We walk the talk – Climate Compensation of our Event Activities

We walk the talk – Climate Compensation of our Event Activities

Climate Compensation Article
The Climate Crisis is the most pressing challenge humanity is facing now and in the upcoming years which is also brought forward by the Fridays for Future initiative and rising political commitments towards sustainability. This is manifested in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where Goal 13 and its sub targets specifically address climate action. circle17 fosters solutions that contribute to the SDGs by addressing multi-stakeholder collaborations and promoting sustainability as a practice for businesses. Consequently, we also want to walk the talk and make sure that our activities are in alignment with our ambitions towards sustainability.

The impact of online activities 

In the last year we were able to host more than 15 online events and brought together hundreds of people to work on sustainability challenges. So regarding our CO2 emissions you would probably think that hosting digital events would drastically reduce our carbon footprint. But think about that twice! Every online transaction also uses resources – servers, cables, satellites etc – and produces emissions. 

(c) NASA

In general, due to the Corona pandemic there have been more online calls and conferences, generating more data sent around the globe daily. 32 exabytes of data traffic were measured in 2020 at DE-CIX in Frankfurt, which claims to be the world’s largest Internet node (Hutzler, 2021). This would be 8 million years of one video call. Turning off one’s video during conference calls can drastically reduce one’s carbon footprint. For example, someone who has 15 meetings of one hour per week has a monthly output of 9.4 kilograms. With the video turned off, this figure drops to 377 grams (Hutzler, 2021). Nevertheless, video conferences are still more climate-friendly than travelling long distances for events. 

So those online activities – including also the use of different online apps, conference tools, e-mail – are in no way carbon neutral. Did you know that one search on Google uses up 7g of CO2? If you scale that up to the masses of searches the global community enters every day – 3,5 Billions –  the numbers skyrocket (derStandard.at 2019)! Other search engines, such as Ecosia, represent a more eco-friendly alternative that supports reforestation projects and nature conservation with 80% of their profit. 

Intersectional Co2-compensation

That is why we want to tackle the reduction of our own impact on the climate by compensating emissions of our online and offline activities. So we partnered up with Climate Partner, who provide easy CO2-compensation solutions for various activities. In total we compensated for 8.557 kg of CO2-equivalents for all our past events. The invested money flows to the climate protection project of clean cooking ovens in Nyungwe, Ruanda.

The project enables households in Nyungwe Forest National Park in southwestern Rwanda to reduce their wood consumption. Traditionally, families cook over an open three-stone fire. This is inefficient and also a serious threat to health due to the heavy smoke pollution. Through the project, efficient cooking stoves made of local clay and sand are being introduced. Since women are usually responsible for the fire, they and their children benefit in particular from the project. 

We appreciate the intersectional approach in our chosen climate protection project – as it not only addresses one topic, but many more Sustainable Development Goals, like gender equality (SDG 5), good health and well-being (SDG 3), life on land (SDG 15) and affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) as well as climate action (SDG 13). Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that compensation is by no means the end solution in reducing our carbon footprint and we will continue to prevent any unnecessary carbon emission where possible. With this article we hope to raise your awareness on the impact online events leave behind and inspire you to take action as well. If you want to learn more feel free to dive into the following articles and sources:






Titlepicture: (c) Markus Spiske via Unsplash