From Awareness to Action: Carbon Literacy for Organisational Change

11th June 2024
Rinku David
Senior Consultant - Climate Change and Carbon Advisory

In a world where climate disasters are not just warnings but daily realities, the urgency for effective climate action is more pronounced than ever, and the need for Carbon Literacy is becoming increasingly important.

In this episode of the WSP Anticipate Podcast, Rinku David, Senior Consultant, Climate Change & Carbon Advisory at WSP Middle East speaks to Cle-Anne Gabriel, Managing Director at ThinkZero and Philipp Rosenthal, Associate Director, Climate Change & Carbon Advisory at WSP Middle East about the barriers and enablers of Carbon Literacy; and in the discussion, they also provide guidance to organisations on how to incorporate Carbon Literacy into their strategies.

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Discussion Points

01:10 Introduction to the speaker’s career and background

03:10 Carbon Literacy as an essential tool in addressing today’s environmental challenges

05:30 – Integration of Carbon Literacy in organisations core strategies

09:03How to get every employee to not only understand but actively participate in sustainability initiatives

13:35 The common Carbon Literacy obstacles and the strategic solutions that can help companies navigate these hurdles successfully

21:19 – Examples of effective implementation of Carbon Literacy training

29:25 How companies can ensure that they not only meet but exceed their sustainability goals

33:40 Future trends and shifts in the landscape of carbon management and literacy

40:20  How organisations can start their journey toward becoming fully carbon literate

Key Takeaways

  • Employee Engagement: For meaningful change, employees must be aware and able to question how their roles contribute to achieving net-zero business objectives.
  • Career Opportunities: Sustainability and decarbonization efforts should be seen as career advancement opportunities, with active engagement in these areas being beneficial for both personal growth and organisational impact.
  • Carbon Literacy Challenges: Entities face challenges such as the need for tailored Carbon Literacy training for different employee groups and ensuring attendance at workshops.
  • Leadership Engagement: Effective sustainability initiatives start with leadership engagement. Leaders must understand and invest time in sustainability to inspire the rest of the organisation.
  • Immediate Results: Carbon Literacy sessions lead to immediate organisational commitments, such as transitioning to zero-emission vehicle fleets, re-greening office spaces, and zero plastics goals.
  • Value Chain Engagement: It is recommended that organisations engage their entire value chain in Carbon Literacy, as this will lead to a collective effort in reducing scope three emissions.
  • Measurement and Reporting: Effective measurement and reporting of Carbon Literacy initiatives are crucial, with metrics like trained employees, innovation ideas, and KPIs for pilots influencing overall carbon intensity reduction.
  • Procurement’s Role: Educating procurement teams in Carbon Literacy is crucial for success, ensuring they understand how to measure and capture the necessary data for impactful decarbonization.
  • Data Management: Obtaining primary data from suppliers on their carbon output is so important, as it allows organisations to demonstrate actual reductions in scope three emissions.
  • Carbon Impact on Business: Carbon considerations will permeate all aspects of business, changing procurement processes and supplier engagement, with an emphasis on Carbon Literacy and reducing scope three emissions.
  • Financial Sector’s Role: There is a significant shift towards climate and green finance, with financial services now playing a major role in climate modeling and the economic implications of climate change.

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