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The Future of: Environmentally Friendly CPD

100% recycled paper can cost as much as 50% less than non-recycled paper. It’s also a clear and proud way of demonstrating the environmental friendliness of your CPD resources.

A Samsung printer prints out CPD resources for staff

If you’re responsible for the CPD of your organisation, read below to see how others in your industry are putting in the extra effort to make their company’s CPD programmes more environmentally friendly.


Clock and other desk supplies like pens, next to a laptop

Putting together CPD programme resources can be quite the mammoth task. And we’ve all attended CPD programmes which have used an excess of print-out resources. These inevitably made the organisers look unprepared, disorganised, or wasteful.

Therefore, most CPD organisers are taking extra notice of how many learners are on their programmes. This is so that they know exactly how many resources are needed and will not produce an excess. This is easier to remember to do today, as CPD events require knowing the exact number of attendees beforehand so that social distancing and other risk assessment considerations can be strictly adhered to.

This is also much easier to carry out. Environmentally-friendly suppliers are making themselves known and more accessible to event organisers. These are trusted and more highly respected by your prospective attendees, as well as other event organisers. Social responsibility is regarded incredibly highly, so it is becoming progressively less acceptable for event organisers to be associated with unsustainable suppliers. Something as simple as printing your paper handouts on both sides to use half as much paper, can make people trust your organisation more than another.

Engaging Learning Content

A person watches a seminar take place on a laptop, with a man writing on a whiteboard.

In terms of using equipment that will not harm the environment to train your learners, there are certain types of environmentally friendly learning resources you can use.

We mentioned using double-sided paper in the previous section; you might use training guides in a books or e-books format, but modern training professionals have found reading-based resources to be ineffective. It is difficult for people today to concentrate dwindling attention spans on reading resources, compared to dynamic video content or apps that use gamification.

So, physical learning and development resources which involve reading training booklets are not only wasteful for the environment due to requiring physical booklets. They are also difficult for people to learn from as video content has been shown time and time again to be easier to understand and more engaging. Therefore, we expect to see more and more training resources to be delivered in a video format. These videos can be “recycled” for new employee intakes, as opposed to in a paper or other physical format which requires excessive amounts of paper usage.

There are many different types of learners, including visual, audio, reading/writing, and kinesthetic, and training providers are finally seeing that they should cater to more of these – not just hand employees a training guidebook and call it a day.

Hybrid Training Sessions

A woman watches the online component of a training session on a computer

The International Energy Agency stated that in 2020, the world used 6% less energy due to the coronavirus pandemic. This shows the huge impact that a lack of travel can have, including what happens when people do not have to travel long distances for events, as they can simply view them online.

Will this trend still continue after the pandemic is over? Well, many changes that happened due to the pandemic are remaining in place because of how logical they now seem. Hybrid working is remaining in place for many organisations, and increased hygiene measures are remaining in place now that the world has seen how easily germs can spread.

In a similar line of thinking, 62% of event planners say that hybrid events are the future. With how easily events moved online, there seems to be no point in forcing all attendees to attend an event in-person if it’s easier, safer, or easier on the environment for them to stay home and view it online.

Hence, learners on CPD courses are expecting to not have to attend in-person training sessions. They expect it to be easier for them to earn CPD points from home. This can be done via hybrid events, or even full distance learning via on-demand videos and courses. Instead of holding a full training session, there is a trend of simply recycling or upcycling videos of past training sessions for future employees to learn from.

Outdoor Training

A group of people in safety hats walk across some hills for outdoor training.

Even if it’s unavoidable for your employee training events to take place in person, they probably won’t look exactly like they used to.

We’ve seen an increase in employee training activities that have taken place outside. This might include team building exercises, or crisis management activities. The increase in this is for 2 reasons:

1) After the year everyone’s had, who wants to be stuck in a seminar room learning stale content in a dull way?

2) It is much easier to maintain social distancing and a safe environment when, instead of everyone being clumped into one room, they are in the fresh air.

However, this also has great side effects for the environment. Outdoor workshops can go on for as long as you want, as you don’t have to use electricity to keep a room lit or heated for the event’s duration.

Energy Saving

Filament bulb on its side, with smoke coming out of it

Even if it’s unfeasible for your event to take place outside, you can still be economical in how you use energy. Event organisers are producing more innovative ways of saving energy, as this is becoming more and more crucial over time.

For instance, you could consider altering the schedule of your event, so that your attendees spend less time in waiting rooms that have to be lit up in addition to the main training room. This is becoming more and more acceptable as buildings have to implement quick one-way systems anyway for social distancing, so people aren’t stood around closely in other rooms.

LED lighting and energy-conserving bulbs are also becoming much more readily available than filament bulbs, and therefore will be expected to be used at most events. Are they used at yours?

Due to the pandemic, windows are often kept open at events today. This can also decrease the carbon footprint of events, as natural lighting from windows can reduce the need for excess artificial lighting.


Are you worried about the carbon footprint of your event? We can help you deliver more environmentally friendly training by recording your CPD events, so that they can reach employees without them having to travel. These videos can also be reused for future employees, which is much less wasteful than printing out multiple training resources or carrying out extra training sessions for each new batch of employees.

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