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  • Nottingham Trent University

Climate Solutions for a Net Zero Future

Gain expertise in high impact climate solutions to transform society and organisations

hands holding a bright ball of leaves, with an overlay of icons signifying green actions
  • Duration

    10 weeks
  • Weekly study

    10 hours
This course is part of the Climate Solutions: Using Your Influence in the Workplace for a Net Zero Future program, which will enable you to develop climate literacy skills for green jobs with Nottingham Business School.

Find the most impactful climate solutions with Nottingham Business School

There is an ever-increasing awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address climate change, and transition to a net zero society. This has led to a demand for climate literacy from managers and employees at all levels, working in organisations across the public, private, and third sector.

This microcredential will help you develop your climate literacy and understand climate leadership, so that you can make an impact in your own organisation, or apply for one of the many green jobs now on offer. You’ll hear from experts and climate leaders in a wide range of sectors, who’ll share their advice on how you can incorporate climate solutions into your everyday work.

With these insights, you’ll be empowered to work towards a positive future for your organisation, neighbourhood, and wider society.


  • Week 1

    Visions of a Positive Future

    • Welcome, introductions and studying online guidance

      The Lead Educators - Professor Dr Petra Molthan-Hill and Fiona Winfield will introduce the course and explain what to expect.

    • The big picture - where are we currently?

      We'll start by putting climate change into context, by exploring the En-ROADS interactive website. You'll also have the opportunity to create your own scenario and explore alternatives.

    • High-impact solutions

      Lots of solutions exist already - we just need to understand them, put them into practice (and maybe encourage others to do likewise!). Let's start by exploring some of them.

    • Troubled vs positive future

      We'll consider various scenarios happening already in the world and we'll look at what might happen in the future, to lead us into either a troubled or a positive future.

    • Climate science - an introduction

      In case some of the language used in climate science is unfamiliar to you, we'll explore some key terms, including carbon dioxide equivalents, greenhouse effect and embodied carbon.

    • Renewable energy and electrification

      As the use of fossil fuels is a major issue, we will explore some alternative models for energy production in this next part.

    • Green economy and green jobs

      In order to transition to a low-carbon economy, not only are more 'green jobs' required, there's an increasing need to ensure all roles and decisions have climate change at their heart. Here we'll explore this further.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 2

    Climate Change Communication

    • Welcome back!

      Petra and Fiona will introduce this week's topic in the overview video, followed by a quiz to check your recollections and understanding from last week. We will also ask you to discuss your thoughts on climate justice.

    • Coronation Street: making climate solutions entertaining

      We'll start this week by exploring how television has the power to have a positive influence on its viewers.

    • Climate communication - key concepts

      Being a good listener is considered important for effective communication; having shared values might also help. We'll consider these and whether negative or positive examples are more effective to bring about behaviour change.

    • Understanding and communicating climate change science

      There are many different ways of communicating subjects such as climate change, and some commentators will have very different agendas. Being aware of such issues will help us all devise appropriate communication plans.

    • Walking the talk

      Here we look at how important it is to 'practise what you preach'! Organisations should not just claim to be ethical, sustainable and care about climate change - they have to demonstrate it in all they do.

    • Climate change coaching

      For many, the issues relating to climate change can cause anxiety. In this part, we'd like to suggest positive ways we can avoid this.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude week 2, we'll look at how Climate Communication links to the assessment. Then, as before, there's a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like more depth.

  • Week 3

    Climate Leadership

    • Welcome and recap

      We'll start with a short video, introducing this week's subject, followed by a quiz on last week's topic.

    • Lead for the planet

      Focusing now on Climate Leadership, we'll start with the importance of role models; identifying what makes effective climate leadership, and how such leaders undertake their role.

    • 1. Get the truth

      Based on Rae André's book and her 5 practices, we'll start by exploring how we decide whom to trust and how to ensure we are well-informed. We'll also look at the role that emotions have in our decision-making,

    • 2. Assess the risks

      We will look at how understanding the risks to one’s community and country are essential before we can start to mitigate them.

    • 3. Raise the stakes

      Next, using Rae André's 3rd practice, we will consider what influences behaviour and look at the vulnerability of your community.

