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Starting our Sustainability Journey

Starting our sustainability journey

Beginning our sustainability journey

2020 was a turning point year for many, including us. Not only did it significantly hasten our progression into a digital training world but also prompted us to consider the impact of our company’s carbon footprint.  Once we’d adjusted to the enforced and rapid transition from all face-to-face delivery to more live online training, many opportunities presented themselves, highlighting to us how we could become a more carbon-friendly training provider. This was the beginning of our sustainability journey.

The way we are

The 3 elements which initiated the biggest change in the way we work were:

1. Travel

Previously, every single one of our courses meant someone had to be travelling somewhere, be it a trainer to your site, delegates travelling from sister sites or delegates coming together for an open course at a regional venue.

Our live online delivery, which occurs through our bespoke learning platform Achieveminimises or often negates completely the need for travel as delegates can work from home. Delegates are still able to receive great learning whilst improving the sustainability of both us and them: saving on carbon, and also the financial cost of travel.

2. Printing

With every face-to-face course came a printed workbook and handouts. We were certainly not wasteful; printing on demand resulted in fewer extras and any surplus materials were repurposed for another course.

Then in 2020, our printing virtually stopped. For live online courses, we issue soft copies of the course materials, to either be printed locally or used digitally during training. Training progressed successfully without the once deemed ‘business critical’ printer and a large supply of paper. Now with Achieve we provide the option in our face-to-face courses for delegates to use these soft copies to either bemused locally or printed.

3. Postage

With fewer workbooks printed, our postage demand significantly decreased. This happened in conjunction with the changes to exams. Our exam providers opted for e-certificates instead of posting out hard copies and the exams themselves were held online. This meant there was not a paper document to be posted to exam boards.

Delegates were still able to receive great training, regulated exams, and certificates with significantly reduced demand for postal services. This is something we can continue to provide as our exam offering includes online exams and all courses have e-certificates.


The way we want to be

These new ways of working are being firmly established now we’ve balanced out to a new normal of Live Online and Face-to-Face training. We have pledged to become a more carbon-efficient organisation and are at the start of our journey into a more sustainable future. We are focusing on measuring our carbon emissions followed by a reduction and then a rebalancing. This is a process we will repeat to ensure we are always focusing on being as carbon-efficient as possible.

These are our 3 key steps in achieving this:

Next blog: How we have measured our 2019 (pre-COVID) carbon emissions. See what steps we already made towards reducing our footprint through 2021 and continuing through 2022.

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