How to Change the World: Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs

How to Change the World: Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs

by Clare Feeney


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909170087
Publisher: Global Professional Publishing
Publication date: 11/28/2013
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Clare Feeney is a speaker on business, economics and the environment. Many years of experience with resource efficiency and waste minimization for manufacturers and environmental controls on big earthworks sites have convinced her that environmental innovation leads to increased levels of productivity, staff and customer satisfaction, smarter and more cost-effective supply chains—and higher profits. The recession has proved it: many companies trimmed their costs in the face of lower sales, and found their profit margins had increased.

Read an Excerpt

How to Change the World

A practical guide to successful environmental training programs

By Clare Feeney

Global Professional Publishing Ltd

Copyright © 2013 Clare Feeney
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-909170-08-7


About This Book

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

Henry Ford

Why there's never been a better time to do environmental training

When times are good, you should train and develop. When times are bad, you must train and develop.

Source unknown

There's never been a better time to do environmental training. Why? Because there is a rapidly growing body of evidence that 'green jobs' can boost employment at the same time as improving social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Yet the counter-factual myths persist: in recessions, governments say 'Let's boost the economy first and reduce public debt next, then this will give us the money to invest in sustainability later'; and businesses say 'I can't afford to save the planet – I have to save my business first!' At the same time, people are urged both to buy more 'stuff' to keep the economy going, while increasingly disillusioned with empty consumerism – and are simultaneously urged to save more in order to reduce private debt. Of course, they also want some of the increasingly scarce jobs. And everyone's worried about how to transition to a more sustainable economy that's less dependent on fossil-fuelled growth and kinder to both people and the environment.

Macroeconomist Josh Bivens investigated the employment effects of the December 2011 US law approving environmental regulations to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic metals. It could prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths each year and deliver many other health benefits, but pre-passage, a lot of people were concerned it would 'kill jobs'. When Bivens investigated it in detail he found that far from killing jobs, the 'toxics rule' could create over 100,000 jobs in the US by 2015.

Bivens' message is 'going green won't kill jobs during hard times': when the economy is doing well, environmental regulation has no effect on job growth; but when it isn't, such regulation is very likely to create jobs. These days, we need more jobs – and green jobs most of all.

Globally, the transition to a 'green economy' could yield 15-60 million jobs by 2032, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), lifting tens of millions of workers out of poverty while improving social and environmental outcomes.

The report says 'the growth model of the past few decades has been inefficient, not only economically, but also from environmental, employment and social perspectives. It overuses natural resources, is environmentally unsustainable and has failed to meet the aspirations of a large proportion of society seeking productive, decent work and dignified lives.' Just some of its many findings about how green jobs could start to redress these issues are:

* in the EU alone, 14.6 million direct and indirect jobs exist in the protection of biodiversity and rehabilitation of natural resources and forests

* targeted international investments of US$ 30 billion/year into reduced deforestation and degradation of forests could sustain up to 8 million additional fulltime workers in developing countries

* experiences from Colombia, Brazil and other countries show that the formalization and organisation of some 15-20 million informal waste pickers could have significant economic, social and environmental benefits

* Germany's building renovation program for energy efficiency is an example of the possible win-win-win outcomes: it has mobilized &8364;100 billion in investments and is reducing energy bills, avoiding emissions and creating around 300,000 direct jobs per year.

A 'qualified and well-informed workforce is the key to ensure the industry's responsible use of our planet's resources', according to UNESCO-UNEVOC, UNESCO's specialized centre for technical and vocational education and training.

There is a skills gap here – and environmental training can bridge it. More and more organisations, conferences and training courses are focusing on professional development for people, old and young, to provide the green skills that every sector of the economy needs.

* The ILO says that green jobs summarize the 'transformation of economies, enterprises, workplaces and labour markets into a sustainable, low-carbon economy providing decent work.' It defines green jobs as decent jobs that:

* reduce consumption of energy and raw materials

* limit greenhouse gas emissions

* minimize waste and pollution

* protect and restore ecosystems.

A 2012 China-Australia Green Skills Conference6 defined the skills needed by workers in those green jobs as:

the skills for sustainable development, including the required technical skills, knowledge and values for industries and future workers in terms of social, economic and environmental development. Sustainable development skills relate to all facets of the society, not only including renewable energy, reuse and recycle of waste, utilization level of resources, green housing and sustainable planning, but also including wider areas, such as commerce, tourism, hospitality, information technology and finance and more.

