We’ve created a guide giving some tips on how to lower your carbon footprint when working from home — and we think it might be useful to others as well, especially now so many are using their living space as a temporary or permanent office due to lockdown. We’re inviting you to share and adapt it for your own use, if you want to. You can download it here. Don’t print it out 😉
Last year at mySociety, we started an internal Climate Action Group: the underlying aim is to explore and propose ways in which we, as an organisation, can work more sustainably.
We started with the low hanging fruit of our travel impact (suddenly diminished in this era of lockdowns, of course: but we now have policies in place for when they are needed again) and calculating our existing carbon footprint; and we’re continuing to research into offsetting and reducing our server emissions, working with more environmentally-friendly suppliers, etc.
But when we turned to our own work environment, we realised that of course most of the guidance for businesses assumes they operate out of a shared office — which mySociety doesn’t.
For bricks and mortar businesses, the responsibility for emissions during working hours would belong to your employer: they’d be the ones thinking about recycling, or sustainable stationery suppliers, or keeping heating economical and eco-friendly. But as a remote organisation, mySociety doesn’t have an office building, and now that we’re in lockdown, none of us even use coworking spaces.
So here we all are, working in our own individual homes across the UK. Does that mean we should forget about our workplace carbon footprint?
Certainly there’s an argument to say that once you’re working from home, it’s up to you what you do, and your climate impact is your own responsibility. It’s a fine line for sure; and there’s an additional risk of patronising our colleagues who might all know perfectly well how to go about heating their homes or recycling office supplies in a sustainable manner.
These are fair enough considerations, but we reckon we can still collate good practice — the document’s open for comment among staff and we’ll continue adding everyone’s ideas and resources to it. There’s bound to be something that’s new, or at least a good reminder, in there for everyone.
And if you are reading this from outside mySociety, but have suggestions for additions, please do get in touch.
You can download the guide here. We hope you get something useful from it.
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Image: Egor Myznik