Auto Trader is to launch an automotive carbon literacy toolkit at Cop26 later this week.
Hailed as the first of its kind for the automotive industry, it’s been funded by the online advertising business and designed in conjunction with retailers including Nissan, Marshall Motor Group, Lookers, Motorpoint and AvailableCar.
The free tools and materials support accredited in-house carbon literacy training, with tailored content, a trainer guide and detailed resources, plus support from a member of the Carbon Literacy Project team.
A range of climate change-related topics centred on the automotive industry is covered by the course – typically delivered via a one-day seminar virtually or face to face.
The toolkit is available to any organisation of any size in the automotive industry, and aims to support people and businesses as they reduce their carbon footprint.
Dave Coleman, managing director of the Carbon Literacy Project, said: ‘While 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.’
It will be officially launched on Wednesday, November 10, but two pilot courses have already been held, with a host of brands taking part.
They included Kia, Vauxhall, Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis, Arnold Clark, Perrys, Sinclair Group, Drive Green, the SMMT, RCI Banque, Dealer Auction, KeeResources plus AutoConvert, as well as Marshall Motor Group, Lookers and Nissan.
The idea is to create greater awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities, and to inspire a reduction in emissions.
As more people are accredited, so their organisation can work towards becoming a fully accredited carbon-literate organisation via bronze, silver, gold and platinum milestones.
Auto Trader was the first FTSE 100 company to become carbon literate, and chief operating officer Nathan Coe 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.
‘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.
‘I believe the toolkit has the potential to make a very meaningful and lasting contribution to the industry’s sustainability objectives.’
Marshall Motor Group chief financial officer Richard Blumberger said: ‘Effecting any sort of change can only be done with the buy-in of our colleagues, and this is a key topic which everyone feels passionately about.
‘The toolkit will give us a very simple yet effective way to educate our teams, and the trainer approach gives us the ability to roll it out in a quick and constructive way.
‘Though we have already started our journey, and an example of this is changing our electricity supply to a fully green renewable electricity tariff, this toolkit will provide a very effective bottom-up approach to reducing our carbon footprint even further.’
Andrew Hall, business development director at Lookers, commented: ‘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.’
Meanwhile, Richard Seaward, head of strategic development at Sinclair Group, 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.’