    • 4. Define the business of business

      Turning to Rae André's 4th practice - we will think about what businesses and organisations are there for.

    • 5. Engage global leadership

      In this final practice, we look at developing perspectives and plans to drive global change.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 4

    Calculating Impact and Carbon Accounting

    • Carbon calculations

      After a short recap of the first three weeks, we will progress onto the calculations necessary to undertake Carbon Accounting. (NB: so it's not too daunting, we'll start with your own household, and you might even save money!)

    • The five-tonne lifestyle

      The amount of carbon (equivalent) emissions per person varies enormously throughout the world. We'll look at how this can be reduced, and what the major issues are.

    • Scope 1

      Greenhouse gases are categorised as Scope 1, 2 or 3. We will discuss the different types of emissions, then identify Scope 1 in your life and how you can reduce it. To simplify, we start our calculations at household level.

    • Scope 2

      Following on from Scope 1, we will next identify Scope 2 emissions in your household and how you can reduce them.

    • Scope 3

      In this activity, we'll explore how you can identify and reduce Scope 3 emissions related to your household activities.

    • The Scopes in your organisation

      Having clarified how a household would categorise and reduce its emissions, we now focus on an organisation of your choice. Special attention will be paid to how Scope 3 emissions can be calculated and reduced.

    • Science-based targets (SBTs)

      We will share resources and useful links connected to science-based targets (SBTs). These would be useful if your organisation wanted to sign up to the SBTs and help its journey to net zero.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 5

    Buildings and Estate for a Low-Carbon Future

    • Welcome to week 5

      After our intro video, we'll have a quick quiz covering topics from last week, and we'll also revisit some of the issues covered in week 1 (which have an impact on this week).

    • Climate solutions in the building sector

      Older buildings can become energy efficient without losing their character and public buildings, such as schools, can save costs. This week we will explore how.

    • Refurbishments - insulation and other carbon-negative solutions

      Many countries have a stock of very old houses and public buildings, often in poorer communities, with high energy costs. Here we'll explore how these different buildings can be refurbished using 'carbon-negative' solutions.

    • New builds - designing for a low-carbon future

      When designing new buildings for either the public or private sector, it's important to consider 'thermal comfort' so they use less energy to provide a comfortable environments in hot/cold climates. We'll examine how.

    • Carbon sinks and carbon storage

      While we need to reduce our GHG emissions, we also need to increase our 'carbon sinks'. That means anything that can naturally store or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as natural carbon storage solutions.

    • The low-carbon city of the future

      To bring it all together this week, we'll add transport into the mix. Then we'll look at how the low-carbon city of the future could be designed, combining refurbishments, design, carbon sinks and transport.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude our Buildings week, we'll look at how the material we've covered could link to your assessment. Then we'll conclude by signposting further resources.

  • Week 6

    Impactful Food Decisions

    • Sustainable food practices

      Following our video, and a quick recap of the week 4 calculations, we will start this week by looking at food and food systems, and how we can feed an ever-growing population.

    • Carrots and sticks

      We'll examine the impact of diet on GHG emissions and related calculations, and we'll discuss how behaviour can be encouraged or discouraged. Then we'll meet two very different chefs with similar values.

    • Managing food waste

      Next, we'll look at how to manage and reduce food waste, and why that's really important. One of the initiatives will involve worms!

    • Think local, think seasonal

      We'll examine sustainable food policies - thinking about sourcing, seasonality and food miles.

    • Reducing food-related GHG emissions - alternatives?

      There are other ways to reduce GHG emissions, beyond addressing food waste and thinking about ingredients, so we'll explore some other initiatives that could be encouraged.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. Before there's a short video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 7

    Money, Money, Money!

    • Welcome and recap of last week

      We'll start with our overview video, then move onto a quick recap of last week's content.

    • Opportunities and risks for banks

      Finance does not have to be solely about making lots of money at the environment's expense. Investing can also have a positive impact, and we'll find out more about how to influence for good.

    • ESG investing in practice

      Interview with Rüdiger Senft

    • Greenwashing or Greenwishing?

