Tips for Creating an Environmental Training Program

Excerpt from “How to Change the World: Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs” by Clare Feeney (Global Professional Publishing, 2013).

“How to Change the World” identifies the secrets of success of an acclaimed environmental training program of 20 years.
Everyday workplace activities cause a host of problems that bedevil businesses and government bodies, for whom worsening air quality, water quality, fisheries, and recreational values give rise to public complaints and growing community concerns. Environmental training to directly address these problems is growing apace, as agencies of all kinds seek to reap its economic, social, and environmental rewards.
This book—and the free accompanying workbook—can help environmental experts set up successful environmental training programs in and for many sectors, including:

  • Local governments
  • Educators
  • Businesses and utilities
  • Professional and trades associations
  • Not-for-profit groups, and more

Step 6: Training and Capacity-Building

Training as a profession.

Get help! Make sure you have expert training input into your early thinking. Actually running your workshop is just the tip of an iceberg whose elements are only summarized in this book. Before I became a professional trainer, I didn’t really know much about people who specialized in training as a profession. Joining my local Association of Training and Development has been one of the best things I’ve ever done, and it’s part of a worldwide network of such associations.

Expert trainers will help you do much more than just run great workshops. They’ll help you learn how to build a business case to justify your training, do a rigorous analysis of training needs, set up an evaluation system, and many other things that make for a great training program.

Recognition of training required as part of professional development.

Many public and private-sector professionals, including the engineers, planners, surveyors, landscape architects, scientists, and others involved in land development, erosion and sediment control, and other environmental activities need to undergo a certain number of hours of training or other learning in order to maintain their professional certification. You can encourage these people to attend your training by making sure it qualifies for points.

Industry capacity and recruitment.

Capacity-building is a huge topic, encompassing personal, intra- and inter-agency capacity, among other things. As such, it’s much wider than the usual narrow focus on skills. It also refers to the numbers of people in the workforce as a whole or in particular sectors, especially those in areas such as engineering, where there is a global shortage of qualified people.

You will grapple with all these things as you develop your training program and the wider program of which it is part, and will need to involve all your internal and external partners and stakeholders.

Excerpt from “How to Change the World: Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs” by Clare Feeney (Global Professional Publishing, 2013). For more information, visit

Clare Feeney is a speaker on business, economics, and the environment. Many years of experience with resource efficiency and waste minimization for manufacturers and environmental controls on big earthworks sites have convinced her that environmental innovation leads to increased levels of productivity, staff and customer satisfaction, smarter and more cost-effective supply chains—and higher profits. The recession has proved it: Many companies trimmed their costs in the face of lower sales, and found their profit margins had increased.