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Carbon Literacy Training for Educators, Communities, Organizations and Students (CLT-ECOS)

The climate crisis is at the forefront of our minds in the NTU Green Academy. This is why we support our staff and students with carbon literacy training and help to disseminate this worldwide.

What is Carbon Literacy?

As every person learns to read and write, everyone needs to be able to read in the ‘carbon book of life’. This includes the ability to calculate the carbon emissions of every human activity from using an air-conditioning unit, drinking a cappuccino to buying clothes or using a hedge trimmer. Everyone needs to be Carbon Literate enough to choose climate solutions with the highest impact for improving the future for all.

students at a carbon literacy training workshop

What is the CLT-ECOS?

Carbon Literacy Training for Educators, Communities, Organizations and Students (CLT-ECOS) programme is a virtual training developed and upscaled by Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK, in collaboration with the UN Global Compact PRME Working Group on Climate Change. It aims to empower educators, communities, organisations, and students to embed high-impact climate solutions in their personal, professional and community life. The five major initiatives that make up the CLT-ECOS are:

- Carbon Literacy Training for Business Schools Toolkit (CL4BS)

- Yale Global University Climate Forum 2020/2021 CL4BS adapted toolkit to 'NTU Carbon Literacy Training for staff and students at universities: A Systems Approach'

- Embedded into the Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership project (SAIL) offered to SMEs

- Teacher Training with EduCCate Global (primary & secondary schools)

- CLT is being adapted for key industries and sectors

In all these offers, one of the main outcomes is that it enables those who have taken part to then go on and train others in a Train-the-Trainer fashion to upscale its impact.

CLT-ECOS is unique in comparison to other CLTs as it emphasises a systems approach, looks at high impact solutions and is tailored for educators to upscale its impact in an educational setting. It is very interactive utilising synchronous learning and focuses on Education, Cooperation and Action.

How is CLT-ECOS addressing the climate and ecological emergency?

The systems approach CLT-ECOS takes builds foundational knowledge in climate science, insights from social science and change theory, and concentrates on high impact climate solutions. The content is a thoughtful synthesis of cutting-edge climate science, climate justice and practical solutions including information from Project Drawdown, MIT’s EnRoads Simulation and The Climate Reality Project. It aims to empower participants to take action to address the climate emergency and it is underpinned by a positive and persistence-focused framing with a strong message of hope and possibility.

The training is a mixture of group and individual tasks which specifically covers how to address SDG 13 Climate Action with their own climate solutions, they explore this in a systems approach evaluating them against other SDGs to see how their actions and community actions have multiple benefits for other SDGs such as addressing poverty or reducing inequalities. For the assessment participants create actions plans to empower them to make a difference in their private and professional lives to reduce carbon emissions and embed climate solutions.

Who has participated in CLT-ECOS so far?

Participants include academics, other universities staff, business professionals, NGO representatives and students.  So far over 10,000 individuals have participated, most of which have utilised the materials and tools to run their own training.

The UN Global Compact-PRME promoted the early version of CLT for Business Schools (CLT4BS) to signatories worldwide, reaching approximately 850 business schools. As it is a Train-the-Trainer approach, early participants of CLT4BS like Copenhagen Business School have gone on to offer the CLT4BS in their own universities and to their own stakeholders like companies in Denmark. The other versions of CLT-ECOS have been distributed similarly but are in different stages of maturity. Overall, the CLT-ECOS has reached 76 nations on all continents, 240 universities/business schools and 64 organisations.

What outcomes have you seen from CLT-ECOS?

The learners’ actions vary considerably, ranging from senior managers transforming policies and strategies in their organisations to students or employees taking actions in their sphere of influence. Numerous projects have been developed improving SDG integration, students’ learning/career outcomes, and learning innovations. Around 50% of students who have taken part in CLT-ECOS have said they have changed their career plans and want to focus on sustainability.

Comments below of CLT alumni:

"I really enjoyed the training and got a huge amount out of it. It is one of the best courses that I have ever sat and I am really looking forward to learning more.” – Prof. Andrew O'Loughlin, Professor of Management, Federation Business School, Australia

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme and look forward to taking actions forward in my faculty to roll out the training and, away from work, to also adjust a lower carbon lifestyle, building on the knowledge and inspiration gained from the course.” – Dr Jo Cutter, Lecturer in Work and Employment Relations, Leeds University Business School, UK


NTU's Carbon Literacy Training wins QS Reimagine Education Award

NTU’s Carbon Literacy Training for Educators, Communities, Organizations and Students (CLT-ECOS) has won the Sustainability category of the Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Awards.

The training was one of 1,100 global submissions in the awards and was celebrated for having reached more than 10,000 individuals from 76 nations on all continents, 240 universities/business schools and 64 organisations. The winner of the Sustainability Award was decided by votes from university leaders and sponsors.

Further reading

There are more than 20 publications related to CLT-ECOS, including highly ranked business and society, and public health journals, peer-reviewed conference proceedings, edited handbook chapters, and trade publications. Here are some examples:

- Lights off, spot on: carbon literacy training crossing boundaries in the television industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 162 (4), ISSN 0167-4544

- Molthan-Hill, P., Jackson, D., Mifsud, A. and Odell, V. (2020), NTU Carbon Literacy Toolkit for all staff and students at universities: A Systems Approach.

- Mifsud, A., Dharmasasmita, A. and Molthan-Hill, P. (2020), NTU Carbon Literacy for SMEs in the UK, NTU SAIL

-Exploring carbon education for all: the carbon literacy project. New York: Springer, ISBN 9781461464310

- Supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals: reconceptualising a 'sustainable development assessment tool' for the health and care system in England. Perspectives in Public Health. ISSN 1757-9139

-Climate change education for universities: a conceptual framework from an international study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 226, ISSN 0959-6526

-Rewriting the story of climate change: a new training program works to boost carbon literacy. BizEd. AACSB Trade Journal ISSN 1537-338X

-Handling climate change education at universities: an overview. Environmental Sciences Europe. DOI:

For more information check out

Other awards and accolades for CLT-ECOS

Dr Molthan-Hill the lead of CLT-ECOS has also received Best Professional Development Workshop Award from the Management Education and Development Division at the Academy of Management in Aug 2021 with other educators for their work on carbon literacy.

Still need help?

Professor Petra Molthan-Hill