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Axter is officially a Silver Carbon Literate Organisation

Axter has been accredited as a Silver Carbon Literate Organisation by The Carbon Literacy Project, demonstrating its dedication to tackling climate change, reducing its organisational carbon emissions, and its commitment to working towards a lower-carbon future.

Phillip Wilcox-Moore, Axter’s Managing Director shares, “The whole team has received Carbon Literacy training, and it is now part of our standard onboarding process for new starters to ensure we’re all striving towards the same goal. This is an ongoing commitment, and we believe it is an important part of our broader sustainability pathway.

We value integrity and accountability within our organisation, striving to align our actions with our words and harnessing the influence of our business to build a more sustainable and inclusive future. I’m proud that this achievement demonstrates how we are taking action to achieve that.”

Dave Coleman, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carbon Literacy Project, said: “Carbon Literacy is an essential skill, vital to every workplace, community, and place of study. It is the foundational knowledge, and a catalyst to empowering people to act on climate, however, Carbon Literacy is only the first step.

“The actions taken and pledged by learners as part of their Carbon Literacy have an immediate impact within their organisation, however it is the maintenance of these and further actions, supported by Carbon Literate organisational culture, that reaps the greatest rewards for both participants and their organisations.

By becoming a silver accredited Carbon Literate Organisation, Axter has demonstrated its commitment to genuine low carbon action, environmental and economic impact, and the building of a low carbon future for us all.”

In this interview, Phillip shares why Axter is committed to ongoing Carbon Literacy and what the training and pledges mean for the team and clients. He hopes this will inspire other leaders in construction to take the same action within their organisations.

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What on earth is Carbon Literacy and a Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO)?

In simple terms, The Carbon Literacy Project defines Carbon Literacy 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.” And it makes a difference – with research showing that when individuals understand how climate change will affect them and acquire the knowledge and skills to lower their carbon footprint, it results in a 5-15% realised carbon savings per person.

A CLO is an organisation that has been accredited by The Carbon Literacy Project as being “culturally Carbon Literate”; maintaining a substantial proportion of its workforce as Carbon Literate and demonstrating its Carbon Literacy through its organisational behaviour. CLO accreditation is a tiered system with Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels, requiring increasing levels of commitment to action on climate change and creating a low-carbon culture.

Carbon Literacy Training for the Axter team

Our people are key to achieving our sustainability goals. For Axter to address the climate crisis in a meaningful way, we need to ensure our team members are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to make best practice decisions that support the well-being of our environment and climate.

With this in mind, we are proud to offer Carbon Literacy training to all our staff through The Carbon Literacy Project, a charity that seeks to inspire action through educational workshops on climate change.

Recognised by the UN as a ‘Transformative Action Programme’, this training examines the science of climate change, including the importance of social equity. It helps individuals understand how they can take action and gives them the strategies and skills to communicate effectively.

In December 2023, our whole team took part in this training with Hattrick, providers of net zero masterclasses, to enhance their understanding of carbon emissions and start an ongoing conversation on how our actions as individuals are impacting climate change.

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Why Carbon Literacy training?

Most people genuinely want to take positive climate action, but often feel they are not sure where to start or how much impact they will have. The value of Carbon Literacy training is that it focuses on the empowerment of the individual and, through them, the organisation.

Through fact-based education and constructive dialogue, this one-day training helps to reinforce the knowledge our team need to have informed conversations about carbon, enabling us to lead by example and help clients, but also our communities, families, and friends, understand how they can effectively reduce carbon and contribute to a more sustainable future.

As part of the training, each participant is invited to make an individual pledge, alongside a group pledge to inspire and drive collective action in the workplace.

Here is an example of an individual pledge made by one Axter staff member: "I pledge to reduce my digital carbon footprint at work. This will involve things like clearing out my inbox, making sure we don't store duplicated documents, and sending files using WeTransfer instead of attachments, etc. All of these things have a carbon cost associated with them and being mindful of how I use the internet will mean I can reduce the amount of CO2 I use at work."

And an example of a group pledge made by another team member: "I pledge to implement an in-house company 'Reuse Notice Board' (via 'Teams' group) for colleagues to share items that they no longer need, and that others may have a use for. This implementation will be significant to the wider group of my colleagues as I believe it will create an easier way of sharing items, reducing fast fashion, single use purchases, and general wastage. It will also encourage everyone to communicate and discuss reuse more often than they otherwise might have."

Seven volunteers at Axter have formed an Environmental & Sustainability Committee to support team members on their journeys to sustainability; one of their first tasks will be to go through everyone's pledges and help put plans in place to enable them to achieve their individual and collective goals.

For Axter, Carbon Literacy Training underlines our personal and collective commitment to take action; and inspire others to do so too. It takes just 25% of individuals to drive change, and we want to support that shift across the built environment sector.

What is the impact for Axter?

Feedback from the team has been very positive, and people have said that they found the experience valuable. We consciously chose to offer this training to the whole team, because our sustainability strategy is rooted in every part of the business. The training builds clear evidence-based understanding, and it also encourages discussion and constructive debate to help the team take ownership of their knowledge and be able to communicate about climate change accurately and effectively.

The team have a toolkit now to connect their role and their actions to how they can impact change from an individual and organisational perspective.

Axter is committed to clear and truthful communication with our clients, suppliers, and partners – a key part of this being integrity of information. Last year we were proud to achieve Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) verification for our Wilotekt-Plus hot melt product set, highlighting our commitment to accurate, up-to-date, and unambiguous product information. Being accredited Silver by The Carbon Literacy Project and completing Carbon Literacy training, as well as continuing to work towards platinum level, helps to ensure that we are maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality in our conversations about climate change and sustainability.

How does this support Axter’s wider sustainability goals?

Axter’s approach to sustainability is root and branch, looking at every activity within the business and every part of our strategy, supply chain and stakeholders. Over the last year, we have submitted our B Impact Assessment on our journey to B Corp status and completed an essential benchmark carbon assessment study independently verified by Natural Carbon Solutions (NCS). This rigour is reflected in our commitment to training, including Carbon Literacy, for our team and Axter is now working towards being a Platinum-level Carbon Literate Organisation.

I’m very proud of what the team has achieved so far, but this is just the beginning of our journey. We are now finalising our carbon reduction strategy, aligned with the Science-Based Targets initiative, with support from CYD Connects.

I firmly believe that everyone at Axter will make a difference, both individually and collectively as an organisation. We are committed to taking action through our operational activities, but I also hope that by sharing how we are achieving this, it inspires others to join with us and take action that delivers swift and positive change across our sector.

You can find the latest updates on Axter’s Sustainability Pathway here.

Learn more about The Carbon Literacy Project and the training Hattrick has developed specifically for teams working in the built environment – empower your team with Carbon Literacy training!

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