At COP26 this week, Auto Trader, the leading British automotive classified advertising business, will announce the launch of a new Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit, which has been funded and developed in partnership with The Carbon Literacy Trust.
The toolkit marks the first of its kind for the automotive industry and has been carefully designed in close collaboration with several leading automotive retailers and manufacturers. These include Nissan, Marshall Motor Group, Lookers, Motorpoint, AvailableCar and SYNETIQ.
The toolkit is available for any organisation, of any size, working within the automotive industry. It has been developed to support individuals and businesses in their journey towards reducing their carbon footprint by making the adoption of Carbon Literacy faster and easier to achieve.
The industry-wide collaboration in its development underpins just how high a priority sustainability has become for many automotive organisations. Prior to the official launch of the toolkit on 10 November, two open pilot courses have already taken place, both of which were attended by a broad range of brands representing the full spectrum of the industry.
These industry brands include Kia, Vauxhall, Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis, Arnold Clark, Perrys, Sinclair Group, Drive Green, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, RCI Banque, Dealer Auction, KeeResources, and AutoConvert, as well as Marshall Motor Group, Lookers and Nissan. Auto Trader was the first FTSE 100 company to become Carbon Literate.
Nathan Coe, Auto Trader chief operating officer, said: “We’re very proud to sponsor the creation of the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit and especially grateful for the time and commitment our partners have invested in shaping it.
“At a time when the world’s attention and hopes for a more sustainable future are directed towards Glasgow, this collaborative effort from right across the automotive industry signifies a vital commitment to addressing the industry’s collective carbon footprint and our shared responsibility in reducing it.
“We have a long way to go, but given the huge interest we’ve already seen, I believe the toolkit has the potential to make a very meaningful and lasting contribution to the industry’s sustainability objectives.”
The toolkit is designed to support accredited in-house Carbon Literacy training, which is typically delivered during a one-day seminar and can be conducted virtually or face-to-face.
The toolkit contains all of the tools and materials an organisation requires to educate and accredit its employees in Carbon Literacy. This includes tailored training content, a trainer guide, detailed resources, and dedicated support from a member of the Carbon Literacy Project team which makes it accessible to anybody with good facilitation skills not just experienced training professionals.
The course covers a broad range of climate-change-related topics centred around the automotive industry. The objective is to create greater awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities and to inspire people to reduce their emissions on an individual, community and organisational basis.
Every day’s Carbon Literacy ends with a session where learners plan or take their own immediate actions to drive the low-carbon objectives within the business. Every colleague successfully accredited will receive an individual certificate of accreditation and the organisation can progress towards becoming a fully accredited Carbon Literate Organisation.
Dave Coleman, The Carbon Literacy Project managing director, said: “Whilst the UK Government has funded the development of Carbon Literacy toolkits to speed-up implementation in many areas of the public sector, the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit is really significant as the first such initiative funded by and rolled out in the private sector.
“The automotive industry is already highly visible as one of the sectors both most affected and having to adapt most rapidly to climate change and the shift to a low carbon economy.
“Using the Toolkit, automotive organisations can educate and inform staff, suppliers and customers, take action, and more rapidly develop the low-carbon culture necessary to transform the industry.
“Adopting a low-carbon business model is one of those rare opportunities where doing the right thing for people and planet is also exactly the right thing for the business, the safety and security of jobs and well-being, and ultimately for the bottom-line.
“The making available of the Carbon Literacy Automotive Toolkit, and Auto trader’s support for its free distribution, is a really important lap in the race to zero-carbon.”
Richard Blumberger, Marshall Motor Group chief financial officer, said: “Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint is key to this social conscience. It is just the right thing to do for our colleagues, customers and the communities we operate in.
“The toolkit will give us a very simple yet effective way to educate our teams and through the train the trainer approach gives us the ability to roll it out in a quick and constructive way.”
Andrew Hall, Lookers business development director, said: “The tailored programme is holistic, covering the reality of the global situation and involves all our team members to significantly increase awareness and commit to actions as both a business and individuals to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, whilst also bringing this to life for our industry.
“With awareness and actions from the programme combining with Lookers’ own initiatives, we are committed to meaningful carbon reduction.”
Richard Seaward, Sinclair Group head of strategic development, said: “We want to inspire our staff to understand climate change, their role in it and to make a difference at home and at work. That way we can make a positive change together.
“From senior management to junior members of staff, engagement and training is essential to achieve the behavioural change necessary to address the scale and urgency of the climate emergency.
“We firmly believe that the development of the Carbon Literacy course template for the Automotive sector, and its free availability, will assist ourselves and the rest of the industry in this ambition.”