      We'll explore the concepts of Greenwashing and Greenwishing and how to evaluate the sustainability or climate-related reports issued by companies. We'll end with recommendations on how to choose an ethical bank/fund.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 8

    Marketing with the Climate in Mind

    • Intro to (Sustainable) Marketing

      Some people feel that Marketing has lost its way, and it's sometimes perceived to encourage purchases that people don't really need. After our intro video, we'll recap on Finance, then move on to Sustainable Marketing.

    • Marketing and Responsible Consumption

      We'll explore Sustainable Marketing in more depth, linking it to SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption). And we'll ask you to start applying the concept to your chosen organisation.

    • Climate-friendly Marketing Audit

      Next we'll ask you to carry out a more in-depth audit of the marketing activity in your organisation in relation to a specific product/service, but from a climate perspective.

    • Effecting change in your organisation

      Now is the time to pull your ideas together from the Audit - what could realistically change in the short/medium term? Anything in your control? Or could you influence the decisions-makers?

    • Review of the week

      To conclude this week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like to explore in more depth.

  • Week 9

    Supply Chain Management

    • The global supply chain and Scope 3

      We will introduce the Global Supply Chain with a video and a short article (having first ascertained what you know already). We'll then review what you recall from last week.

    • Decarbonising the supply chain

      The supply chain can be a large emitter of emissions, and therefore it's an area where savings can be made. We'll explore ideas on how to improve matters and examples of 'good' behaviour.

    • Fashion: supply chain-related climate solutions

      Next, we'll feature the fashion industry, looking at how concepts relating to the Circular Economy and Doughnut Economics could be beneficial.

    • Engaging suppliers

      As Scope 3 emissions relate to different parts of the supply chain, we'll focus here on how suppliers can, and should be, engaged.

    • Review of the week

      To conclude our Supply Chain Management week, we'll look at how the material we've covered links to the assessment. There is a 'sofa session' video pulling the week together, and we'll signpost further resources, if you'd like t

  • Week 10

    Your Positive Future

    • Understanding systems

      If we fail to take account of the bigger picture, we might not have a positive future! We need to think about processes and systems, and understand how the different elements interact, then put appropriate policies in place.

    • Multisolving (climate, health, jobs…)

      As mentioned at the start of the course, solving some climate problems can have positive effects on other issues, such as health and wellbeing. New jobs and roles may emerge as well.

    • The assessment: finalising your assignment

      In this section, we'll revisit the Assessment Brief and review the range of topics covered over the course, and how these might feed into your report. You'll need to draw on various weeks, whatever your main focus.

    • Where next?

      We would first like to request some feedback, but then we will share some ideas as to what you could do next in relation to collaborations, peer support and so forth.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with advanced foundational theories and conceptual frameworks used in climate leadership and management practice in organisations, both nationally and internationally.
  • Apply knowledge, tools and techniques to understand issues within climate leadership and management practice.
  • Calculate data in relation to greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, in the context of organisational boundaries, scopes and science-based targets.
  • Demonstrate creativity in the application of knowledge with respect to climate literacy.
  • Present and communicate key issues and arguments relating to climate change and science, in an appropriate format to a technologically professional standard.
  • Calculate relevant data used in diverse contexts to support effective decision-making in climate leadership and management practice.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in becoming climate literate, uncovering new climate solutions, and helping achieve net zero by transforming organisations and societies.

Who will you learn with?

Prof Dr Molthan-Hill is an international multi-award-winning expert for Climate Change Mitigation Tools/Education, Lead of CLT- ECOS, author 'The Handbook of Carbon Management. A Step-by-Step Guide'

Climate literacy trainer, with experience of academia and industry. Track record of successfully linking sustainability to employability. Co-author of 'The Handbook of Carbon Management'.

I have been an academic for 9 years and an NTU tutor since 2017. I help with dissertation supervision as well as acting as module tutor. I look forward to working with you on your learning journey

Who developed the course?

Nottingham Business School

Nottingham Business School’s (NBS) purpose is to provide research and education that combines academic excellence with positive impact on people, business and society.

Nottingham Trent University

With over 40,000 students and staff spanning five university sites, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest and most influential higher education institutions in the country.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Join the conversation on social media

You can use the hashtag #NBSCLAction to talk about this course on social media.