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Spotlight on: WRM Sustainability

November 2022 by Matthew Greenhill & Fiona Macintosh

As a sustainability consultancy, WRM supports an array of organisations to meet their unique sustainability goals. WRM work with cross-sector stakeholders to provide strategic advice and support to achieve behaviour change and systematic improvements to meet a more sustainable future. Whilst WRM works across a range of sectors, its Carbon Literacy achievements have been most celebrated within the healthcare sector.

Paving the way for a Net Zero NHS

WRM has been delivering Carbon Literacy Training using the Carbon Literacy Healthcare Toolkit to a range of different NHS Trusts and healthcare employees. Their delivery of bespoke organisational and open training sessions has seen over 300 individuals from 15 different cohorts go through training since the start of 2022. Using the Healthcare Toolkit, WRM delivers valuable training which encourages learning, discussion, and collaboration between healthcare professionals and engages healthcare staff in the NHS Net Zero agenda.

WRM maximised their learner’s engagement with Carbon Literacy by customising the Toolkit to ensure training is personal and relatable for those in the sessions. This customisation includes local climate impacts, NHS trusts’ green plan details and shining examples of climate action from across the sector. Learners have attended from NHS and healthcare organisations, higher education institutions, and the third sector (e.g., NHS Midlands and Lancashire, NAViGO Health and Social Care CIC, Glasgow Caledonian University, etc).

WRM has been working closely with Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust (LTHT) which is now the first Carbon Literate NHS Hospital Trust and Silver CLO awardee for their estates and facilities department, highlighting their commitment to climate education and behaviour change. With the support of their seconded member of staff within the sustainability team, WRM has delivered several Carbon Literacy training sessions to LTHT’s board members, estates and facilities colleagues, intensive care, and theatres/anaesthesia colleagues. LTHT aims to continue rolling out training through each department to further enhance its commitment to Carbon Literacy.

Carbon Literacy in Action

The actions being pledged by learners from healthcare organisations are both significant and highly impactful low-carbon actions. Some pledges include:

“…Going forward I will put more emphasis on carbon-free products and ensure sustainability as the main driving factor to choose plant & materials…I will work with my team to educate colleagues on how to use new technology efficiently, linking it back to what has been learnt today in the Carbon Literacy training to support the biggest carbon reductions from these actions.”

“I will add a green metric to every improvement project I embark upon – meaning that each area I work with can work towards a greener NHS.”

Additionally, WRM has been working closely with Greener NHS to support the delivery of Carbon Literacy for leadership for Net Zero board leads from a range of different ICSs across the country, from which 96 board leads have become Carbon Literate. This group initially acted as a pilot and was able to give valuable feedback for the now finalised and published NHS Leadership course. Becoming Carbon Literate for this group has been particularly significant as many are heavily involved in making NHS strategic Net Zero decisions. Delegates from this cohort will go on to guide their ICSs and green plans with CL at the foundation of many of their discussions.

WRM has also been working on Train the Trainer modules to support the high demand for Carbon Literacy trainers within the healthcare sector. In May, NHS North-West ICS procurement leads underwent a Train the Trainer course to gain further skills in how to deliver Carbon Literacy training within their organisation. This has provided trainers with the skills and guidance to deliver the NHS Toolkit training to their own staff, meaning outsourcing for training delivery will not be needed. This model of training often works to speed up the training process and keep costs down, as training can be delivered in-house. To find out more about Train the Trainer, get in contact at healthcare@carbonliteracy.com

To accompany their excellent work in healthcare, WRM has recently been developing, accrediting, and delivering courses for a diverse range of sectors including infrastructure, finance, and professional services. The most recent of these courses has been developed and delivered in-person for VolkerRail, who regard Carbon Literacy as a core behavioural element of their carbon reduction strategy, and are seeking to become a bronze level Carbon Literate Organisation. To date, the training has been delivered to around 40 senior colleagues broken down into groups of various professional roles.

Continuing the Carbon Literacy Cascade

WRM have further enhanced its commitment to Carbon Literacy by developing its own in-house course to ensure staff can also become Carbon Literate, and it now aims to become a platinum-level training provider. The potential impact of having a Carbon Literate workforce delivering sustainability advice to corporations in various sectors enhances just how important conversations around emissions can be in the implementation of sustainability agendas.

Overall, WRM is an inspiring provider and developer of training courses across a range of sectors, with a particular specialism in the NHS, and is truly setting the scene for the kind of scope training providers can work within when becoming committed to Carbon Literacy. WRM is driven to support new sectors and is always looking for opportunities to expand the important work of Carbon Literacy into new areas. WRM welcome contact from anyone in new service and sector areas.

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