Another green skills conference, this time in the UK, noted that the 'breadth and depth of skills we need is vast. Just within the energy sector itself we estimate that there is a need for up to 100,000 new workers by 2015 for the Green Deal; 70,000 more workers in off-shore wind by 2020 and around 10,000 jobs for new nuclear builds.

Across the whole economy we need leaders and managers who understand the green economy and are planning for it. And we need workers of all kinds who understand green issues, have the necessary specialised skills, and react accordingly.' Many of the speakers focused on the need for good jobs for young people that build skills and restore environments for a more secure and sustainable national future.

Interestingly, on the very day I published the first edition of this book, I came across an article saying that such is the drive for more sustainable retail in the UK that retail companies are recruiting entire sustainability teams – building a workforce of sustainability professionals in the retail sector. This was exactly in line with the experience of erosion and sediment control training that led me to write this book: we ended up creating a whole new profession – environmental managers on large construction sites. Every sector in a global sustainable economy needs its own environmental professionals, and they will add tremendous value to businesses and communities.

In the more specific context of the training industry, training is increasingly being seen as a way of building workforce and organizational capacity. A US paper predicted that total spending for in-house and external training services would increase by 8-10% in 2011, and that learning leaders will be more focused on relevancy of information. A 2011 summary of European research found that training is delivering good outcomes, and is increasingly demand-driven – that is, people are identifying their own workplace training needs and pathways. Environmental skills are increasingly among those in demand. Given increasing concern about matters environmental and economic, this trend is also likely to continue, with 'green learning' consuming a larger proportion of corporate social responsibility budgets, and trainers who are knowledgeable about environmental matters and sustainability likely to be in greater demand.

As the ILO says, a 'new development model – one which puts people, fairness and the planet at the core of policy-making – is urgently needed, and is eminently achievable'. And not only is it achievable – it's happening already.

Storm Cunningham calls it the 'restoration economy'. He says that restoration of built and natural environments already constitutes a major but overlooked part of global economic activity and will soon account for the vast majority of development.

And the economic need is great. Ecosystem services are good things the natural world does for us for free, and a 1997 study estimated their value to business equated to at least US$33 trillion a year. A 2008 study estimated the annual economic cost of loss of ecosystem services by biodiversity and ecosystem degradation at 3.3-7.5% of global GDP, or US$2-4.5 trillion. Green jobs can transform these huge and avoidable economic losses into health, social, environmental and economic gains.

In Storm Cunningham's restoration economy, eight 'giant, fast-growing industries are renewing our natural and built environments' – and creating vibrant businesses as they revitalize communities. He sees future economic growth being based on renewing our natural, built and socio-economic assets:

* restoring our natural environments – ecosystems, watersheds, fisheries and farms

* restoring our built environments – brownfields, infrastructure, heritage and places affected by natural or human-induced misfortunes such as natural disasters and war.

It's such a wonderful alternative to the empty growth-based consumerism that has left so many of us stranded on the shores of the current recession. The emerging focus on adult vocational training as a positive force for employment gains and environmental change brings together the knowledge-based and the restoration economies.

With this inspiring vision in mind, let's see who can become part of this gathering economic wave.

Who is environmental training for?

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock and The Third Wave

This book is for environmental experts delivering training and training experts supporting them.

It's also for people in the process of becoming environmental experts in their own workplaces or for their own sectors.

It's needed by people in both the developed and developing worlds:

* in rapidly developing economies such as China, India, some other parts of Asia and parts of South Africa and South America, the accelerating pace of urbanization and rural-urban migration poses a serious threat to environmental quality and community amenity. In 2007 the World Bank conservatively estimated the cost of China's pollution at 5.8% of its GDP; then valued at about 3.43 trillion U.S. dollars. This loss equates to 200 US billion dollars

* in stagnating economies in the developed world, where people are focusing more and more on a more meaningful life and healthier natural environments. Here, a new economy based on restoration of built and natural environments has major potential to leverage the environmental skills emerging in many sectors, to restore and revitalize people and places.

It's needed by people in every occupation:

Businesses and utilities: use this book to help set up environmental training for your own staff and subcontractors. You can also have input to government-sponsored environmental training programs for businesses in order to make sure that your needs and constraints are well understood. In this way you will strengthen the relevance and effectiveness of the training for all parties – and enjoy the increased staff engagement, productivity and profitability that will result.

Professional, trades and industry associations and workplace unions: take the initiative for the professional learning and development of your members with regard to the environment – with the associated benefits in skills and engagement.

