Since 2005, Opendium has been helping schools 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 take our environmental responsibility very seriously and here are some of the steps that we use to reduce our environmental impact.
We have been very careful to choose environmentally responsible partners to host our cloud based online safety products. Our chosen data centres use 100% clean energy from wind and hydro power.
Our on-premises online safety products are usually supplied as hardware appliances, and of course the "greenness" of the electricity the school uses to power the equipment is not under our control. However, we offer a carbon offsetting scheme so that our customers have the ability to easily offset their carbon emissions through their regular invoices. This scheme is completely optional, but we strongly believe that customers should consider their social responsibilities before asking to opt out of the scheme.
How is this calculated?
We estimate the amount of CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e) that the manufacture of the hardware has produced and the cost of offsetting this figure is added to the hardware cost and billed on the same terms as the hardware itself. e.g. usually, customers spread the cost of the hardware over a 3 year period, so the cost of offsetting the manufacture of the hardware would also be spread over the same period.
We also estimate the amount of electricity that the hardware and associated infrastructure, such as air conditioning, etc. will consume each year. This figure (which is in KWh) is converted into CO₂e using the conversion factors for electricity generation, transmission and distribution, including well-to-tank (WTT) factors, which are published by DEFRA. As this represents an ongoing environmental cost, we continue to include this in the customer's regular bill even after the hardware itself has been paid in full (unless they tell us that they no longer want to offset their emissions).
We feel that our estimates are likely to be slightly on the high side, but the costs are relatively low and over-offsetting is more environmentally responsible than under-offsetting.
Where does the money go?
We are please to partner with ClimateCare and all of the monies that we collect under our offsetting scheme are passed on 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. They are designed to support local economies and include supplying fuel efficient stoves and water filters to families in parts of Africa, and funding clean energy projects in India. There is more information about these projects available on the ClimateCare website.
Although a site visit is sometimes unavoidable, our systems are designed to allow us to provide the very best remote support. This means that our engineers need to spend less time travelling, and the results speak for themselves: problems are usually resolved within minutes remotely rather than waiting for an engineer to visit; and the reduced travelling results in a big reduction in our environmental impact.
From the start, Opendium has always used the latest remote working technologies to offer our staff the greatest flexibility. We strongly believe that offering our staff the flexibility to work from home gives them the opportunity for the best work / life balance and reduces our environmental impact. Our staff spend less time travelling, more time with their families and their contribution to traffic congestion and air pollution is far lower as a result.
Opendium are a British business, specialising in UK schools. This gives us a far better understanding of the UK safeguarding guidance and how UK schools work than our foreign competitors. It also means that our staff need to make far fewer international journies, with the associated impact on the environment. Using a local business, such as ourselves, also gives our customers the assurance that their money is going right back into powering the local economy rather than being exported over seas.
We also work extensively with British suppliers in preference to overseas suppliers - again reducing the environmental impact of travel and shipping, and supporting our local economy.