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Home Grown Carbon Heroes

October 03, 2020

Why commit now?

Our values underpin everything we do. They are designed to be practical and achievable and lived by every day.

One of our values is Community-Minded.

We look after each other and think of others before ourselves. We respect diversity and advocate inclusion. We are focused on making a difference to the communities around us and the wider environment.

We define our communities as: our teams, the areas we work and live in, the sectors we operate in, and the wider world. As part of our continued efforts to support all our communities, we felt we wanted to increase our knowledge of how we as a business can make a difference to our environment. The Carbon Literacy training enabled us to look at our actions from both a business and personal level, and the impact they have on the environment. The learnings from the course and the impetus to make changes will form part of our wider business’ Make a Difference strategy.

Our journey so far

Our Sustainability Network started in 2017 and was created by a passionate group of 10 people around the business with a goal of making life at Auto Trader more sustainable. The group meets monthly and since its creation has built a wider network of over 107 people who all now share sustainability ideas. They aim to increase awareness, encourage small and positive changes in people’s personal lives but also at Auto Trader. Since the group started they have made positive changes such as: getting rid of single use plastic takeaway boxes in the Manchester canteen; producing branded reusable water and coffee cups for staff to reduce single use plastic cups; started a plastic recycling bag system to reduce people getting bags when they buy their lunch, introducing more environmentally friendly menu options in the canteen and in the catered lunches for meetings, i.e. cooking with ingredients that have lower food miles, less meat, and more vegan options; and we use a company that provides us with fruit and in return they plant trees in Malawi.

Carbon literacy Training

We embarked on our learning journey early in 2019, with a desire to start making some real changes to our business and the world around us. The training is structured to scale our impact from global to individual. We start by looking at global cases of climate change, using a film to really showcase the impacts of our actions. We then drill this down to local impacts and then personal impacts. One of the most effective parts of the course is making the connections between individuals and climate change impacts. Having offices in London, Manchester and Dublin we understand the importance of knowing the causation and effects that carbon can have.

carbon heroes

By the end of the session our Carbon Heroes (what we like to call our Carbon literate colleagues) commit to a group commitment and to some personal commitments.

These have ranged from changing energy suppliers, to commuting differently and reducing unnecessary travel. The groups have been working on meat free Mondays in our canteen, raising carbon footprint awareness and looking at our mobile fleet of company cars.

Over the last six months, 15% of our business have been through the training. We also have a group of accredited heroes who will become our next generation of facilitators to ensure that more of our business can experience the training.

‘Every new starter to Auto Trader receives a Great Start bag in their locker on day one. After attending Carbon Literacy training, I decided to review the contents and am now working with a sustainable provider to make some more sustainable changes. Some of these changes will include using seed paper, choosing metal over plastic water bottles and ensuring the bag itself is made from recycled materials.’ - Anum Haq, HR Project Manager

Our Director Sponsor

‘None of us are immune to the huge environmental challenge facing the planet. But if we're honest, we probably all wish we were doing more about it! We can all make a difference, at home and at work. Each small change adds up, and as they add up, so do our chances of turning things around. That’s why joining up to do Carbon Literacy training WILL #makeadifference.’ - Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s Commercial Director and Operational Leadership Team Sustainability sponsor

Next Steps

We want to reach every person in our business so it is vital we continue at pace to run sessions. We are training a cohort of 15 to be facilitators in order to achieve this.

At board level we are working hard to evidence our commitment to Make a Difference of which Sustainability is a key focus. Carbon literacy training plays an important part in this.

Most of all we want to keep encouraging our teams to be aware, responsible and sustainable in all areas of their lives, to really live our values to make a difference.