Tertiary educators: this book will help you develop your students' capacity to make a difference in their chosen workplaces and communities.

Human resources personnel: HR specialists, especially those involved with learning and development, can use this book to offer support to environmental experts developing and delivering training programs

Professional trainers: companies or institutions that deliver environmental training and education can build up specialist environmental expertise or partnerships with environmental specialists to help them deliver excellent training

Supply chain managers: this book will help you encourage and require good environmental practice in your supply chains and procurement policies. It will help you take a training approach to building the environmental capacity of your existing and prospective service providers.

Environmental regulators: councils and government environmental agencies – use this book to develop and enhance the education and training programs you run or support, and to work constructively with your community stakeholders.

Government agencies and not-for-profit groups: use this book to set up your own environmental training programs for specific target audiences, such as people doing on-the-ground environmental work.

Environmental community groups, first (indigenous) peoples with environmental objectives and other environmental and not-for-profit groups: these groups have always played a major role in environmental improvement. They are a great example of the skills and capacity-building that result from well-run environmental initiatives, and the associated flow-on economic benefits.

People in these groups are adult learners: they have left their formal schooling and are working or looking for work. There are case studies of environmental training in some of these sectors in Chapter 3.

If you want or need to set up environmental training, you don't have to be an environmental expert to start with. The people who set up the training that is the major case study for this book were experts at rural soil conservation – but they had to learn about urban soil conservation on big, fast-moving and temporary construction sites, a field where they were novices. They understood soil and water, and in writing their guidelines, learned a great deal about erosion and sediment control on construction sites. But it took probably five or six years before people working with those sites really became experts – and they're still learning. Real experts never stop learning!

Figure 1 shows how becoming a genuine expert is a personal as well as a professional journey of life-long – and, as Jost Reichsmann says – life-wide, learning. It doesn't matter where you start – with the right support anyone can become one of the environmental experts that every sector needs.

Focused as it is on work-based performance training, this book is not for school teachers and their pupils – though the partnership principle and other elements of the seven-step model will certainly help teachers make a strong case for introducing, or continuing, school-based environmental education programs.

However, many environmental regulators and not-for-profit groups deliver excellent environmental education programs in schools. If your organisation runs any school programs or if you are aware of any in your locality, ask the people involved if you can interview them about what's working well and what they'd do differently next time: the findings may be applicable to your training program. And there is much useful research into professional learning and development emerging from schools which people involved in vocational training can learn from.

And, of course, boys love diggers! So using a local erosion and sediment control guideline can be a wonderful way of getting boys interested in class. Boys and girls alike will be intrigued by the physics and mathematics of erosion and sediment control, and the biology of impacts on water bodies of accelerated sedimentation and the benefits of its control. Longer term, this can also help address the critical shortage of engineering and environmental professionals in the workforce.

There is a growing body of environmental resources for teachers of many other subjects, and they can also make good use of information from environmental management and research agencies; many provide curriculum-related material for schools. Some examples are listed in 'How to find out more'.

We'll come back to how adults learn and why it's important to know this in Chapter 7.

How to use this book

I keep waiting for the guillotine to fall on paper-based notebooks, but, thankfully, it has yet to happen.

Ed Bernacki

This book is designed to be used with the free downloadable Action Planner that accompanies it – follow the instructions at the very front of this book to download it.

The Action Planner asks leading questions and provides note sheets and mindmaps that will prompt reflection, research and action for your environmental training program. You don't need to use every action sheet – there are over 50 – just pick the ones you need most, based on the content of the chapters.

There will be regular prompts to use particular action sheets throughout this book. Make sure you capture all the information, ideas and learnings you generate as you set up, run and review your program. This will be your gift to posterity!

Inspira[c]tion,n. A sudden happy idea that makes you draw in your breath with excitement and gets you out there doing great things (with apologies to the Concise Oxford Dictionary).


