At De Montfort University, we engage positively with not only students but staff in developing and delivering low carbon behaviour. In a collaborative project with the Carbon Literacy Project and as part of the DMU Education for the Sustainable Development Goals project (ESDG: https://esdg.our.dmu.ac.uk/), we are providing free accredited Carbon Literacy training workshops for DMU professional services staff. Interested staff who would like to learn how their individual effort can contribute to a collective action on reducing the university’s carbon footprint have joined either one of two sessions on Tuesday 7th January and Monday 13th January, 9am to 1pm. Participants were encouraged to watch a BBC documentary David Attenborough “Climate Change: The Facts” before attending training course.
The sessions started with pre-course surveys allowing participants to evaluate their values and attitudes toward climate change and the climate emergency. Before diving into figures and information, participants were aroused by a provoking discussion why it is an urgent need that individuals must start to adopt low carbon thinking into their lifestyles and how Carbon Literacy could help clarify their understandings toward the scale of the climate emergency issue. Then, seven main parts were presented in a fun, engaging, and informative way with relevant examples.
- Climate Change- The pre-watched BBC documentary discussion
- Greenhouse Gases and their sources
- Exploring Carbon Footprints
- A Zero Carbon World
- A Zero Carbon University
- Taking Action
- Communicating Climate Change
Stress-free environment brought about many positive commitment and pledges from participants toward making a difference in their own plans. Pop quiz and short discussion in pair or small groups were organised throughout 4-hour workshop. Towards the end of the workshop, easy communication tips were provided to participants to empower them to effectively covey messages to their network of colleagues and families.
The Carbon Literacy Training programme is one part of DMU initiatives working towards becoming a ‘Carbon Literate Organisation’ – Bronze level. In the early 2020, we aim to have a number of board members or senior management team certified as Carbon Literate, in a hope that the degree of behavioural change from these influential people will cascade down to junior co-workers further as an ultimate objective of the training is to provide healthier and happier staff with a healthier working environment. At the end of the day, we are looking forward to be one of the leading universities which demonstrates a strong commitment to maintain low carbon culture and, significantly, better interact with the stakeholders, such as staff and neighbours, in the society.
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Thutchanok Chirakunakorn (Sustainability Communications Frontrunner)