This certification program is currently unavailable.


A Framework, Methodology and Tools for Low Carbon Behavior Change and Community Engagement

This track offers five carbon reduction behavior change programs targeted to different groups of people: community residents, corporate employees, high school and college students, elementary school students, and individual households. Each behavior change program includes learning how to facilitate an empowerment training and/or provide empowerment coaching, and use the Social Change 2.0 framework, strategies and skills to architect a transformational intervention. You will also be provided guidance on how to customize the program to the needs of your community or project.

To learn more about the Empowerment Institute Certification Program visit its home page.


  • Change agents working in local government and community-based organizations wishing a community engagement program that empowers individuals to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Apartment building owners wishing to empower tenants to reduce their energy use and lower their carbon footprint.
  • Sustainability or corporate social responsibility managers wishing an employee engagement program to help workers reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Faculty from universities, colleges and high school service learning or capstone programs wishing to engage students in community service around the issue of climate change.
  • Student leaders of environmental clubs wishing to engage fellow students to take action around the issue of climate change.
  • Individuals wishing to develop a full or part-time career as an eco-coach helping households reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Educators wishing to empower children to reduce their carbon footprint.


Track 6 certifies you to deliver one of the five following climate change programs:

Cool Community Campaign

The Cool Community Campaign is an education and outreach program to assist local governments and community-based organizations in empowering citizens, using Low Carbon Diet, to reduce their carbon footprint.

Cool Corporate Citizen

Cool Corporate Citizen is an employee engagement program for empowering employees in a company, using Low Carbon Diet, to reduce their carbon footprint in their home, transfer what they learned back to the workplace, and if desired, bring it into their community.

Cool Community Corps

Cool Community Corps is a program for engaging college and high school students to implement Low Carbon Diet in their community as part of an environmental club, service learning or capstone program. It provides students an opportunity to have a measurable impact on global warming while gaining valuable leadership and community organizing skills.

Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program

This is a coaching program using Low Carbon Diet. In this format a coach guides clients through the process of identifying, recommending and even implementing actions to help them reduce their carbon footprint. It has a handbook that describes potential clients, pricing, coaching frameworks, marketing and a program structure.

Children's Sustainable Lifestyle Program

This is a children’s version of Low Carbon Diet and Green Living program for kids 8 to 12 years old. This program can be delivered in a classroom, after-school club, youth organization or to children of adults taking part in an EcoTeam. It is complemented by a twenty-six-lesson plan educator’s curriculum called the “Coach’s Guide.”

Each behavior change program includes learning how to facilitate an empowerment training and/or provide empowerment coaching, and use the Social Change 2.0 framework, strategies and skills to architect a transformational intervention. You will also be provided guidance on how to customize the program to the needs of your community or project.



With a ticking clock, substantive and timely carbon reduction is critically needed. The fossil fuels used to power our homes and cars generate between 50 and 90 percent of a community’s footprint. In America this represents half of the country’s carbon emissions. It is also the low-hanging fruit because we can make these changes immediately while buying needed time for the longer-term technology solutions to scale-up. Further, empowering the citizens of a community to lower their carbon footprint builds demand for the green products and services needed to create local low-carbon economies and the political advocacy needed to help communities further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2006 Empowerment Institute created a community-based environmental behavior-change program called Low Carbon Diet. The program consists of twenty-four actions to reduce one’s carbon footprint by at least 5,000 pounds in thirty days and to help others do the same. It is based on two decades of experience working with several million people in hundreds of cities around the world organized into neighborhood-based peer-support groups of five to eight households called EcoTeams.

The Low Carbon Diet program helped empower the movement that had been building in America around personal action and community-based solutions, and immediately took off. It was driven by the many local governments committed to the issue of climate change who were wishing to engage their citizens; faith-based groups like Interfaith Power and Light representing some 5,000 congregations, wishing to engage congregants; and environmental groups, like Al Gore’s Climate Project, which gave the book to the 1,000 people he trained to lead his “An Inconvenient Truth” slide show. This interest resulted in the development of a community engagement strategy based on Empowerment Institute’s Social Change 2.0 framework called a Cool Community.

There are now over 300 Cool Communities in thirty-six states across America with participants achieving a 25 percent carbon footprint reduction. Low Carbon Diet and the Cool Community model has also been translated and culturally adapted for China, Korea, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.



Track 6 Videos

To learn about some of the transformative social change strategies and tactics integrated into these programs view the following videos:

Reinventing the Social Change Formula: An Overview

The Essence of the New Social Change Formula

Beyond the “Good Fight”

From Pathology to Vision

Building A Resilient New York City

Secrets of Social Diffusion

Advanced Training for Social Change Agents



Read about the Empowerment Institute Certification Program in a free download from David Gershon’s award-winning book Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World, “Building Leadership Capacity to Change the World: A School for Transformative Social Change.”


Listen to excerpts from David Gershon and Gail Straub’s best-selling book Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life As You Want It, read by the authors:


“Low Carbon Diet is fabulous! It couldn’t be more timely. It’s practical, accessible and effective. Getting people to take on global warming at a personal level is critical to tackling the issue. Low Carbon Diet can make a huge difference.”
– Denis Hayes, Co-founder Earth Day, CEO Bullit Foundation