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Upcoming Updates to the CLO Standard

August 2023 by Vydune Zlabyte

We are pleased to announce that the Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO) Standard is being updated after five successful years and almost 200 accredited CLOs. These updates will support current and future CLOs in rising to the challenge of meeting the growing urgency for climate action. As public awareness and action increase, and the need to combat climate change is increasingly recognised as a key priority, we are looking to strengthen the requirements of CLO accreditation going forward. We hope that the updates will not only inspire and positively challenge your organisation, but foster further action, commitment and pride amongst your people.

The new CLO Standard (v2) will come into effect on the 1st of March 2024, making Thursday 29th February (leap day and deadline for the 2024 CLO Awards) the last day to apply under the current version of the CLO Standard (v1). Through this update, we are collectively taking a leap forward in our commitment to address the climate crisis.

We hope that communicating this to you with six months’ lead time until the changes take effect, will enable you to plan your CLO journey and upcoming applications with the updates in mind.

What does this mean for your organisation?

To ensure your organisation’s inclusion at the 2024 CLO Awards, you will need to apply, under the current CLO Standard, before the February deadline. This deadline applies whether you are an existing CLO planning to upgrade or an organisation applying for CLO for the first time. Note that organisations applying after the 29th of February will still be eligible for accreditation but will need to meet the criteria of the updated Standard (v2).

As of Friday 1st March 2024, v2 of the CLO Standard will come into effect. If you are looking to become a CLO for the first time, or are renewing or upgrading your existing CLO accreditation from this date, you will need to meet all new criteria applicable to the level or accreditation you are applying for. These new criteria will include additional requirements at each accreditation level that will need to be met (some of which you may already be doing). Any organisation applying under the new standard, and after the cut-off, will be invited to the award ceremony in the following year.

What changes can you expect?

You can expect greater requirements for each accreditation level, progressively increasing as you move from Bronze to Silver, Gold and Platinum. You can expect to be challenged more, meaning you can be even more proud of your achievements once accredited under the new CLO Standard. You can expect to ramp up collaborative working with your peers and networks. And you can expect to shout about the fantastic work you are already doing on climate.

Some of the changes won’t come as a surprise and you may even have foreseen them coming –  we’ve already been asking organisations applying for Bronze about their future plans for CL and for a video submission featuring their CEO or senior staff member discussing Carbon Literacy within their organisation, alongside their application. These are some of the new actions that will be formalised under the new standard.

The video, for example, serves as a brilliant way to showcase the inspiring efforts of our CLOs and supports both you and us in promoting your best practices and inspiring work for others to follow. For a selection of these, you can view the excellent 2023 CLO Awards Bronze Video Compilation.

You can expect to hear more on this and the other new or adapted requirements which will be announced, once finalised, in the lead-up to the New Year.

What if we are an educational institution?

We acknowledge educational institutions’ unique role in shaping a Carbon Literate future generation and the difficulties of displaying this under the current CLO Standard. As such, we have ceased accepting CLO applications from this sector. Instead, we invite educational institutions to participate in the upcoming Carbon Literate Educator (CLE) accreditation scheme, tailored to meet their needs, which will be publicly launched in early 2024.

Educational institutions that are currently CLOs will be supported to transition to the CLE Standard.

Getting started on your CL journey?

For those eager to get started with Carbon Literacy, you can find all the necessary information on our Getting Started Pack to embark on your journey towards becoming a CLO.

You can locate our current CLO Standard and application details here.

Should you have any questions or require further information about the CLO accreditation process, please do not hesitate to get in touch at clo@carbonliteracy.com.

We thank you for your unwavering support and look forward to celebrating your achievements at the next CLO Awards ceremony in June 2024! Want an insight into what you can expect at the ceremony? Take a look at our video of the 2023 CLO Awards.

Keep up the low-carbon work!

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