Taking Real Action to Combat Climate Change

The DoNation is about encouraging people to take small actions to limit the effects of climate and works on the principle of ‘donate by doing’. This means that when people undertake a challenge they ask for sponsorship in the form of personal pledges rather than money. They also work with companies through ‘Do Good for Business’; programmes which encourage employee engagement with sustainability.  

We spoke with The DoNation to find out more.

What sort of pledges do people make?

There are a variety of pledges that people can make. They sit in five categories: food, travel, home, lifestyle and work, and range from eating less meat or cycling to work to walking up the stairs or changing energy supplier.

Can anyone go to your site and make a pledge to any challenge they find inspiring? 

Absolutely. We find that most people who come to the site have been directed by a friend, company, or university but some do come to have a browse and see if there are any great challenges they want to support.

Can I make a pledge of action to more than one person? 

Definitely – the more the merrier!

How do you quantify the carbon savings from these pledges? 

We had a great consultancy (ERM) do all the carbon calculations for us – based on the pledge period of two months. This is integrated into the site so that people can see immediately how much carbon they can save from a particular pledge.

How do you know if people stick to their pledges?

After two months we ask people to confirm whether or not they have completed their pledge. We have found that 57% of people come back to the site to confirm, of which 98% say they have been successful!

How do you work with businesses to cut carbon? 

We run programmes which encourage employees to make pledges on the site. Through a bit of fun competition, teams compete to do the most actions – changing habits around travel, food, energy and waste.  

Which businesses and other organisations have you worked with?

Our business and university packages have been running for 10 months so it’s still early days. So far we have worked with two universities: Chester and Westminster; three charities:  Start, People and Planet, and Big Green Week; and three other organisations: Added Value, The Scottish Government and ERM.

What would you say to the sceptics who say that climate change can’t be tackled with behavioural change?

I would say that they need to be less sceptical!

Government is moving incredibly slowly towards tackling climate change and business is driven by demand. We believe that if people start behaviour change at home – with small everyday habits – they will not only realise how easy it is but they will begin to see its importance and begin demanding sustainable practice from business as well. 

Thanks to Harriet Rockliff for the interview.

Check out The DoNation to start taking action against climate change today.

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