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What can I expect when working with a carbon coach?

Go Climate Positive exists to make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to tackle climate change and prepare themselves for the low-carbon economy. Working with us, small to medium sized businesses have gained clarity and direction on their approach to carbon reduction through our unique membership subscription service.

In the low-carbon economy, all successful businesses will have integrated carbon management into the way they do things. We believe the coaching approach is the best way to prepare your business for this fast-approaching future, by developing your carbon competency, not just telling you what to do.

Carbon reduction is challenging and while we follow global best practice to benchmark the work we do, it takes time and represents a significant commitment from businesses. One of the questions we are frequently asked is what can I expect of you and what will you expect of me?

We describe ourselves as Carbon Coaches, rather than consultants, because our role is to help you achieve your desired outcomes and to facilitate your carbon reduction journey. We will be your climate conscience and will support you every step of the way, but it is important that you understand that ultimately you will be responsible for the course of your journey and the implementation of any agreed actions.

We will empower you to make the right decisions and, will help you hold yourself to account for delivering your carbon reduction plans, but unlike consultants we won’t do it all for you. There are climate consultants available and we think it is important that our clients understand the difference between these two forms of expert support.

Key Differences Between Coaching and Consulting (And How to Decide What Your Business Needs)

Coaching vs. Consulting: an overview

Coaching and consulting are two related services that differ in significant ways. Coaches help you identify the right actions for you to achieve your objectives whereas Consultants tell you how to implement the solutions they know about.

A consultant can help you reduce carbon whereas a Coach can help you figure out where to focus your carbon reduction for best effect. We find that coaching and consultancy are complementary activities. Our coaches may even recommend one or more consultants for you to work with once the right carbon reduction actions have been identified.

Knowing the differences between a coaching and consulting approach can help you decide which one best meets your needs and offers the type of support you require.

What is Carbon Coaching?

As Carbon Coaches we will help you set sensible, yet ambitious targets and create action plans, supported by sound strategies that will enable you to meet your carbon reduction goals.

All our Carbon Coaches are accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management (IEMA). We help clients set carbon reduction targets that align with the global ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. We also create action plans that align with their business objectives along with identifying the challenges they may face within their work environments in making the changes they seek.

Our coaching approach aims to help clients achieve their objectives by making them accountable for their actions in an annual cycle of measurement, reduction and certification.

As well as access to our Carbon Coaches, businesses have the option to attend monthly peer meetings and will receive independent verification and certification of their efforts. We also publish their carbon footprint and the reduction targets they have committed to, which can be shared with potential customers and wider stakeholders.

What do we ask of you?

We use an annual cycle of calculation, reduction, offsetting, certificate and support to help you achieve your carbon reduction targets. Our first, most important step is to calculate the current carbon footprint of your business. By knowing your level of emissions and where they are coming from, we can help you set appropriate targets, focusing on where they will have the biggest impact and create practical action plans to reduce emissions where you can, and include the option to offset what you can’t.

Each year the aim is for carbon reduction to become part of both your business planning and your day-to-day activities. But many businesses find this first step the hardest and most time consuming of the whole process, which can often lead to delays. As your partner in carbon reduction we ask that you supply us with the relevant data to enable us to calculate your carbon emissions in a timely, accurate fashion and that it is as complete as possible.

We are able to help businesses quantify their emissions and make these calculations, but data needs to be drawn from many areas of the business and there will undoubtedly be a level of back and forth correspondence to verify it. It takes time to ensure the accuracy of this process but the quality of the subsequent report and actions plans depend on the validity of this data.

We ask that you give us an honest appraisal of your commitment and motivation to achieving the targets you set for your business. We provide three levels of membership subscription, each aligned to greater levels – and greater effort – of carbon reduction. But remember, these are your targets and you will be accountable for achieving them.

Should you choose a consultant or coach?

There are several instances when either a coach or a consultant can make a positive impact on a business, but it's helpful to gauge which choice is more appropriate for your situation. The major consideration is the amount of influence you want to have in implementing your changes to reach your carbon reduction targets. Working with a consultant often requires a larger budget and giving someone else control over a project, while as climate coaches we empower you to implement the required changes for yourself or help you identify the right consultants to implement them for you. If you are prepared to do the work required to achieve your desired sustainability changes, then coaching is a great option. However, if you want an organisation to complete the work and deliver results on your behalf then a consultancy-style business may be the right choice.

Next steps

If you are ready to consider carbon reduction with Go Climate Positive, we can arrange a meeting with one of our Carbon Coaches to understand your climate-related goals; answer your questions and address your concerns; and agree the best way to move forward.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this, or any other aspect of the Go Climate Positive programme.

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21 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucs, UK GL53 7BJ

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