Green Skills for Hospitality, the first qualification of its kind

With COP26 a recent memory, government targets to reach NetZero by 2050, sustainability agendas and carbon neutrality targets at the fore of many business plans, it can be a bit overwhelming to ascertain what it is that hospitality businesses actually need to ‘build back greener’. It is fair that to create deliverable and impactful change as an industry and within businesses, we are going to have to embrace radical new thinking as well as changed behaviours.

Fifty Shades Greener (FSG) is one such company working to upskill, enable innovative thinking and changed behaviours through education. Founded in 2018 by Raquel Noboa, the environmental education company based in Ireland, has been working with hospitality businesses worldwide through their online programmes: The Green Business and The Green Manager and can showcase many success stories of reductions of 30% in energy & water use and 40% in waste simply by upskilling all members of an organisation on how to change their behaviour to become resource efficient.

“Reducing carbon emissions should be something that becomes paramount in our daily routines if we really want to provoke a mind-set change. Environmental education is key to driving this transformation and the general education system has a responsibility to not only prepare learners for the world of work, but provide them with the skills to influence employers, politicians and wider society. This can be achieved through teaching learners how to manage, measure and monitor carbon emissions. When you do not measure something, you cannot manage it” explains Raquel.

FSG and the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality (CTH) have joined forces to create the first Level 4 certificate in environmental sustainability management in hospitality. This is the first qualification of its kind to be regulated as an official qualification on the Ofqual framework.

The Level 4 programme provides a programme of study to support learners in being competent in measuring, monitoring and managing carbon emission reduction. It leads to a professional CTH Certificate that is regulated as part of the Ofqual qualifications framework.

It is a management-level programme that has been built around an understanding of what hospitality businesses need to ‘build back greener’and can be delivered fully online, through The Green Manager programme by FSG, supported by the FSG team and accredited by CTH or it can be delivered through colleges with the qualification training toolkit and becoming a CTH Approved Teaching Centre. The size of qualification makes it ideal to be incorporated into an existing programme at any level – and the skills learnt will give learners a real advantage in the world of work and ability to positively engage with the environmental sustainability agenda.

The labour market needs people with the skills to measure, monitor and reduce carbon emissions in the workplace. Sue Duke, Head of Global Policy and Economic Graph at LinkedIn says that they have seen a 70% increase in Customer Service job roles requiring three or more ‘green skills’. These trends are only set to increase in the years ahead.

Simon Cleaver, Director of Partnerships at CTH, commented: “COP26 called wake-up time to the world’s carbon producing industries. If we want the hospitality sector to be able to thrive in the new carbon-neutral age then as an industry we are going to need to embrace radical new thinking. This qualification represents one practical step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for the industry we love.”

By embedding environmental sustainability skill sets into our hospitality colleges, we will prepare our youth for the jobs the marketplace will need now and in the future. Most importantly, it will assist with government targets to reach NetZero by 2050.

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