Time for 1010

10Back in 2007 Oxford University published the results of a report that they’d undertaken for Giritech and the conferencing services division of BT. The report was on The Costs of Transport on the Environment – The Role of Teleworking in Reducing Carbon Emissions.

The study concluded that the reduction in commuting time resulting from more people working at home would ultimately result in less carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Not long after the reports publication Professor David Banister, one of the authors of the study, was quoted as saying:

Working from home has not featured very highly in Government policy and there has not been any clear statement or encouragement from central or local Government on this. There is an opportunity for teleworking to sit at the heart of a co-ordinated policy that could involve sustainable transport, homeworking will only really take-off with either a carbon-tax or tax incentives by the Government.

So 2 years on what has changed?

Well remote working uptake continues to rise and climate change has moved towards the front of the political agenda, and rightly so.

The most recent campaign is 1010 which has the aim of getting individuals, companies and institutions to reduce their carbon footprints by 10% during 2010. The campaign is backed by a broad coalition ranging from the Guardian and several major NGOs to major companies, leading political figures and the Carbon Trust. Many county councils have also started to sign up as the next step on from the Nottingham Agreement.

Where I live in Wiltshire there has been some resistance to carbon reduction initiatives and recently a number of county councillors tried to have Wiltshire opt out of the Nottingham agreement. Luckily the move was thwarted by some quick local action and as Phil Chamberlain, Colerne parish councillor and founder of Ecolerne said “the motion backfired on the councillors because it gave us an opportunity to discuss the 10:10 campaign which the council has now agreed to sign up to” (as reported in the Wiltshire Times).

RPhoto Courtesy of Phil

Photo Courtesy of Phil Chamberlain

So politics aside are you going to sign up for 1010? Will your institution or your organisation sign up? How will you make your reductions?

I’m planning to look into loft insulation, print less and make sure my PC is not left on for long periods of time. Not only that but I want to continue to use my bike more and encourage my children to do so too.

Some useful 1010 resources

3 thoughts on “Time for 1010

  1. I’m probably being a grumpy old woman about this, but I’m beginning to get a bit tired of all these green initiatives. Maybe they do a good job in raising awareness, but my gut feeling is that if you care about cutting down your energy consumption and living a more sustainable life then you probably would do these things without having to make some public commitment to a cause.

    It’s all too easy to promise things in a principled display of verdure. Is the 1010 site going to measure what people actually do? Will we have to produce a final project report to say whether we achieved our 10%?

    Don’t ‘look into’ it. Don’t promise that you’re going to do it. Just do it. It’ll do a lot more good.😉

  2. I’ve got some sympathy with Amanda, but I’ve signed up to 1010. Why? Partly because I hope it will give me added incentive to do stuff that I might otherwise think ‘I ought to do that’ and never get round to. Partly because after hearing an interview with the people running 1010 it is clear that a major aim for them is to use the numbers signed up to 1010 as a lever to get political will behind some of the things that really need to happen if we are going to get global warming under control.

    I had the almost exactly the same argument with someone else recently, and persuaded them to sign up – and they are now acting on certain things, and thinking proactively about how they can cut their energy consumption further. They already had a relatively low carbon footprint, and their are certain things that they aren’t going to cut (flying to visit family) – but I think 1010 provided a discussion point for us, and resulted in some positive action – so from this point of view I think it is hard to see it as anything but a good idea.

  3. Hi Amanda and Owen,

    Thanks for your comments. I think Owen has hit the nail on the head here. Initiatives like this may sometimes seem pointless and to some degree preaching to the converted but they do make for a very good political lever (as well as being very useful as something schools can focus on).

    At the end of the day the only way things are really going to change is when there is serious legislation (and financial incentives) making people live in a more green way. This will have big implications on the way we live our lives (restrictions on car ownership, more renuable energy e.g. wind farms in our ‘back gardens’, paying for our waste creation, restrictions on flights etc.) and a lot of people will not like it but it is the ONLY way we can sort out the mess. It is a political hot potato because people don’t like being told what to do! So in the meantime any initiative that encourages the political parties to make moves in this direction can only be a good thing.

    Marieke

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