As Mark announced in his first blog post of 2020, we’re currently focusing our work on the climate crisis, with a particular emphasis on how those in power can be held to account over the world’s need to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

But you can’t start challenging others, of course, without ensuring that your own house is in order — which is why we have been working out what we, as an organisation, can be doing to minimise our own impact. A small Climate Action team within mySociety have taken on this task.

Taking stock

The first thing we realised was that it’s not as simple as it seems! It’s a big area; there’s not always consensus on what is genuinely impactful; and it’s easy to get taken up with the small details while losing site of the big picture.

Plus, one obvious hurdle was that we had no idea what our current carbon footprint looks like. That being so, how can we measure whether we are making improvements?

With all those things in mind, we decided on this approach:

  1. To first concentrate on just a few areas where we believe we’ll be able to make the biggest changes for the better; and
  2. To spend some time calculating our current carbon emissions in two areas that we know to be significant: that’s travel, and our web servers.

Oh, and one more thing…

We decided to talk about it.

Doing it in public

As you can tell from the above, we’re in no position yet to confidently announce what measures we’re putting in place to minimise our climate impact.

But we believe that by talking in public about our efforts to get to that point, we’ll be able to share what we find, learn from others, and — crucially — help normalise carbon reduction as a topic of conversation within our sector. We’re thinking about this; have you been too?

So over the course of a few blog posts we’ll share where we’ve got to so far, and where we still have questions, starting with a look at our travel.

We’d love it if you could let us know what you’ve been doing, as well, especially if you are a similar organisation to mySociety: small in size, mostly remote, working online with digital services, maybe running events and with some need for travel, both domestic and international.

Image: Markus Spiske

Original source – mySociety

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