Building It Green

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Building It Green Foundations Course

This is an interactive, 2.5hr online self-directed climate literacy course contextualized for the construction trades. It contains the foundations of what apprentices, journeypersons, and trainers need to know to deliver high-performance construction projects today and in the future.

Key features:

  • Interactive questions, activities and videos
  • Workplace scenarios incorporating green building practices
  • Pop-up definitions for key terms
  • Links to references, follow-up information and research sources
  • Module quizzes and a final assessment
  • Certificate on completion

Any of the following construction tradespeople associated with Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ affiliated unions:

  • Apprentices (any level)
  • Journeypersons
  • Trainers, Training Directors, Trades Instructors
  • Building Trades employers or contractors

*Disclaimer: all applicants will be verified by our team prior to gaining access to the material.*


Any of the following construction tradespeople associated with Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ affiliated unions:

  • Apprentices (any level)
  • Journeypersons
  • Trainers, Training Directors, Trades Instructors
  • Building Trades employers or contractors

Foundations Course: This is an interactive online climate literacy course contextualized for the construction trades. It contains the foundations of what apprentices, journeypersons and trainers need to know to deliver high-performance construction projects today and in the future.

Train-the-Trainer workshop (TTT): In this 1-day in-person or virtual workshop, trades trainers will be given the tools they need to integrate climate literacy into their apprenticeship training, so the next generation of journeypersons will be equipped to work towards net-zero construction. Trainers will:

  • Consolidate and deepen their knowledge of climate change
  • Build their awareness of green building practices in their trade
  • Identify areas to integrate climate literacy in apprenticeship training
  • Develop and practice strategies for teaching climate literacy in their lessons
  • Get tips for discussing climate change issues.

**We offer mixed trade or trade specific TTT workshop sessions for a group of training instructors who have completed the online Foundations Course.

Resource library for trainers: After completing the train-the-trainer workshop, trainers will gain access to a library of trade-specific learning modules to support them in integrating climate literacy in their training. Key features of each module:

    1. Presentation slides
    2. Trainer’s Guide with detailed notes and suggested activities
    3. Participant workbook

On-the-Job support tools: Supports for tradespeople already working on a jobsite, including toolbox talks, job aids and other resources.

  1. Yes! Since the program is funded in part by ESDC Union Training and Innovation Program, our building trades climate literacy training program is available to construction tradespeople associated with Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ affiliated unions.


Foundations Course: online 2.5-hour self-directed course

Train-the-Trainer Workshop: 1 day (8 hours) in-person, we are flexible with the length and format of these workshops.

Yes, a certificate will be issued once the Building It Green online Foundations Course is completed.

Every step of the way, Building It Green has been developed with the help and guidance of expert tradespeople.  For this reason, the program is not a generic course on climate change. Instead, participants will be invited to explore the connections between climate change and the work they do in the building trades. The information, examples, and activities in this program are relevant to each trade, enabling tradespeople to see how they can make a real difference through their actions at the worksite.

Climate literacy involves understanding the principles of climate change and how our collective actions have resulted in levels of greenhouse gases emissions that are warming the planet, making it less able to support human life. It recognizes that positive changes in society are necessary to promote a healthy, sustainable, inclusive and biodiverse planet.

Someone who:

  1. understands how the sources of energy, building materials and working methods contribute to GHG emissions, and can apply their knowledge of climate change to practical workplace situations to reduce energy use and emissions,
  2. can make informed decisions, problem-solve, collaborate with others, and apply knowledge creatively to enhance sustainability in the workplace,
  3. is aware that the construction trades can play a unique role in addressing climate change and promoting healthy and safe energy and building projects that deliver quality work and serve people’s needs,
  4. has an understanding of the role of their trade in building a zero-carbon/energy environment and how their activities interact and overlap with those of other trades.

Individual: Fill out our online application form today!

Training Centre: Contact us at to express your interest, we will schedule a meeting with your team to discuss next steps!



We have worked with National Training Directors, and Training Instructors in the various construction trades across Canada, to develop resources and a train-the-trainer workshop that gives trades trainers the tools they need to integrate climate literacy into their apprenticeship training.

