Reason #5 Why Training Materials Aren’t Just for Training: Green Learning

Here’s an interesting (and alarming) statistic for business travellers:  a round-trip journey on an airplane to a location one hour away from home, in economy class, can generate one ton of carbon dioxide.  What seems like a hop, skip and a jump can leave a pretty substantial footprint.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, and of course it bothers me that my convenience comes at the cost of the air we breathe. It is possible to donate one’s travel miles to carbon offset programs, or take modes of transportation that are a little more environmentally-friendly.  It’s also possible to eliminate some of the need for travel in the first place, and one way to do this is to create effective training solutions.

Here are some environmentally-conscious suggestions:

  • Wherever possible, make training resources available online, or in mobile app format.  Your clients won’t have to travel to you for training, nor will you have to make the trip to them.
  • Be sure to create online chat features or forums, so that discussion, Q and A sessions, and trouble-shooting can also happen remotely.

The right kind of training materials can cut back on more than carbon emissions.

  • Wherever possible, opt for digital format instead of print.  This not only saves in printing costs, but cuts down on the amount of waste paper generated.  In many cases, training materials need to be updated on a regular basis, and older print versions just end up in the recycle bin.  If learners really need to have a print version, they can select only the pages that are necessary.
  • Include an effective content management system that allows users to make and save notes online, track their progress, and review the material again later.  It also allows content to be updated and expanded easily, all without the use of paper products.

As it turns out, what’s good for skills development, productivity and your budget can also be good for the environment.

Amy Leask is VP of Enable Education.  She’d like to formally apologize to all the trees that were used in her own education and training. 

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