A new approach to role-play

Multi-media gives greater opportunity to engage a learner's interest, hence the launch of GreenMatters, an environmental best practice training tool on CD Forget your flip-chart, classroom and overhead projector, the way forward is CD-Rom. GreenMatters, launched by Eco Training is the latest interactive, multi-media training tool. With input from the Environment Agency (EA) the CD-Rom has been designed to educate businesses on the financial and PR benefits of environmental best practice.

GreenMatters heralds a significant step forward in environmental training. Steering away from the back-to-school image of traditional courses, contemporary technology such as CD-Rom offers a fresh approach to learning. Multi-media brings training 'in-house' and can be easily worked around other commitments.

GreenMatters engages, educates and influences users on the impacts of environmental issues in business. It is targeted primarily for use by businesses and those working towards the Advanced Certificate for the Environmental Practitioner, issued by the NCFE, a national awarding body which offers vocational qualifications and customised awards. NCFE's head of qualifications, Paul Shipley, comments: "Interesting, well-designed learning materials have a significant and positive impact on students' studies, and this unique and informative CD is sure to prove helpful."

Maintaining interest levels throughout training can be a difficult task. One device, synonymous with the traditional training format, is role-play. Depending on personalities within the group, this may be loved or loathed. GreenMatters manages to take role play to a new level, with the user playing a virtual learning game.

Game play

CD users are given the part of a newly appointed managing director of a manufacturing company with retail outlets. The MD then undertakes a tour of the finance, marketing, procurement and legal departments. With the use of graphics, exercises and information the user can investigate and assess how the strategic environmental agenda is best addressed. By the end of training the user has built a business case for environmental management and is able to access suggested action cards relevant to their own organisation. GreenMatters is relevant to anyone who is responsible for a company's environmental performance.

Regulator backing

The EA has supported the development of GreenMatters and according to Chris Browne, procurement strategy manager, the EA is: "Confident that it will deliver results in convincing companies of the real benefits of environmental best practice." Recent research has indicated that British maufacturing could increase profits by £2-3Bn if environmental best practice was made standard. Environmentally-sound businesses were assessed by the EA in a report, The Benefits of Greener Business. In addition to the financial advantages that can be gained by reducing waste disposal and minimising costs from raw materials and resources, the report highlights the PR benefits reaped by many suppliers in providing clients an environment management plan. A copy of the report can be obtained from the agency's press office.

The EA's online service NetRegs is featured prominently throughout the GreenMatters CD. NetRegs is an initiative designed to help small businesses understand environmental legislation. The free website, www.environment-agency.gov.uk/netregs, breaks down complex environmental legislation into easy-to-use sections, enabling businesses to quickly find the elements relevant to their industry sector.

Ordering GreenMatters

The agency's top 500 suppliers will be issued with the GreenMatters training tool, or it can be ordered on-line at an introductory price of £99. Training methods have been reformed by the rise of multi-media. Enhanced graphics capabilities have advanced learning, creating a more powerful tool of communication. Human-computer interaction has lead to a social and commercial change of attitude towards training and pushes the boundaries of traditional information services. In this light, GreenMatters contributes an engaging tool to the environmental sector. Training has never been so inviting.



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