Social Housing

Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Social Housing

Why Carbon Literacy for Social Housing?

Estimates suggest 20% of UK homes already overheat and 5.2 million UK homes regularly flood. With extreme weather events increasing in frequency and intensity in the UK, climate change is a serious concern for households and communities.

Many of the demographic groups who are overrepresented in social housing (as compared to the general population) are also expected to experience the impacts of climate change sooner and more severely than others.

Renters tend to have less financial and legal capacity than homeowners to adapt their homes and behaviours to reduce carbon emissions. These limitations also prevent them from accessing solutions that prepare their homes for the climate of the decades to come.

For social housing providers, many of the solutions you can implement already exist in the market. The challenge is finding ways to do this effectively, affordably, and quickly. The 2050 target year is now within the normal planning period for the sector, so organisations need strategic roadmaps to coordinate the rollout of the “easy wins” as well as the more significant solutions.

The UK Government has objectives to do with building new homes and decarbonising existing ones. The social housing sector is a crucial part in this, representing 4.4 million British households. Organisations with a Carbon Literate workforce can coordinate strategies and deploy decarbonisation objectives efficiently and effectively.

Carbon Literacy training is appropriate for all members of the workforce and customer-base at any housing organisation. The training has the most benefit when rolled out across the whole organisation, as this bolsters the cumulative effect of every Carbon Literate individual’s low-carbon action, and nurtures meaningful and significant long-term decarbonisation.

Carbon Literacy Toolkits

Carbon Literacy Toolkits have been developed to maximise the ease and speed of the adoption of CL. The Toolkits are a culmination of the experiences of many, so you can avoid “reinventing the wheel”.

Adopting an accredited Carbon Literacy Toolkit:

  • Alleviates resource input to CL training
  • Allows for local and organisational customisation without re-accrediting materials
  • Relieves the burden of updating the materials in line with developments in climate change science, impacts and policy

Toolkit development is supported by The Carbon Literacy Project, but training materials are always contributed, curated, selected, and reviewed by representatives of the sector.

Organisations with valid access to a licensed Toolkit will always have the latest and best materials available to them.

The Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Social Housing has been funded by CL4RPs – The Carbon Literacy for Registered Providers consortium. 11 different social housing organisations have contributed, donated, tested, and piloted the materials.

Carbon Literacy Training

Once you have access to either an accredited Carbon Literacy course or an accredited Carbon Literacy Toolkit, you can begin delivering the Carbon Literacy training in-house (or employ the services of an external trainer). The person delivering the training should be Carbon Literate. Every learner who undergoes the Carbon Literacy training must pledge at least 2 significant carbon-reducing actions, evidenced on the Participant Details form, or similar. The pledges are submitted to The Carbon Literacy Project at a price per certificate application, all evidence is reviewed by our Certification Team who will issue certificates for all learners who sufficiently demonstrate their Carbon Literacy.

Key Questions

Who can access the Toolkit?

All Carbon Literacy courses are designed with a specific audience in mind.

The Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Social Housing is aimed at staff at all levels within social housing organisations. The Toolkit may be released to organisations who are considered, by The Carbon Literacy Project, to belong to the Social Housing Sector.

Training organisations or consultants who wish to adopt the Toolkit materials, or adapt them for a particular purpose, should contact The Carbon Literacy Project via email at

You may use these materials as a commercial product, but only to deliver approved Carbon Literacy training and with the express permission of The Carbon Literacy Project. You may not sell delivery of these materials to learners who are not part of the defined audience. In some cases, you may be granted the rights to use these materials beyond the current licence terms. If you are interested in doing so, please contact the Carbon Literacy Social Housing team at

How much does it cost?

Carbon Literacy Toolkits are licensed on a 3-year basis. When you purchase access to a licensed Toolkit, the fee is determined by your organisation’s annual turnover. When the Toolkit comes to the end of its licence period, organisations that wish to continue delivering Carbon Literacy training must renew their access. Renewal fees are adjusted proportionately, so you will never pay for more than you receive.

The certification fee can be considered a “running cost” for Carbon Literacy training. Certification is also priced on a scale in line with your organisation’s annual turnover. You can find details of what this cost means for you by referring to the Pricing Matrix.

The Carbon Literacy Toolkits can only be used for the express purpose of certifying learners as Carbon Literate.

How can I stay in touch with Carbon Literacy for Social Housing?

You can stay in touch with CL for Social Housing by signing up for our newsletter, or joining our LinkedIn Group.

Making the Case

You may be in a position to put together the business or financial case for rolling out Carbon Literacy to colleagues across your organisation. Here are some things to consider when making this case:

Carbon Literacy is part of your day job: The training is designed such that it enables you to conduct your normal responsibilities in a way that reduces carbon emissions to address climate change. It can also empower a workforce to collectively make significant change to improve the way an organisation conducts its business.

Get ahead of legislation: Taking action on climate change sooner than later means that when policy and legislation applies, you will be well situated to make necessary adjustments in order to comply.

