24/04/2020 - Permalink

Shropshire Council staff receive carbon literacy training using Microsoft Teams

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Coronavirus / Health

Staff at Shropshire Council have taken part in carbon literacy training that will help to give them the tools and knowledge to take positive action to tackle the climate crisis.

The training follows the decision to make climate change appraisals a compulsory requirement of committee reports, as Shropshire Council embeds climate action within its operation and decision-making processes.

The half-day course was run by the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). It explored the radical changes needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Shropshire, and beyond, to net zero. The training aims to put us in a strong position to share best practice and be community leaders.

The training, which took place in 15 April 2020, was able to go ahead despite the lockdown restrictions, by using the Microsoft Teams virtual platform, which enabled participants to take park remotely.

Shropshire Council’s investment in technology has enabled over 2,600 staff to work from home or remotely whilst providing frontline services, minimising service disruption for residents during the coronavirus lockdown. Cloud collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams underpinned by SharePoint, give staff a foundation for digital discussion and meetings – saving significant amount of times when working together across the county.

The council saw an increase of over 1000% in the use of online Teams meetings between February and March. This reduced the miles travelled for meetings by a huge amount and has saved staff travel time. Teams is one of several technologies introduced that has a financial benefit for the council, alongside an incredibly important benefit for the planet.

Colleagues from Telford & Wrekin Council also took part in the training in a display of unity in taking climate action.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said:

I’m pleased that this training was able to go ahead despite the lockdown. The council’s investment in technology over recent years has enabled staff right across the council to continue working from home and minimise service disruption. This is a prime example of that.

It’s important that we give staff the tools and knowledge to enable us to proactively take the measures needed to reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

“Inviting key staff to actively take part in carbon literacy training with a reputable organisation like CAT will further embed climate action within day-to-day council operations, and help us continue to take positive strides to become carbon net zero by 2030.

“It is important that we take positive action as a collective, so I’m pleased that colleagues from Telford & Wrekin Council were able to take part in this training.”

In May 2019, Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency. This declaration was followed by the unanimous approval of the Climate Change Strategy Framework, the first step in the development of the Shropshire Council Climate Change Strategy.

Since 2013, Shropshire Council has been taking action to reduce its carbon footprint. During this time, the council’s carbon footprint has fallen by 25%.

For more information about climate change at Shropshire Council, you can visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/climate-change-and-sustainability/. Here we will provide a sustainability e-pack which includes technical guidance for building efficiency, solar PV, resource management and active travel.

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