The global push to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century has pressured companies to step up their sustainability efforts. This means adopting technologies and practices to reduce carbon emissions also raising employee awareness about climate change.
In recent months, several high-profile companies – including global consulting firms Bain & Company and Deloitte and British automaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) – have initiated training programs designed to help employees navigate climate change and the energy transition. Meanwhile, a lesser-known startup called Climate Club launched a carbon reduction platform that companies can use to teach their people about sustainability.
Deloitte was first out of the gate, announcing in early August that it had begun the rollout of a new climate learning program for all 330,000 of its people worldwide. The program, which Deloitte proclaimed was “first-of-its-kind” among major global organizations, aims to help employees learn about the impacts of climate change and empower them to make responsible climate choices at home and work.
Deloitte’s digital learning program includes a module with videos, interactive data, and personal testimonials from associates who have already taken climate action. The London-based company will also provide content in different mediums to increase climate literacy.
The learning program is part of a broader Deloitte effort to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“For companies to build long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders, they must do their part to build an equitable and sustainable future,” Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen said in an Aug. 4 press release. “With company-wide climate learning, businesses can develop a culture of sustainability and climate-conscious thinking at the very core of their work.”
On Sept. 28, Boston-based Bain & Co. unveiled a post-graduate-level global ESG training program to all its consultants worldwide.
The program will operate under the name of the Further Academy and was developed to support Bain’s aim to integrate ESG into 100% of its client work, focusing on accelerating the transition to clean energy, transforming global food systems, and advancing diversity and equity.
The Further Academy will train all associates, from entry-level employers to senior partners. University partners include London’s Imperial College Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), HEC Paris, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and the Melbourne Business School’s Centre for Sustainability in Australia.
Forty hours of post-grad-level training modules will be provided to each consultant, mainly delivered in live sessions. Modules include climate change, the energy transition, sustainable development, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Reaching net zero on a global scale requires a tremendous investment in ESG skills,” François Faelli, global managing partner for ESG at Bain, said in a news release. “With the implementation of this program across all areas of our business, consultants will be empowered to work alongside clients to co-create the future and generate lasting impact.”
Bain is also among the companies that will use the Climate Club platform, which publicly launched on Sept. 28 with $6.5 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by XYZ Venture Capital and Vestigo Ventures, with participation from Red Sea Ventures, MCJ Collective, and other investors.
Climate Club, co-founded in 2021 by CEO Adam Braun and Chief Business Officer Philip Charm, aims to help reverse climate change by working with sustainability leaders at large enterprises.
The goal is to help clients reduce carbon emissions and maximize the business impact of climate action through a combination of training, goal setting, trackable actions, rewards, and recognition. Bain isn’t Climate Club’s only high-profile client. The New York-based startup has also signed up Facebook owner Meta.
“Too often, corporate sustainability programs are limited to purchasing clean energy and buying offsets,” Braun said in a press release. “Those centralized actions leave out the organization’s most powerful component — its people. People-powered carbon reduction means that every employee is engaged in the journey to Net Zero.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s climate learning program, also announced on Sept. 28, involves retraining more than 60% of JLR and franchised retailer employees around the world – about 29,000 people – to develop, manufacture, and service electric vehicles over the next three years. Most of JLR’s retail technicians will be trained this fiscal year to tackle emerging skills gaps.
In addition to training technicians, JLF will retrain thousands of automotive engineers and production employees who previously worked on internal combustion cars. The retraining program will specialize in electrification, digital and autonomous cars.
JLR plans to cease production of combustion engines at its Jaguar unit by 2025, Bloomberg reported. The company’s larger Land Rover unit is expected to launch its first fully electric model in 2024.
“Our plans to electrify our product portfolio are running at pace, and we are rapidly scaling up our future skills training program to ensure we have the right talent to deliver the world’s most desirable modern luxury electric vehicles,” Barbara Bergmeier, Industrial Operations Executive Director at JLR, said in a statement. “Developing the skilled global workforces needed to design, build and maintain the vehicles of the future is foundational.”