Scale and pace: There is a sense of urgency when it comes to addressing climate change. Organisations who deliver training at scale find the most value from the training and contribute to wider ambitions for decarbonisation.

Carbon Literate Organisations: Organisations who show commitment to delivering Carbon Literacy training and ongoing action on climate change can be awarded CLO status at Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. For more information about CLO, please click here or speak to your Sector Lead.

Long-term commitment to your customers: The Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Social Housing explores the role of buildings and homes in the climate crisis. 38% of British housing stock was built before World War II, and very few homes are designed for the British climate as it is today, and how it will be in the decades to come. In order to be able to provide safe, decent, comfortable homes to your customers now and as the climate continues to change, decarbonisation is a priority now.

Here are some resources free, for you to use, to help you make the case:

Naomi Wise, Sustainability Officer at Winchester City Council

Winchester City Council piloted the LAs Generic Staff Course with only two days between receiving it until delivery. How do you think it went?


Making the Case

A helpful document to help you ‘make the case’ for Carbon Literacy training in your organisation.



What's Included in the Toolkit?

Getting Started

If you wish to deliver Carbon Literacy training at your workplace, we recommend you become Carbon Literate yourself first. Please contact for details about how you can attend some training, and how and who to pay if you wish to access the Toolkit.

Training Workbook

The Toolkit for Social Housing is suitable for delivery in online and classroom/office settings, you can deliver different modules in different settings if necessary. Some of the activities differ to suit these different settings. To support a coherent training experience for learners, no matter the setting(s) of the training, you are provided with Training Workbook chapters to distribute to your learners.

Training Materials

The course is 8 hours in total, this can be split up into shorter sessions if necessary. You will receive a complete slide deck, all associated activity materials (and a list of additional equipment you may need for face-to-face training), and a comprehensive trainer manual.

The trainer manual gives details of every stage and every slide, before, during, and after the training.

Supporting Documents

  • Trainer Code-of-Conduct
  • Online CL Training Tips
  • Pre- & Post-course evaluation surveys
  • Certificate Marking Guide
  • Participant details form
  • Certificate request form


Social Housing Generic Staff Course

Available Now
CL4RPs Members: Free / Non-Members: £2000

Aimed at staff working in a social housing environment without differentiating between roles.


There are three pathways to the science section (part 1) based on:

  • Carbon Literacy: Knowledge E-learning route
  • Sir David Attenborough, ‘Climate Change – The Facts’ film route
  • *Presenter-led: online or face-to-face workshop route

*Currently, only the online, presenter-led pathway is available. The other pathways will be available shortly.

All pathways are then followed up by a presenter-led, online or face-to-face, workshop (part 2).

Produced in partnership with
Great Places Housing Group

Course development funded by
Carbon Literacy for Registered Providers (CL4Ps) Consortium


Social Housing Tenants Pathway

Coming Soon

Aimed at Residents living within a social housing environment.

Course under development, coming in 2023.

Other Carbon Literacy Training for Social Housing

Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC)

A consortium of Welsh Registered Social Landlords. Members of CLCC meet regularly in Communities of Practice to share their experiences of organising and delivering the training, as well as the actions they are implementing as a result.

The CLCC course was produced in partnership with:
Great Places Housing Group
Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales

Course development was funded by:
Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) consortium

If you are part of a Welsh Registered Social Landlord, click here for more information and how to get involved.

"We want all our staff, board members, and potentially some residents to be Carbon Literate so they can understand their own carbon footprint, then develop actions in their homes and in the workplace to reduce it."

Robin Lawler, CEO of Northwards Housing

"Carbon Literacy was the first environmental training where we saw the benefit of getting every member of staff trained." "A key outcome from the Carbon Literacy training has been that people are now approaching the environment team to make improvements within their working environment."

Great Places – Silver

"Overall this has been a hugely positive experience, with staff still being training and passing their Carbon Literacy with flying colours on a regular basis."

New Charter – Silver

"Based on the commitments the staff made during the training, the estimated carbon saving is 77 tonnes CO2."

Northwards – Platinum

“We were looking for a training course that would ensure all staff received the same level of environmental understanding, for a reasonable cost. Carbon Literacy fit these criteria perfectly”.

Great Places Housing – Platinum CLO

"It’s really encouraging that since the training a lot of people are talking about reducing their carbon footprint and two people have told us that they have made the decision to change their cars off the back of the training.”

New Charter Group – Silver CLO

“Since the training has been completed our Green Energy Advisor has been inundated with requests from our teams to provide energy advice to our tenants... Based on the pledges the staff made during the training, the estimated initial carbon saving is 77 tonnes CO2.”

Northwards Housing – Platinum CLO

"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

Request a Course

To request one or more of the available courses for Social Housing, please Contact Us listing ‘Social Housing Toolkit’ as the subject. Please include the following:

  • A recognised social housing provider email address
  • Which course you are requesting?
  • Why you are interested in this particular sectoral course?

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


For any enquiries relating to Carbon Literacy for Social Housing please contact us at

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