Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Signing up to 10:10 - a fantastic idea in theory...

I just signed ChiC up to 10:10 - a new and already rather popular campaign that looks to unite different sectors of British society to achieve a 10% cut in the UK's carbon emissions by 2010.

10:10's overall aim - that of reducing the UK's total emissions by 10% by the end of 2010 - is something that ChiC can wholeheartedly sign up to. You can sign up here too.

However, when looking at the individual responsibility of the organisation in signing up - that of cutting the organisation's own emissions by 10% by the end of 2010 - the problems start to arise.

Currently, ChiC has a pretty low carbon bumprint, with the biggest contributor probably being the electricity required to host the site (in Kansas, by 1and1). I don't know the exact ghg emission figures for our scale of web activity, but I can't see how it could come anywhere close to the emissions resulting from an office, staff or travel budget that most established organisations have.

The main reason for our low carbon impact is because we are a small-scale voluntary organisation in the very early stages of development. However, like most early-stage organisations, we have ambitions to grow.

Unfortunately, even with the most careful of energy efficiency plans, it will be impossible to increase our activity and get more people involved without increasing our carbon emission levels in some way. (Let alone reducing them by 10%!)

So what are we to do? Should we avoid signing up to the 10:10 campaign as an organisation and simply encourage our members to sign up as individuals?

Or is it enough that we encourage our members to sign up, and attempt to provide the support to enable them, as well as the wider UK public, to find effective ways to make the cut?

ChiC can't be alone in this. If you are involved with an organisation in the same situation, do let us know what you ended up choosing.

...Also, if anyone knows the calculations for average tonne CO2 / MB of web hosting, we'd be most grateful to hear them.