Academics often use the En-ROADS climate solution simulator with their students, but Dr. Petra Molthan-Hill is getting the tool in front of leaders in the public and private sector.
When Dr. Petra Molthan-Hill first saw the En-ROADS climate solutions simulator in 2020, she couldn't have imagined it would infiltrate nearly every aspect of her work. Academics like her, who become En-ROADS Climate Ambassadors, often use the simulator with the most likely audience–their own students. But for this Professor of Sustainable Management and Education for Sustainable Development at Nottingham Business School, students are her smallest target.
Since 2020, Molthan-Hill has run En-ROADS workshops for members of organizations like the National Trust, Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), and The Boots Company, and incorporated the simulator into a slew of trainings and books aimed at other present-day leaders.
“I do so much with En-ROADS, it’s hard to keep it all straight,” said Molthan-Hill.
Before discovering En-ROADS, Molthan-Hill specialized in corporate strategy combined with business ethics and then transitioned to greenhouse gas (GHG) management. She taught students how to consult with businesses looking to reduce their climate impact and also conducted industry-specific research on how employees’ climate literacy impacted their GHG reduction strategy. En-ROADS gave her a new tool for shaping evidence-based climate action planning.
I do so much with En-ROADS, it’s hard to keep it all straight.
The first training Molthan-Hill brought En-ROADS into was Climate Literacy Training for Educators, Communities, Organizations and Students (CLT-ECOS), an 8-hour, train-the-trainer program, that aims to help participants achieve climate literacy quickly and help others do the same. Focused on UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action), CLT-ECOS includes a 20-minute En-ROADS demonstration, where participants can share their own successful 1.5°C Paris Agreement scenario. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate issued by The Carbon Literacy Trust.
This CLT-ECOS curriculum is packaged and promoted in two ways. The first is via Climate Literacy Training for Business Schools, organized and hosted by Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations-supported initiative aimed at transforming business and management schools. This training primarily attracts fellow academics.
The second is via Climate Literacy and Action Training, organized and hosted by QS ImpACT, the charitable arm of the international higher education network, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). This training attracts academics, too, but also leaders in government (e.g. ministers of education) and the NGO space.
Casting a Wider Net
All of the aforementioned trainings are distributed under the Creative Commons, and adapted to country-specific needs. Still, Dr. Molthan-Hill wanted to cast a wider net.
“I’m really passionate about how to get it to everyone. Anyone at any level can understand it, and people quite often find that they are excited and want to keep going," she said.
This inspired her to create the shorter, 6-hour, free, online Climate Literacy and Action for All through Future Learn, also featuring En-ROADS. The training is geared towards “anyone interested in high-impact solutions to climate change,” and participants have commented that it should be mandatory for everyone in their university.
In addition to this short course, Molthan-Hill also uses En-ROADS at the start of a 10-credit microcredential called Climate Solutions: Using Your Influence in the Workplace for a Net Zero Future that can be used towards earning a Masters Degree through Future Learn. It’s also a stand-alone course for anyone interested in carbon accounting, climate communication, or sustainable finance.
Dr. Molthan-Hill, along with her co-authors, also introduces En-ROADS in the very first chapter of The Handbook of Carbon Management. Designed to help managers in different job roles across 20+ industries implement high-impact climate solutions, the book doubles as a resource for business schools educating future leaders and managers. After using En-ROADS to set the stage, the authors harken back to it in the chapters that follow, encouraging readers to go back and simulate different climate actions.
Molthan-Hill is also editor of Sustainable Management: A Complete Guide for Faculty and Students that aims to help business and management schools integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into everything they do. With the publication of its third edition in July 2023, En-ROADS is now included in the chapter “Climate Change Mitigation Education in Business Schools,” co-authored with, among others, the MIT Climate Pathways Project’s Florian Kapmeier.
As Co-Chair of the PRME Working Group on Climate Change and Environment, Dr. Molthan-Hill led an effort that ultimately placed En-ROADS on PRME’s 2022 Best 10 List: Climate Change, where it is ranked as the number one activity for business and management professors to use with students.
A workshop featuring En-ROADS that she co-organized (also with Florian Kapmeier, among others) for the Academy of Management (AOM) was also named Outstanding Professional Development Workshop at AOM’s 2021 annual meeting. Last, but certainly not least, the CLT-ECOS received the 2021 Gold Award in Sustainability from Wharton-QS Reimagine Education–often referred to as “the Oscar of education.”
Soon, Molthan-Hill will be putting En-ROADS to use in yet another course. This time it will be part of a 10-module accredited program through Chartered Institute of Professional Certifications where, upon completion, participants become a Certified Carbon Management Leader (CCML). En-ROADS is used in the introductory module, which includes an interview with Andrew (Drew) Jones, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Climate Interactive (co-developer of En-ROADS). This program is designed to teach managers how to create and implement an effective Carbon Management Plan (CMP).
Finally, Molthan-Hill also hopes to include En-ROADS in the the second edition of Handbook of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in which she has a chapter called, “Climate Change Education at Universities: Relevance and Strategies for Every Discipline,” that she coauthors with, among others, En-ROADS Climate Ambassador Tamara Ledley (Ph.D. ’83).
Dr. Petra Molthan-Hill has set the bar high for En-ROADS Climate Ambassadors in academia, using her position to influence today’s leaders, as well as tomorrow’s. And, if you ever run into her outside of the ivory tower, don’t be surprised if she breaks out her laptop.
“I’d say I’ve become an ambassador in the true sense of the word, because I use it everywhere. Whenever I have the chance, with anyone who lets me, I say, 'Let’s do a little En-ROADS.'”