Excerpted from How to Change the World by Clare Feeney. Copyright © 2013 Clare Feeney. Excerpted by permission of Global Professional Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer xi

About the Author xi

Imagine xii

Acknowledgements xiii

Chapter 1 About This Book 1

Why there's never been a better time to do environmental training 1

Who is environmental training for? 4

How to use this book 8

Helicopter view 12

What exactly is training? 12

Auckland's erosion and sediment control program - telling the story 13

The region and its councils 75

Risk and research 75

Guidelines and regulations 16

The need for training to support compliance 17

A gradual evolution 79

Chapter 2 The 7-Step Model: Core Elements of a Successful Environmental Training Prograrm 21

Step 1 Partnership: the fundamental platform 25

Step 2 Research: building a robust case 27

Step 3 Monitoring, evaluation and review 28

Step 4 Policy, regulation and enforcement: a management framework 28

Step 5 Technical guidelines: a performance benchmark 31

Step 6 Training and capacity-building 34

Step 7 Program resourcing and support 35

Chapter 3 Case Studies of Different Environmental Training Programs 37

Erosion and sediment control in the City of Charlotte, North Carolina 37

1 Assess the need and identify the benefit 39

2 Identify the target audience 40

3 Develop the training content 41

4 Deliver the training 42

5 Set up and maintain record-keeping systems 43

6 Create synergies 43

7 Challenges, rewards and issues 43

E-training for a water supply, wastewater and stormwater utility 45

Voluntary community riparian enhancement programs 49

In-house training for a large, multi-site manufacturer 52

The Digger School: A polytech-government partnership 53

Environmental self-regulation by dairy farmers and supply chain managers 57

Community capacity-building: a first nations example 58

Trade unions greening their workplaces 59

The power of partnership - other bright ideas for inspiration 60

Chapter 4 Dimensions of Success 63

Emergence of a new profession 63

Other indicators of success 64

What creates success: the Australasian experience 67

The Auckland experience 67

Partnership 68

Expert trainers 69

Technical excellence and pragmatic administration 69

Site inspections 69

The Australian experience 70

Numbers that count: a scoring system for environmental controls 71

Regulation and enforcement: yes or no? 74

Chapter 5 Setting Up and Improving Your Environmental Training Program 77

Playing devil's advocate 78

Is training the solution to the problem? 78

Can anyone else do the training? 78

Can we clearly define the training needs? The TNA of success 80

What can we do about workplace support? 83

How can we encourage trainees to come to the our training? 85

Making the case for training 88

Being realistic 91

Your training partners 92

Recognition of learning - and more 95

Assessment 96

Approval 98

Certification and accreditation 98

Qualifications 102

Licensing or registration 103

Resourcing your program 104

Chapter 6 Measuring Success 107

A word about program monitoring and evaluation 108

Planning your program for measurable results 111

Logic models 111

The orders of outcomes framework 113

Baselines and benchmarks 115

Using the 'SMARTER' checklist to frame measurable objectives 116

Building a logic model of your program 118

Assessing the contribution of the training to your program outcomes 122

Getting clear about learning, workplace, business and environmental outcomes 126

The training evaluation Auckland has done 128

Participatory or collaborative monitoring and evaluation 131

Some other thoughts 134

Chapter 7 At Last! The Training Itself 139

A book for adults who learn - trainers, trainees and the people around us all 140

Your trainees 142

Using personas to characterize your trainees 142

Individual issues that affect our trainees' ability to learn 143

Institutional issues that affect our trainees' ability to learn 147

Your training 149

Technical content 149

Framing learning objectives and outcomes 153

Delivery: online, onsite, face to face, at work? 154

Piloting 165

Training materials 166

Free or fee? 167

Sponsorship 168

Your trainers 169

Who will deliver the training? 170

Who will own the intellectual property? 172

Training the your trainers 173

Chapter 8 Ongoing Program Support 175

The three golden rules 175

Must-haves to support your training program 177

A stakeholder database 177

Image and media archive 178

A marketing plan 179

A workshop logistics system 180

Documentation of your procedures 181

Budgeting and tracking income and expenditure 182

A web presence 182

A communication plan 183

Nice-to-haves for your training program 185

A learning management system 188

Twice-yearly seminar days 186

Annual or two-yearly field days 186

Conventional media 187

Social media 187

Environmental awards 188

Supporting your wider environmental program 191

Ongoing research 191

Policy, regulation, compliance and enforcement 192

Your technical guideline 193

Monitoring and evaluation 193

Continued resourcing and support 193

Industry capacity-building and recruitment 194

The environmental skills gap 194

The demographic and recruitment gap 195

The intra-agency and inter-interagency gaps 198

Chapter 9 Beyond Success 201

How to Find Out More 205

General recommended reading 205

Partnerships 206

Training associations 207

Training needs assessment, or analysis (TNA) 207

Adult vocational education and training 208

Capacity-building 208

Program logic 209

Monitoring and evaluation 210

Return on investment 210

Erosion and sediment control 211

Awards 211

Water sensitive urban design 211

Environmental resources for schools 212

References 213

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