Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series about closing the sustainability skills gap with the resources we have available right now.
The first article in this series, "Climate Literacy Training for Every Budget," introduced the business case for employee climate literacy training and provided a list of courses available to the general public. Today’s installment continues the discussion around basic climate literacy and provides an overview of solutions designed specifically to help businesses scale employee training and engagement programs.
As Heather Clancy wrote in her recent article, "Can Your Company Leap the Great Sustainability Skills Gap?" organizations truly leading the way on employee sustainability and climate training have begun developing and leveraging learning centers of excellence, such as the Microsoft Sustainability Learning Center, LinkedIn Learning and Salesforce Trailhead. Others are engaging in strategic partnerships to develop highly customized programs including the EY Masters in Sustainability by Hult or Deloitte’s climate education course developed in partnership with WWF, delivered to all 330,000 Deloitte employees.
If your organization can’t make quite that significant of an investment, don’t despair: Below is a list of fantastic solutions available to help you start or scale your employee engagement initiatives.
Based on the conversations I had at GreenBiz 23 with individuals leading the charge on employee engagement, it sounds like pairing a solid basic climate literacy training resource with a high-level overview of the work that your company is doing in sustainability is a really nice place to start for engaging your employees around these issues. There’s a lot more you can do after that, but that’s a topic for another day.
As is often the case with these types of lists, I’m sure I've missed something. So, I enthusiastically invite you to reach out to me on LinkedIn with your suggestions. Thanks in advance for bringing these resources out into the open so more people can get to work on advancing sustainable business practices. And now, onto some specific resources.
Business training solutions from broad virtual training platforms
Broad virtual training platforms such as Coursera, edX, GetSmarter, Udemy and FutureLearn have thousands of courses available across a wide range of topics beyond just climate and sustainability. They also offer business solutions that allow companies to make specific trainings and playlists available to employees, so if you see training you really like, you can easily make a specific course available to all of your employees, which is awesome for scalability.
10 specific resources
UN Global Compact Academy by the United Nations Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact’s premier online learning platform provides business leaders and practitioners with actionable skills to help companies implement the Ten Principles on the UN Global Compact and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It offers free introductory courses and a variety of live and on-demand training and workshops about climate change and environment, SDG integration, gender equality, human rights, labor and decent work, governance and anti-corruption. Unlimited access is free to all employees of companies participating in the UN Global Compact.
Climate and ESG Skills Training Platform by Voiz Academy
The platform covers topics such as climate change awareness, climate and net-zero plans, product life cycles, circular design and ESG and green finance. Corporate training for each topic is available in three tiers: Tier 1: 2-hour interactive workshops for introducing topics; Tier II: Deeper dives with five 2-hour sessions; and Tier III: 40-hour certification programs. The platform supports development of customized learning paths for any role. Voiz Academy also offers several climate-focused bootcamps designed for Gen Z learners to help them build their careers in climate.
Climate Learning for Organizations by Terra.do
This is the business version of Terra.do’s signature Climate Change: Learning for Action bootcamp for individuals. The experience teaches corporate teams core climate principles, provides support for mapping those principles to the team’s business objectives and creating action plans, and connects participants to a global peer group from 25-plus countries.
The Climate School by Kite Insights
This is a sustainability education program that equips employees with the knowledge, motivation and tools to transform organizations for a climate-friendly future — no matter the industry you’re in or where you are in the world. The Climate School offers a range of training solutions from subscription-based e-learning to live online workshops, webinars and masterclasses. Topics covered include climate science, biodiversity, natural resources and human societies, decarbonization and climate change for specific professional roles.
Carbon Literacy Training by Anthesis Group
Anthesis is an accredited trainer of the internationally recognized Carbon Literacy Project. Carbon Literacy training is a one-day course that provides employees with an awareness of the climate-related costs and impacts of their activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This podcast episode describes how Anthesis rolled out Carbon Literacy training across Palatine Private Equity’s entire portfolio of companies.
Sustainability Transformation Essentials by McKinsey’s Sustainability Academy
McKinsey’s interactive course, Sustainability Transformation Essentials, is a mix of live workshops and interactive digital content designed to develop enterprise-wide awareness of core sustainability concepts including climate change literacy, 1.5-degree Celsius pathways, solving the net-zero equation and strategies for capturing new business opportunities.
Planetgroups helps companies initiate employee green teams for climate advocacy and action. Its consultants provide assistance with establishing a working structure, goals and milestones. Planetgroups members receive access to PlaNet, a collaboration platform that connects employees to experts, resources and other Planetgroups.
ZeroMe by U.S. Venture Sustainability Solutions
ZeroMe is an engagement platform that allows employees to track their personal carbon footprint, learn about company sustainability initiatives and provide feedback using an engaging, educational app. The app helps employees to better understand the carbon impact of their choices and provides reporting on employee-related Scope 3 elements.
Personal Sustainability Workshops by the Carbonauts
The Carbonauts host a variety of live, virtual workshops that can help your employees optimize their lifestyles so that we can build a greener future. Currently available workshop titles include "The 6 Most Impactful Actions for Reducing Your Footprint," "Personal Sustainability Plan: Calculate and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint" and "Shop Smart: 8 Ways to Vote for the Planet with Your Wallet."
The Decade of Action Documentary
The Decade of Action is a documentary on sustainability and why businesses need to go all-in if we want to achieve the climate goals and the SDGs and keep our world safe for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The documentary is 30-minutes long and is available for in-company screenings.
Join the conversation
I hope this article has helped you find at least one great new resource to help you start or scale your employee climate engagement program. Keep an eye out for future articles in this series that will focus more on the training needs of the sustainability team and functional business partners.
If I’ve missed one of your favorites or if you want to tell me about a resource that could be relevant to a future article, please reach out to me on LinkedIn.