit?

The Carbon Literacy for SMEs Course Kit is offered free of charge to access after an introductory call. Please note that you are required to have your course accredited according to our Price Matrix before being able to deliver the training.

SMEs in Action

"I found the SMEs Course Kit incredibly helpful, and have kept/adapted a large chunk of it, I thought it was really comprehensive."

Will Marshall, Bright Sustainability

“This SME course for me has been incredibly invaluable. Opened my eyes and made me more responsible for my own actions. I was doing the bare minimum, so that has stepped up a lot actually and I am thinking about everything I am doing.”

Carbon Literacy Learner

"There is so much there [in the SME Course Kit]! It is great! I found I wanted to edit a fair bit in order to personalise it and use some of my own case studies but the foundations were a fantastic starting point, and many of the slides remain just as they were in the SME Course Kit [that CLP] shared."

Ali Fisher, Plans With Purpose

“[The SME Course] was inspirational, practical and super motivating!”

Carbon Literacy Learner

"We need to face up to this major challenge, partly because of the health and quality of life of our own residents. We want to clean up the air that they breathe, we want to reduce the use of plastic that's cluttering our rivers and our green spaces. We want to put Greater Manchester in a position of leadership on this crucial issue that will shape the 21st century, but if we are to succeed it does require radical action now."

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

“The structure and narrative of the SME course worked well, with learning leading to strategising”

Carbon Literacy Learner


To request access to the SMEs Course Kit, please Contact Us listing ‘SME Course Kit’ as the subject. Please include the following:

  • Your organisation name / an email address
  • Why you are interested in these courses?
  • Your plans for roll-out (if at this stage of thinking)

If you’d prefer not to use the contact form, please email us at

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