Yes! If you are interested in having your organization gain access to Building It Green, send us an email at and we will schedule a virtual information session with our team!

Building it Green Webinar


As Canada grapples with implementing systems and solutions to help support their goals of achieving a net-zero society by 2050, the Government of Canada is seeking projects to help move our national ambitions forward.

Research has identified that buildings and construction are among the three primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and as a result industry has been tapped to identify methods which can be implemented to achieve higher climate standards.

For Canada’s Building Trades Unions, transitioning Canada’s workforce to net-zero means bringing workers along for the journey and ensuring they receive the skills required to lead the change, without losing jobs critical to our economy.

We believe the program will become a key driver in supporting the movement to ‘green’ Canada’s construction sector and achieve Canada’s climate objectives.

Program Overview

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP), Building It Green is a national training program to strengthen the construction industry’s ability to support journeypersons, apprentices, and trades instructors as they manage the emerging and pressing needs of climate change. As Canada sets out to achieve its sustainability goals, Building It Green will play an integral role in bringing our country’s tradespeople along the journey.


“Through the Building It Green Foundation Course, I learnt how different trades are adopting varying strategies to mitigate climate change. I found the course easy to follow, well-designed, and with clearly defined objectives to help guide my learning.

I’d recommend this course to our members so that tradespeople can learn about the effects of climate change, be informed about all the ways the construction industry can do its part, and be prepared to contribute towards positive change through their work on the jobsite. Training is the key to ensure tradespeople have the right skills to effect change.”

Geordie Walsh RSE

Training Director, Electrical Training Trust, EW Campus

(NETCO Partner) IBEW Local 625 JATC

“I found the course easy-to-follow, informative, and it made some climate-change concepts more digestible through accessible learning modules and real-world examples. The course emphasized the impact green construction can have on reducing the effects of global warming, even through implementing fairly straight-forward solutions.

In addition, the interactive activities made for easy-to-navigate and engaging content, that I would highly recommend to all Building Trades members to help educate them about the difference they can make in reducing Canada’s carbon footprint.”

Julie Callegari, Office Manager

Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 615


The objective of this interim report is to provide an overview of the work completed on the Building It Green project from 2021 to 2023. Building It Green will be available through CBTU’s 200 union training centres across Canada and disseminated to support our associated employer and contractor partners.

The project overview offers a detailed description of the Building it Green climate literacy training program, outlining its curriculum focus areas, program structure, delivery methods, and participation details. This document acts as an extensive guide for potential participants interested in integrating this training into the construction sector.


Our Team

Adriana Hernandez, Project Manager

Zarina Mujanovic, Project Coordinator

Our Advisory Committee

Krista Kelly-Cox, Training Director

Adam Melnick, Director of Canadian Affairs

Walter MacDonald, Director of Apprenticeship and Training

Lorna Harnum, International Representative

Jeffrey Norris, Canadian Safety Coordinator


John Mandarino, Executive Director

Chris Swick, Executive Director

Ronald Adamson, Training Coordinator and Instructor

Jud Martell, Training Coordinator

Mike Gordon, UA Canadian Director of Training

Our Partners

The team is composed of a small group of academic researchers with expertise in climate science, labour relations, apprenticeship, trades training and a variety of low carbon construction issues. The team –which include academics from Europe, the United States, English Canada and Quebec– have a lengthy track record in researching the issues the project will be addressing, as well as bringing to the project an extensive network of academic, government, employer and labour contacts on which to build the research program.

SRDC has been involved in over 25 projects touching upon every aspect of the design, delivery and evaluation of literacy and essential skills programs and adult learning initiatives more broadly. These have included large-scale pan-Canadian demonstration projects with designs of similar scale and scope such as the groundbreaking UPSKILL study. SRDC’s experience includes sector-specific projects, skill-specific projects, evaluations of skills testing and training programs, consultations with and surveys of literacy and essential skills workers, and the development of analytical frameworks.

With Us

If you’re interested in being a champion in making Canada a greener place – we want to hear from you! For more information on how to participate in various stages of the project as outlined above, please email us at

Building Connections