Business in the Community NI recognised as a Gold Carbon Literate Organisation

Business in the Community NI (BITC) has been accredited as a Gold Carbon Literate Organisation, highlighting the responsible business network’s dedication towards tackling climate change, reducing its organisational carbon emissions, and its commitment to working towards a zero carbon future.

Business in the Community NI (BITC) has been accredited as a Gold Carbon Literate Organisation, highlighting the responsible business network’s dedication towards tackling climate change, reducing its organisational carbon emissions, and its commitment to working towards a zero carbon future.

Carbon Literacy is defined as an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.

Keelin McCone, Head of Environment, BITC said: “As the responsible business network in Northern Ireland, it would be wrong for us to encourage companies to act responsibly without proactively ensuring that our own impact on our People, the Planet and the Places where we operate wasn’t as good as it could be. We pride ourselves on setting and achieving high standards and we constantly challenge ourselves to do more, in order to inspire and encourage.

“We’re delighted that 85% of our workforce received the carbon literacy training and went on to become formally certified as Carbon Literate, and that BITC has been recognised at Gold level for its efforts to become a Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO) and demonstrate Carbon Literacy through its organisational behaviour.”

Other ongoing initiatives, training, and changes to reduce BITC’s carbon footprint include: A digital clean-up day to remove unnecessary files on servers and to delete emails; stripped back email footers; a new internal communication policy using MS Teams; and a review of the BITC website’s carbon footprint, streamlining pages as a result.

Keelin continued: “From our internal Carbon Literacy Training, we recognised the connections between climate and biodiversity and the benefits of Nature Based Solutions. In 2023, our environment team and selected membership team employees completed Biodiversity Training which included workshops and practical sessions. Recently, we also implemented the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan within our community garden. We focused on planting various herbs, fruit trees and providing a space for nature across 2023, with the first success of chicks hatching in our bird boxes this year.

“We’ve also planted more fruit trees and are in the process of planting a native hedging. We were awarded a plaque from the National Garden Scheme in 2023 for our work in turning this former carpark into a community garden.”

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.

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 Gold accredited Carbon Literate Organisation, Business in the Community NI has demonstrated its commitment to genuine low carbon action, environmental and economic impact, and the building of a low carbon future for us all.”

To find out more about Business in the Community’s work on climate and the environment and how your organisation can be supported to become Carbon Literate, visit www.bitcni.org.uk/environment.