Dunfermline (SCT), January 2022 - The internationally known provider of online training and assessment, eCom Scotland, is helping organisations future-proof their learning and assessment strategies. It has been encouraged to take this step by the growing focus on combatting climate change and the workplace becoming carbon neutral - fostered by the COP26 climate change conference held in Glasgow towards the end of last year.
Among the organisations with which eCom is working in this way is NetRegs, a partnership between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), in Belfast, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), based in Stirling, which provides free environmental guidance for businesses of all sizes throughout Northern Ireland and Scotland. In particular, NetRegs is using eCom's learning solution tools to check their environmental compliance.
Wendy Edie, eCom's Managing Director, explained, "As terms such as carbon footprint and net-zero become more prominent, over 95 per cent of the organisations with which we work recognise that, to operate efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with increasing legislation and compliance regulations, they'll need to change the way they function. This means taking steps now to future-proof their business.
"However, achieving this goal this can be tricky," she said, adding, "As the world works towards becoming carbon neutral with the implementation of new regulations, it's important to already have a head start on potential compliance needs relating to your staff or clients.
"So, eCom has developed several relevant online learning and assessment tools. Together with some sound operational advice to enable organisations to move towards being carbon neutral, these tools provide a raft of solutions that are benefiting many eCom clients around the world."
While people may think carbon neutrality or net-zero are only issues for large companies, the process to achieve these goals is the same regardless of the size of organisation involved, points out eCom. This process starts with understanding the organisation's existing carbon footprint, setting targets, and taking action by reducing and offsetting that footprint.
Indeed, smaller organisations may be able to be more agile in undertaking this process because they tend to have a less complex value chain and can gather data more easily and quickly to reach the goals. In addition, the smaller the organisation, the smaller the investment required to engage in this process and, thus the easier it is to build a business case for becoming carbon neutral.
"As well as embarking on this process for altruistic, planet-saving reasons, becoming more carbon neutral can save your organisation money in the longer term," said Wendy. "eCom's eBook '5 Steps to Digital Transformation' - available from eCom's website - which outlines why it's important to be on the digital ladder, highlights the five steps to digital transformation success and lists the top ten skills the workforce needs to get there.
"In working with our clients on this issue, some 72 per cent of them are reporting that one of the biggest obstacles when trying to implement any type of transition is getting organisational-wide behavioural changes in place," she continued.
"Incorporating and developing a workforce's soft - or meta - skills can play an important role in driving behavioural changes. This can help individuals understand the ethics and urgency of these changes and, ultimately, the benefits of the transition to net-zero. Online learning can help develop these types of skills within an organisation and can be tailored to suit individual organisations' needs."
Following the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra, eCom's advocates reducing organisations' carbon footprints by doing such things as
- using energy-efficient lightbulbs in the workplace
- reducing travel by opting for meetings online instead of in person
- switching to digital delivery for learning assessments and supplying digital certificates rather than getting them printed
- incorporating and developing the workforce's soft skills to help drive behavioural changes
- using online learning as a cost-effective and efficient way to develop these skills.
"eCom is already helping many organisations around the world to future-proof their learning and development strategies," commented Wendy. "To give employers and their workforces the best chance of achieving carbon neutrality and reduce the chances of drastic climate change, we believe that implementing digital learning and assessment solutions will help ensure success on this journey."