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New year, new school! We’re excited to introduce Passport Academy, an on-demand resource designed to help signatories meet the commitments of The Climate Pledge.
When Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge nearly five years ago, we knew we wanted to bring companies together to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. We also knew joining the Pledge was just the beginning. Achieving decarbonization is essential, and now we’re equipping our signatory community with more resources and tools to help them reduce their emissions.
Passport Academy provides support for companies in the process of reaching their decarbonization goals. It’s part of Passport (the private online community for signatories of the Pledge) and offers original courses focused on key sustainability topics, all of which are taught by industry insiders. The first course, Your Practical Guide to Measurement and Reporting, is geared toward companies that are early in their decarbonization journey and is a great resource for anyone looking to brush up on industry best practices, too. Signatory leaders from Uber, Amazon, and CBRE talk through carbon accounting terminology, the basics of greenhouse gas measurements, and guidelines for reporting. Plus, you’ll hear insights from Tom Rivett-Carnac (Global Optimism) and Paul Dickinson (Carbon Disclosure Project). The self-paced course also covers topics like how to implement net-zero carbon strategies, conduct an energy audit, and more.
We sat down with Kimberly Pousman, our Global Operations Manager for The Climate Pledge, to share more about this new resource.
Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Where did the idea for Passport Academy come from?
When companies commit to The Climate Pledge, they commit to three areas of action to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 : (1) regular reporting, (2) carbon elimination, and (3) credible offsets. Measuring and reporting is the first step in a decarbonization journey. It may also soon be required at the state or federal level. The idea is that if you don’t know how much you’re emitting, you can’t mitigate your emissions.
We wanted to provide signatories with tools to meet their goals, no matter where they are in their sustainability journey. We currently have nearly 500 signatories in all stages of decarbonizing. This includes companies like Amazon that have committed to carbon reduction targets and have had programs in place for many years now, as well as organizations that are eager to get started.
This idea comes up a lot when talking about decarbonizing: You can’t change what you can’t measure. Can you share more about why the first course focuses on measuring and reporting?
I love a good metaphor. Let’s say you have a budget and you realize your family is spending too much. The first thing you might do is perform an audit to figure out where you’re spending. You might ask questions like: How much do we go out to eat? What are we spending on utilities? Do we really need three cars? Next, you could come up with a plan. You might say: We’re only going to order pizza on Fridays, we’re going to carpool to work, and so on.
The same is true for decarbonizing. Companies hear things like Scope 1, Scope 2, Scope 3 emissions, and it can be overwhelming. At the end of the day, conducting an energy audit isn’t dissimilar from another business exercise you might go through, but companies need tools to get started.
We wanted to cut through the noise and equip organizations with the information they need to perform an energy audit, as a first step, then adopt best practices for reporting on their emissions, as a critical next step. Once you have the data, you can begin to find ways to mitigate your emissions.
How is Passport Academy structured and what other topics may be offered in the future?
We have a community of nearly 500 signatories of all different sizes, revenues, and industries. The courses, therefore, have to cover a lot of ground. We wanted to take the experiences of our signatory community and use them as case studies—to give organizations actual scenarios to learn from as they progress in their decarbonization journey. There are nuances, though. Nearly every country and industry has different guidelines and best practices. We’re keeping an eye on those differences and looking to address that challenge as we go.
The intent is to make the learning self-paced, fun, and straightforward. In addition to measuring and reporting, we plan to introduce five to 10 additional courses in 2024 focused on key information companies need to build their sustainability plans. These courses will include topics like how to buy credible offsets, how to start a renewable energy program, and more.
What if a company already measures its emissions?
It’s always interesting to see what’s out there and how people are thinking about tackling sustainability questions. It makes sense to refresh your industry knowledge, regardless of your sector or where you are on your sustainability journey.
In addition to the self-paced courses on Passport Academy, Passport gives signatories access to measuring and reporting forums where individuals and teams can compare notes. Signatories can meet up at industry events including our own event, The Climate Pledge Summit, which happens every September in New York. The goal is to provide signatories with an always-on community that makes it easy for individuals and teams to connect, learn, and develop.
Passport Academy is a free education resource for signatories of The Climate Pledge.
Are you a signatory with an idea for a future Passport Academy topic or course? Contact us to share your feedback.
Want to become a signatory? Get started here.