Since 2005, Opendium has been helping schools across the UK to protect children. The most obvious part of our work is to protect children from the internet's many dangers whilst safeguarding and promoting the huge number of ways that the internet can be used for their benefit. Beyond that, people live much of their lives online these days and our products are perfectly placed to spot children who are facing serious challenges in the offline world too. Staff can be given an early warning so that they can intervene and help children suffering from problems such as abuse, depression, drug abuse, etc.
But we must never overlook the fact that environmental damage, such as climate change, is putting those same children at risk. We believe that protecting children from the immediate dangers must never come at the expense of putting their future in jeopardy.
We are very pleased to announce that Opendium have partnered with sustainable development experts ClimateCare to offer a simple way for schools to safeguard their students in an environmentally responsible way.
How does it work?
In recent years there has been a shift towards cloud services, and as we developed our cloud based online safety and web filtering products we were very careful to choose environmentally responsible partners. The data centres in which we host these systems use 100% clean energy from wind and hydro power. However, on-premises devices always offer some advantages over cloud based systems, and many schools still prefer our traditional on-premises systems. We'd certainly encourage schools to "green up" their energy supply, but at the end of the day you can't get around the fact that there are emissions produced by manufacturing and using on-premises hardware.
It may not be possible for us to eliminate all of the emissions produced by our online safety systems, but we can help by reducing emissions elsewhere in the world. Put simply, carbon offsetting means you compensate for every tonne of CO2 you emit by ensuring there is one tonne less in the atmosphere elsewhere. And because one unit of CO2 has the same climate impact wherever it is emitted, offsetting is as good for the climate as eliminating your own emissions would be.
From September 2019, invoices for our on-premises online safety products will include a small additional fee (usually around half a percent of your normal fee) to cover the cost of offsetting the emissions that are produced by these systems. Our carbon offsetting scheme is completely optional - any school can opt out, but in light of the small cost we would like to encourage everyone to look at this as an opportunity to safeguard our planet.
We all do! Climate change is a threat to everyone on the planet, and its important for everyone to contribute to solutions.
The money collected under this scheme is passed on to ClimateCare to fund Gold Standard accredited projects in their Climate+Care portfolio. These projects are designed to produce tangible improvements to peoples' lives at the same time as reducing the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses.
Nearly 3 billion people in the developing world cook food and heat their homes with traditional cookstoves or open fires. These are inefficient and produce toxic fumes and particulates. The World Bank estimates that 4 million premature deaths occur every year as a result. The money collected under our scheme will go towards projects to supply families in Africa with clean and efficient stoves. With cleaner emissions, these new stoves improve health, are cheaper to run, produce less greenhouse gasses and reduce deforestation.
This is just one project that our scheme supports, along with several others such as supporting clean energy projects in India and supplying water filters in Africa. There is more information about these projects available on the ClimateCare website.
But climate change is just a big scam isn't it?
We certainly don't purport to be climate scientists ourselves, but at least 97% of published climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and is man made.
That said, our view is that it doesn't matter whether it is happening or not - dumping pollutants into the environment can't be a good idea either way, and these projects are also designed to directly improve peoples' lives, so are still money well spent.
What else is Opendium doing?
Opendium has always tried to be both environmentally and socially responsible. You can read more about how we reduce our environmental impact.