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World Creativity and Innovation Week: Carbon training supports our journey to net zero

By Natasha Chetina and Ness Amaral-Rogers


To celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW), we have a series of blog posts looking at some of our recent innovative work. Following on from the updates from our International Implementation Team and Marine Monitoring Team earlier in the week, today, on World Creativity and Innovation Day, it's the turn of our Sustainability Manager.

At JNCC, Innovation is one of our core values. To celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week (15 to 21 April), we’re shining a light on how we’re using innovative techniques, unique solutions and learning, and employing them to help nature recover. In today’s blog post, find out how some new training in carbon literacy is helping our staff better understand their carbon footprints and what they can do to reduce them.

Working towards a sustainable future

JNCC’s vision is thriving nature for a sustainable future. As is stated in our environmental policy, we commit to conducting our day-to-day business operations in a way that supports this vision and protects the environment. Our environmental objectives help to guide our path to this vision and enable us to support the UK Government’s ambition of reaching net zero by 2050. All those working for, or on behalf of, JNCC have a responsibility to ensure that their work aligns with these environmental objectives and commitments.

Carbon literacy

It is from this shared responsibility for JNCC’s environmental management that we initiated the opportunity for staff to take part in carbon literacy training. Carbon literacy has been defined by the Carbon Literacy Project as "an awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis". Being carbon literate is an important skill for all in the 21st century and particularly in our line of work. Indeed, the United Nations recognised The Carbon Literacy Project as one of the top 100 projects worldwide that could materially change the way we deal with climate change.

Carbon and climate change training

The training itself consists of a day’s-worth of learning and climate-change action and planning. Our training course was developed by our sponsors, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and includes knowledge of the science behind climate change as well as specific policies and actions taking place within the Defra Group. The carbon literacy training is special in its practical approach; trainees must make significant individual and group carbon reduction pledges within their work and/or personal environment. The learning culminates in the assessment and external certification of successful individuals as ‘Carbon Literate’.

The training gave our staff the space and time to share ideas with colleagues about reducing their carbon footprints. Pledge topics have ranged from carbon costing IT equipment and reducing international business travel, to reviewing energy providers and looking at low-carbon menu options on research vessels.

So far, over 10 staff have completed the training at JNCC as the first JNCC cohort, including four members of our Executive Leadership Team and members of our internal Sustainability Group. A second cohort has started the training, and we will continue to roll out the training to all staff. We are committed to ensuring the people at JNCC have the knowledge and confidence to make the best choices when it comes to cutting their carbon footprint and are excited to be able to offer our staff this innovative training opportunity.

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