At RSL Awards, we’ve always been industry leaders in every aspect of our business.

Whether it’s launching our rock and pop graded music exams to provide recognised academic qualifications to talented musicians, or reacting to the pandemic and quickly building digital assessment platforms for those who needed it the most, we’re always on the front foot.

Our latest venture into the world of e-certification is no different.

Why now?

The climate crisis is a very real threat that affects all of us. We believe that immediate action is necessary to stop irreversible changes permanently damaging our environment for future generations.

We researched the impact of posting paper certificates for graded exams versus moving to e-certificates with a sustainability consultancy and software platform, Rio, and identified that there is a significant opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions by sending e-certificates versus paper certificates in the UK and Ireland.

For example, the carbon impact calculation for producing paper certificates included:

  • Electricity consumed
  • Postage and transportation
  • Paper usage

We also appreciate there is still a carbon impact in sending e-certificates, which was also included in our calculations. Our research shows that producing e-certificates is 66% less carbon intensive than regular paper certificates and by transitioning to e-certificates for graded exams in the UK and Ireland, we can save a whopping 337 tonnes of carbon emissions! That’s the equivalent of taking 150 petrol cars off the road for a year*.

We understand that certification is a small but vital part of what we do at RSL Awards. Understanding the carbon impact of our certification in the UK and Ireland is our first step towards monitoring, managing and reducing our impact on the environment, and going forwards we aim to reduce our carbon footprint across all our international operations to contribute to a positive impact on the environment.

How do e-certificates work?

It really is simple: e-certificates will benefit the environment and create a more user-friendly experience for teachers, students and parents alike.

E-certificates are quick and easy to access, presenting your credentials in a straightforward manner.

Complete with online validation via a QR code that proves the authenticity of the certificate, we can’t wait to start awarding the talented musicians of tomorrow, today!

Every Rockschool graded music exam that you sit will be contributing to a positive impact on the world around us for this generation, and the creators of tomorrow.

Can I still get a paper certificate?

Of course! We understand that a physical certificate is perfect for framing, taking to school assemblies, or sharing with family and friends as a tangible reward for the hours of hard work you’ve put into achieving your RSL graded exam, so paper certificates can still be requested in the UK at an additional charge which will be used to offset the associated carbon emissions.

If you’d still prefer the option for a physical, paper certificate, then this can be easily added to your exam order when you come to book in your exam. The small additional fee for a paper certificate will go towards the purchase of gold standard carbon offsets to reduce the carbon impact of any paper certification that we do.

We welcome you to join us on our journey to reducing carbon emissions, and as such, e-certificates will be the default for candidates in the UK and Ireland from January 2022.

* Calculation using average passenger car, using petrol driving for 8,000miles per year. DEFRA/ BEIS 2021 conversion factors used for average petrol car, excluding well to tank emissions.

Data validated by Rio

Rio is a sustainability consultancy and software platform that helps you improve your impact on the planet and manage ESG risk.