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Celebrating 2 years of our Learning Academy

Michelle Hemmingfield
April 8, 2022

Since launching our Learning Academy in 2020, we have delivered over 120 different trainings & events, ranging from lectures and workshops for students, to supporting workplace learning around sustainability for staff at organisations including the V&A and Kew Gardens. We're proud to have provided training and development to over 1800 staff and students, including 400 through our popular Carbon Literacy courses and over 600 through our partnership with UCU to deliver a 'Decarbonise and Decolonise' professional development workshop to their members

All training is delivered by our in-house SOS-UK staff and is open to any organisation or individual, regardless of whether they take part in any of our other programmes.

Support for universities, colleges and students’ unions

Every year in our Sustainability Skills Survey around 80% of students tell us that they want their institutions to be doing more on sustainability, and around 60% want to learn more about it.

Over the last 2 years our Learning Academy has supported universities, colleges and their SUs to meet this demand and provide opportunities for staff and students to engage with sustainability and social justice issues.

Our practical, interactive training sessions are designed to empower staff and student to take action, and create a cascade of positive change across our campuses.

Highlights from the last year include-

·      Campaign planning workshops at a number of students’ unions

·      Sustainable careers talks at The University of Edinburgh and the University of Lincoln university

·      Alcohol awareness training for SU and university staff from across the UK

An attendee from one of our trainings said

Learning more about climate change and justice has been on my 'to do ' list for a while but to be honest I have avoided it since it felt overwhelming. To do it in a supportive group coupled with thinking about what can be done, was very welcome”

Learning in the workplace

But what about those who have already left education? We know to have a realistic chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees and limiting the most catastrophic consequences of climate change we need current decision makers to take bold action now. We need to upskill those currently in the workforce to play their role in decarbonising their workplaces and their industries.

To support this SOS-UK have opened up the Learning Academy to any organisation who meets our partnerships policy. Through this we have delivered training on a range of sustainability and social justice topics.

Highlights from the last year include-

·      A bespoke Carbon Literacy training course for Kew Gardens’ Executive board

·      A programme of workshops for staff at the V&A on key sustainability topics including ethical finance, climate justice and biodiversity

·      A brand new 'democratising education for a green new deal' workshop for UCU members, building on the success of our decarbonisation and decolonisation training course

Sara Kassam, Sustainability Lead at V&A said:

“We chose SOS-UK to launch our sustainability learning and development programme due to their vast experience in staff engagement and tailored approach to meeting our needs. The webinars delivered so far have been well-constructed and thought-provoking, with an overwhelmingly positive response from attendees!”

Carbon Literacy

One of our most popular Learning Academy offerings is our Carbon Literacy Training which we have so far delivered to over 400 staff and students from universities and organisations across the UK.

Carbon Literacy training provides attendees with an understanding of the causes and impacts of carbon dioxide emissions, and supports them to explore how they can take steps to reduce their footprint and contribute to meeting their organisation’s carbon reduction strategies and targets. Additionally, all SOS-UK courses have an increased focus on climate justice, and support learners to understand the inter-related nature of carbon emissions and wider environmental concerns such as biodiversity loss.

Head to our Learning Academy pages for more information, or get in touch by email for any bespoke requests!