Over the last few months Peak Mountaineering started on the journey to achieving carbon literacy accreditation. WE DID IT! A series of online seminars, plenty of behind the scenes study and a series of pledges has led us here. But, the journey continues. Please read on to find our more about The Carbon Literacy Project and our future aspirations.
What is Carbon Literacy?
The Carbon Literacy Project identifies ‘Carbon Literacy as relevant climate change learning that catalyses action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’. The Carbon Literacy Project is based on the key aim that if we are to cut our carbon emissions by the kind of reductions demanded of us by science, then we will need to change culture alongside technology.
How does becoming carbon literate help?
The Carbon Literacy Project is based on the key aim that if we are to cut our carbon emissions by the kind of reductions demanded of us by science, then we will need to change culture alongside technology. Carbon Literate citizens and organisations understand how climate change will affect them and have acquired the knowledge and skills to lower their carbon footprint. Typical realised carbon savings of 5-15% per person (Jacobs 2018) are expected from those with carbon literacy.
How did we get involved?
We have been aware of the importance of carbon in the journey to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but were also sure there was a lot more to learn. We were right! We’d heard about the Carbon Literacy Project through our friends at the Patagonia Manchester store and were keen to learn more. It soon became clear the journey to becoming Carbon Literate would be a useful path on our company journey.
What is the journey to becoming carbon literate like?
It’s a reassuringly detailed process. There were are a series of online meetings with others in our cohort. These meetings combined information sessions with small group tasks and discussions. Between the sessions there was also homework to do. We also had a mentor to guide us through the process. Finally, we had to make pledges about how we would make carbon savings in the coming year. It was an enlightening and satisfying journey, although maybe the journey has really just begun.
One of the things we were concerned about when we started the process was being made to feel guilty. It was so refreshing and reassuring to know this wasn’t the message at all. We have made some important pledges, but the key message it that any change is positive. If you are a meat eater then you don’t need to become a vegetarian to make a difference. That’s a great goal if you wish, but maybe an in-between is to aim to eat one or two less meat based meals each week. That is just a representative example but hopefully the message is clear enough.
What does it mean for our business?
We have always tried to run our business as sustainably as possible, but the process of becoming carbon literate made us realise there is so much more we can do. It also made us realise that many things we thought were too big for us to do were actually easy and vice a versa with others. At the end of the day, though, the process gave us the kick to start doing something more than we already were!
What does it mean for others?
Above all, we also hope our journey is inspiration to others to begin their own journey. Whether it is achieving carbon literacy accreditation themselves or simply looking to make some positive change. Either or both is still progress.
We’ll be posting updates on our carbon journey over the coming months, but hope their is a bit of inspiration in this brief update. Full details on The Carbon Literacy Project are available on their website here. Please also take the time to read our Environment Policy here. This sobering report on carbon is also worth a read.