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Carbon training points to a more sustainable future

Dumfries regeneration project benefits from funded learning

Employers Skills planning

Putting sustainability at the heart of the regeneration of Dumfries town centre was motivation for Laura Moodie to get carbon literate qualified.

Co-ordinator at Midsteeple Quarter, Laura completed Climate Emergency Training with Keep Scotland Beautiful in June.

The free course, which offers all participants carbon literacy certification, is supported by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Laura said: “As an organisation, Midsteeple Quarter is committed to making the development and operations as sustainable as possible.

“What this training allowed me to do was to see how that commitment would work in practice, to find those practical steps we can take now and into the future to make sure we deliver on sustainability.

”Anyone living and working in Scotland, over the age of 25, can take part in the training. It’s aimed at individuals and organisations in the early stages of considering climate change impacts and planning for net zero.

It covers the science of the climate emergency, responses to it and the risks, impacts, responsibilities and opportunities ahead.

Laura added: “The training was well paced, in depth but not draining, and I was able to fit it around work without it being a burden on my day-to-day. We covered all the basics but were also challenged to think about the bigger picture.”

Laura Moodie (1)
What this training allowed me to do was to see how that commitment would work in practice, to find those practical steps we can take now and into the future to make sure we deliver on sustainability.

Laura Moodie

Coordinator, Midsteeple Quarter

Midsteeple Quarter is a community benefit society set up and run by the people of Dumfries to shape a new future for the town’s centre.

It is taking over property that has been empty long term and transforming it into a new community hub with a mix of housing, workshop and social spaces, as well as traditional retail. Already a car-free space, the aim is for it to act as a catalyst for regeneration of the town centre.

Laura said: “Midsteeple Quarter is partly a construction project so there will always be a degree of carbon involved, but what this training is helping me to do is look across the entirety of the project to make sure we are operating in the most carbon efficient way possible.

“We are currently working on strategic plans for the organisation. I am now able to build what I’ve learnt into this planning on everything from the fabric of the buildings and how we heat and light them to embedding recycling practices and sustainable supply chains.”

Catherine Gee, Deputy Chief Executive for Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Through our partnership with the Carbon Literacy Project our courses are accredited and participants can achieve Carbon Literate certification – and by selecting a personal and a group action to reduce carbon emissions can help their workplaces towards combatting climate change.

“Everyone living and working in Scotland has a role to play in hitting our ambitious climate targets and our course offers a practical and immediate start on doing just that.

“Participants will find the training empowers them to take practical action on climate change and develop skills and experience they can apply in the workplace, no matter what their role or what level of an organisation they work at.”

Jenny MacDonald, Sector Development Manager with SDS, said: “Working with individuals and organisations across the country to future-proof their skills and prepare for a low carbon Scotland is a vital part of SDS’s work as part of the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan.

“Easily accessible courses like this, which provide support for businesses and staff to help tackle the impacts of climate change, are key to our move to net zero.”

Laura added: “The Scottish context given in the training was really useful, especially as a starting point for finding resources to use.“The focus in the training was on the progress we can make with small changes as businesses and organisations. “Understanding that ripple effect and how easily it could be actioned was the most important part for me.”