No topic is more polarizing these days than climate protection. Do we have to cut back to protect our environment? What can we do to draw attention to ourselves and make a difference? These are questions that the digital agency SawatzkiMühlenbruch is addressing.
At a time of coal phase-out and diesel driving bans, when society is making grand gestures in an attempt to make up for the lapses of the past decades, it is important that every individual also pays attention to their behavior and their own ecological footprint. We cannot make the well-being of our earth dependent on whether a new law is passed that forces us to act.
The management and employees of the SawatzkiMühlenbruch agency in Essen would like to make their own small contribution to climate protection.
"Even if we come to the office by car, we can try to do something good for our planet in other places," says Kay Mühlenbruch, managing director of the agency.
Our package of measures
This is how he came to develop a package of measures for the "Climate Offensive" together with his business partner Dieter Sawatzki and the employees.
It started with simple things: "We now pay more attention to waste separation," the employees say. A yellow recycling garbage can has been ordered and paper waste is neatly separated for disposal. In addition, the terrace was freshly planted and now offers a small green oasis for the lunch break.
There is a lot of discussion about the measures in the office. Employees are taken seriously, suggestions are gladly listened to and implemented.
SaMü for Future
The highlight of the climate program is a decision Kay Mühlenbruch made after attending a "Fridays for Future" demonstration in Bochum: SawatzkiMühlenbruch employees are given Fridays off to participate in the demonstrations in Essen. The absences do not have to be compensated in these cases.
But Mühlenbruch, who himself regularly takes part in Fridays for Future with his children, even goes one step further: "If our employees get into legal trouble during a peaceful demonstration, we will provide a lawyer for you as a company," he says. "Climate protection is an important issue, and no one should have to be afraid of what the consequences will be if they take a stand." The CEO is not afraid for this exemption to be abused by employees. "I trust my team and I know they care about the issue as much as I do."
Climate protection on the computer
This impressive statement made the employees look into the topic even more intensively: With the BOINC Manager program, the agency makes its computing power available at night to researcher Dr. Friederike Otto and her team at Oxford University.
Otto is working on what is known as attribution research, which makes it possible to attribute natural disasters to climate change and thus to potential polluters. Due to her controversial research topic, the researcher has only limited resources at her disposal. The computer capacity provided can be used for complex tasks. In this project, of course, care is taken to turn off all equipment that is not in use in order to save electricity.
For their work, the team uses as a standard search engine Ecosia. The Berlin-based company donates 80% of its surplus revenue to non-profit nature conservation organizations. So far, the SawatzkiMühlenbruch team has made a total of 136,575 search queries via the ecological search engine, thus ensuring that around 3035 trees are planted.
We work green
For 10 years now, the online agency has been sourcing its electricity from the Hamburg-based provider "LichtBlick", a company that generates 100% green electricity from German hydropower.
A CO2 offset flat rate is paid for all print jobs, for example of posters and flyers, that the agency produces for its customers. The agency also makes sure to work and archive as much digitally as possible to avoid unnecessary consumption of paper.
With these measures, the SawatzkiMühlenbruch agency has set itself a clear climate agenda that is supported by the entire team.
Update June 2020: SawatzkiMühlenbruch relies on climate-positive website hosting. This is how we host your green website: More on the topic.