• 1,000 people from 100 businesses across the whole automotive industry have been certified as Carbon Literate in just 18 months.
  • Retailers, manufacturers, finance houses, trade bodies, and industry suppliers have embraced the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit to help achieve sustainability objectives.
  • Duncan McPhee, Lookers Chief Operating Officer: “We’d recommend any organisation, regardless of what part of the industry they represent, to get involved with the Carbon Literacy Toolkit.”

Tuesday 23rd May 2023, London – Over 1,000 people from 100 businesses spanning the whole of the automotive industry have now achieved Carbon Literate status, having been trained by the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit, which was funded and developed in partnership between Auto Trader and the Carbon Literacy Project ®.

The Toolkit, which was launched at COP26 in November 2021, marked the first of its kind for the automotive industry and was carefully designed in close collaboration with a number of leading automotive retailers and manufacturers, including Lookers, Nissan, Marshall Motor Group, Motorpoint and Available Car.

In just 18 months, individuals from businesses representing the full breadth of the automotive industry have been trained and certified as Carbon Literate through the Toolkit, including retailers (incl. Available Car, Carbase, Dick Lovett, Drive Green, Hendy Group, Inchcape, John Clark, Lookers, Marshall Motor Group, Motorpoint, Perrys, Sinclair Group, Snows, Smallbone & Sons, TrustFord), manufacturers (incl. Audi, BMW Group, Citroen, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Nissan, Stellantis, Vauxhall Motors, Volkswagen Group), finance houses (incl. Ford Credit, Lloyds Banking Group, PSA Finance, RCI Bank, Santander Consumer Finance, Suzuki Finance, Toyota Financial Service, Volvo Financial Services), leasing companies (incl. Alphabet GB, Arval), parts suppliers (incl. SYNETIQ), EV charge point operators (incl. Co Charger), and industry representative bodies (incl. BVRLA, IMI, NFDA, SMMT).

Commenting on the milestone, Nathan Coe, Auto Trader’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have sponsored the creation of the Automotive Toolkit and its ongoing delivery by our dedicated teams. The level of collaboration across the industry, and the pace at which the Toolkit has been embraced gives us confidence that it can be an important part of the industry’s journey towards sustainability.

The Toolkit is designed to support in-house Carbon Literacy training, which is typically delivered during a one-day seminar and can be conducted virtually or face-to-face. The Toolkit contains all of the tools and materials an organisation requires to educate and accredit its employees in Carbon Literacy, including tailored training content, a trainer guide, detailed resources, and dedicated support from a member of the Carbon Literacy Project team which makes it accessible to everybody with good facilitation skills not just experienced training professionals.

The course covers a broad range of climate change related topics centred around the automotive industry. The objective is to create greater awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities, and to inspire people to reduce their emissions on an individual, community and organisational basis. With every colleague trained (each of which will receive an individual certificate of accreditation), the organisation can progress towards becoming a fully accredited Carbon Literate Organisation, achieving key milestones (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) along the way. With over 80% of its colleagues trained, Auto Trader was the first FTSE 100 company to achieve Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation status.

The way in which brands are engaging with the Toolkit has ranged from a handful of individuals being trained within a business, to plans to roll it out across the whole workforce. A great example of this is Lookers. It’s Chief Operating Officer, Duncan McPhee, said: “We know that climate change and carbon emissions is a topic that is massively important to us, our colleagues and most importantly our customers. Supporting the development of the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit was a fantastic opportunity for us to help start the movement in our industry and to launch the training programme for our own people.

“Over 100 colleagues have now gone through the programme, including all our executive team and our divisional leaders, giving them the knowledge and tools to make better life choices and small changes to their habits around carbon reduction. All these small actions collectively roll up to big impacts as a society, and it’s also enabled our people to have more in depth conversations with customers about carbon emissions including information about EV’s and how to transition from ICE. We’d recommend any organisation, regardless of what part of the industry they represent, to get involved with the Carbon Literacy Toolkit to think about how we can all collectively do our bit.”

Commenting on the impact the Toolkit has already had, Dave Coleman, Managing Director of the Carbon Literacy Project, said: “With now more than 1,000 individuals across more than 100 organisations already being trained and certified as Carbon Literate is huge. These Carbon Literate learners formulate and take low carbon actions and initiatives within their own organisations as part of their training. They then train more colleagues and collaborators, who in turn also act and share their learning with others, so this positive cascade of understanding and action has already spread far and wide, across and beyond their own organisations, right across the sector.

“This is the “greening” of the automotive sector, top down and bottom up, at the same time, and comes not a moment too soon. As a result, Auto Trader, and all the businesses that supported the development of the Toolkit are rightly being lauded, both as thought leaders and as the catalysts for change in the automotive industry.

Despite hitting such an important milestone, there are ambitious plans for the Toolkit. The dedicated team of trainers from Auto Trader’s Sustainability Network, which manages the initial training alongside the Carbon Literacy Project, aims to grow the number of people trained to 3,000 across 250 businesses by March 2024. In addition to working closely with brands such as Volkswagen Group, BMW Financial Services, Volvo Financial Services, and Vauxhall to roll the training out across their respective organisations over the months to come, the team is partnering with some of the industry’s main trade bodies, including the SMMT and NFDA.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of NFDA, commented: “With the automotive industry being significant contributors to carbon emissions and as the industry’s main trade body for franchised retailers in the UK, it’s very important that the NFDA and its members support the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit. NFDA has committed to joining the growing number of certified automotive businesses in the UK and begin our sustainable journey by signing up to the training.

The Toolkit ensures businesses gain a better understanding of the impact that their individual, and collective, decisions as a business have on the environment and offers guidance on how best to navigate towards a more sustainable and greener sector for automotive retail. NFDA encourages all franchised dealers to adopt the training toolkit and join us on our sustainable journey.”

Anyone looking for more information on the Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit, can visit https://carbonliteracy.com/toolkits/automotive/