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We have won a prestigious award for climate action

Sasha Beswick, Sustainability Officer at Barnsley College, stands on an indoor balcony with a backdrop of coloured umbrellas hung from the ceiling

Sasha Beswick, Sustainability Officer at Barnsley College

We are one of just three organisations in the country to receive the CLAD Catalyst Award – for our dedication to tackling climate change through climate education and action, and for catalysing the delivery of Carbon Literacy training throughout the organisation and beyond.

The award comes from The Carbon Literacy Project’s annual event, the Carbon Literacy Action Day (CLAD), which is the largest mass climate action training event of its kind – offering an opportunity for as many learners as possible around the world to complete their Carbon Literacy training simultaneously on a single day, pledging positive action to reduce carbon emissions and become Carbon Literate.

“Barnsley College’s commitment to Carbon Literacy has truly been a catalyst for a sustainable culture change across the College.”

To be awarded as a CLAD Catalyst 2023, we delivered training to approximately 820 students as part of the College’s ‘Carbon Literacy Week’ – expanding upon CLAD to make a full week of activities.

In addition, ITS (Independent Training Services) – part of the College – delivered a pioneering course, created collaboratively by members of the Barnsley Positive Climate Partnership’s education task and finish group, to employees from local SMEs.

Our students pledged actions ranging from committing to walking or cycling to College instead of being dropped off by parents, to working with staff to implement a clothes swap scheme to reduce fast fashion consumption.

This award recognises our ongoing dedication to embedding Education for Sustainable Development into the curriculum. Last year, we came out on top of 128 global education and training providers for numbers of students reached in the annual SDG Teach In – which sees institutions pledge to embed UN Sustainable Development Goals into their work.

Carbon Literacy has enabled students to explore climate change and its relevance to them, as well as understand their spheres of influence and how they can use that to make positive changes.

Sasha Beswick, Sustainability Officer at the College, said: “Barnsley College’s commitment to Carbon Literacy has truly been a catalyst for a sustainable culture change across the College.

“I personally have witnessed a rapid, positive change in just one year of engaging with Carbon Literacy.

“CLAD was an opportunity to bring Carbon Literacy into the classroom and I am delighted with the level of engagement and enthusiasm shown by both our staff and students.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the CLAD Catalyst award and look forward to seeing the wide-scale impacts of our students’ pledges in the following months.”

Sarah Davies, Education Coordinator at The Carbon Literacy Project, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to celebrate Barnsley College as a Carbon Literacy Action Day (CLAD) Catalyst winner.

“Their stunning achievement of certifying 820 learners in one day is momentous, and by demonstrating the influence and impact that an educational setting can have, acts as inspiration for others within the sector.

“Being a CLAD Catalyst illustrates the significant commitment to Carbon Literacy training, which is being widely used within Barnsley College to embed climate education and action, whilst accelerating the shift towards a zero-carbon world.”

The two other winners were Transport for London and North Somerset Council.

Last updated: 27th March 2024

Originally posted on: 16th January 2024

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