About LAS

LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally. 

Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.

About Rob Hubbard

Photo of Tess Robinson

Rob is a designer through and through who is fascinated by how we learn,  what we remember and why we pay attention to certain things. He is a huge enthusiast of all that technology can offer to enhance learning and has completed a huge variety of projects in his 14 year career. 

He is the editor and co-author of The Really Useful eLearning Instruction Manual published by Wiley and featuring contributions from the brightest and best elearning minds on both sides of the Atlantic.

L&D's green awakening: tackling the sustainability elephant at #LT24UK

by Rob Hubbard
Posted 21 May 2024

Recently it was my great pleasure and privilege to chair a session on L&D and Sustainability at London's huge Learning Technologies conference. The energy at #LT24UK was, as usual, frenetic, but amidst the buzz of new tech, one topic stood out like the proverbial elephant in the room: sustainability. In my panel session with Natalie Ainsworth, Jodie Pritchard and Bryan Hopkins, and with brilliant contributions from the audience, we explored this crucial topic. Here's what we uncovered:

The elephant unveiled: sustainability's urgent reality

The elephant isn't just climate change. It's about the very foundation of our organisations – the economic models we follow and the technologies (hello, AI!) that power our work. We can no longer afford to pay lip service to sustainability; it's time to take meaningful action.

So, where do we, as L&D professionals, fit into this picture?

L&D's green superpowers: more than just learning

Sustainability isn't a siloed responsibility; it's everyone's role, and we, with our skills in learning and behaviour change, hold a unique set of superpowers:

  • We educate and empower: We can demystify sustainability for our colleagues and clearly define what it means within our organisations. We can craft learning experiences that not only raise awareness but also equip people with the knowledge, skills and importantly attitude to make sustainable choices in all areas of the business
  • We can start conversations: L&D is all about connecting people to knowledge, to skills and to other people. Let's talk to and connect with people involved in ESG and sustainability projects and see what we can do to help. Every conversation we spark brings us closer to that critical tipping point where sustainability becomes embedded, rather than an add-on.
  • Think beyond basic metrics: Let's broaden our evaluation lens. Yes, measuring the impact of training on productivity is important, but let's also consider its impact on the wider world. How are our learning initiatives contributing to the organisation being more sustainable or to a more sustainable society?

Your L&D action plan: let's get practical

Feeling inspired? There were some concrete steps that came out in the session that you can take right now:

  • Drive learning, inside and out:
    Advocate for sustainability education within your organisation. Seek out external partnerships with experts and engage local communities to broaden your reach.
  • Leverage your influence:
    Use your L&D expertise to facilitate conversations at all levels. We're not just trainers; we're change agents who can inspire action through meaningful dialogue.
  • Be a moral compass:
    Don't be afraid to speak up and advocate for sustainable practices. We have the influence to help guide our organisations towards ethical choices (and that align to the sustainability strand of company strategy) that benefit both people and the planet.
  • Connect the dots:
    Explicitly link your L&D initiatives to your company's sustainability goals. By highlighting the positive impact of learning on broader sustainability efforts, you strengthen the value proposition of your work.
  • Hold your suppliers accountable:
    Ask your vendors about their sustainability practices. By choosing partners who align with your sustainability values, you send a powerful message to the market.

The takeaway: embrace the green challenge

The journey towards sustainability isn't easy, but it's absolutely essential. As L&D professionals, we have the power to ignite change, inspire action, and build a future where learning, business and sustainability thrive together. So, let's embrace this challenge with hope, creative minds, and a fierce determination to make a difference.

Credit to Rachel Burnham for the sketch of the session

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