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Our journey to creating carbon neutral websites

As world leaders return home from an intense fortnight at COP26 (The United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, I’m inspired to consider how I can make a difference to the planet.

We’ve been told in no uncertain terms that the next nine years are our final opportunity to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement to limit the planet’s temperature rise to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. This decade, we are told, must be our decade of action.

I listened intently to the commitments and proposed solutions discussed and debated at COP26 and felt a mix of reassurance and concern at how we might achieve these goals.

There’s no doubt governments, multi-national businesses and global NGOs have major roles to play in orchestrating, encouraging and mandating the changes needed to address climate change, but this crisis can’t be ‘someone else’s problem’. Every single one of us has the potential to make a difference.

I’m committed to making mine, and I’ve decided to publish this blog on our website so that I can look back in 10, 20 and 30 years’ time, to track my progress and see how far we’ve come as a global community.

For many of us, the climate crisis can seem like just ‘another thing to worry about’. As we work our way through the significant disruptions of a global health pandemic, a housing affordability crisis and growing social inequality, it’d be pretty easy to put ‘address climate change’ on the back burner until a more pressing time.

But I’ve come to learn there’s isn’t a more pressing time. Because global warming is equal parts a climate crisis and a social crisis. Rising temperatures and extreme weather events put severe pressure on food availability, stability, access and use, threatening agricultural yields and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. There’s no time left to wait.

So, what is Virtual Innovation going to do about it? How can a small company in New Zealand, that already operates virtually for most of its business, help in a meaningful way?

For starters, we’ve been working towards more sustainable operations for some time now.

  • We run a virtual team – Even before Covid-19 we were always virtual. Our whole team works from home, meaning much less travel each day.
  • We’ve ditched physical business bards – We stopped printing these 5 years ago and we don’t own printers – another little plus.
  • We’re always innovating – We are always looking for ways to be better.

And now, we’re looking into what it will take to deliver Carbon Neutral Websites.

One thing we deal a lot with at VI is websites. We build, host and manage hundreds of them for clients around the world, so by ensuring they are carbon neutral, we can not only offset carbon emissions through our work, but hopefully inspire others to do the same.

A client, friend and leader in all senses, Dave Rouse of carbonclick.com, has been a real inspiration to me in this field. He and his team have created an ecosystem and simple application for helping people to offset their carbon emissions.

I’ll be taking inspiration and advice from Dave and looking into how we can offset the carbon emitted through the development and hosting of ours and our clients’ websites. I’ll be investigating how to make the web design process carbon neutral and looking for ways to allow ourselves and our clients to report the carbon savings of our work, using a carbon website calculator that can help share information like this…

Carbon Neutral Websites NZ Auckland

We plan to get to a place where we can offer carbon neutral websites to our customers and I’ll be updating our journey throughout 2022.

It’s not going to halt global warming on its own, but it’s a step in the right direction for us and our clients. Come join our journey!