Our Green Team take the Pledge: Meet Do Nation
WHO ARE DO NATION?
"Do Nation are here to help people form healthy, environmentally friendly habits. We do this through an online platform where anyone can either make a pledge or run a campaign to raise pledges - pledges to do things like eating seasonably, wasting less food, or switching their energy supplier.
"It all started way back in 2009 when Hermione, our co-founder, was writing her Masters' thesis on the role of pledging to drive environmental behaviour change. Quite niche. At the same time, she was planning a big cycle ride from London to Morocco, and decided that rather than asking friends to sponsor her by donating cash to an environmental charity, it'd be way more impactful to ask them to pledge to take action instead! And so Do Nation was born.
"For several years, we focused on offering a platform that anyone could use to raise support for their own challenges or events - asking their friends to 'donate by doing'. However, we soon learned that we could have a far greater impact (and earn some much-needed income!) through working with businesses to help actively engage employees in sustainability and climate action. "Our ultimate goal is to encourage people to form long-lasting habits that are good for people and the planet, and to use these commitments to demonstrate to our leaders that their people are ready for bold ambition on the climate and ecological emergencies.
"It's been a total rollercoaster of a journey, but after years of banging loudly on closed doors, we're finally finding the world has woken up to the importance of climate action and the game has totally changed. We're now working on a bold, new project looking to encourage one billion people to take climate action by 2030. Yep, you read that right. One billion."
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A B CORP, AND WHAT HAS THIS MEANT TO YOU?
"Do Nation certified as a B Corp in 2017. We'd been huge fans of the movement since it launched, but as a tiny team of two, it took a while for certification to reach the top of our to-do list.
"The B Corp community has meant so much to us though - and I can confidently say that Do Nation wouldn't still be around if it wasn't for the support and motivation we've received from the community.
"We've also seen such great interest from B Corps wanting to use our employee engagement platform that we decided to create a B Corp hub on Do Nation, pulling together all the participating organisations into one place, so that we can see the collective impact we're creating (while injecting a bit of friendly competition too!).
"While environmental impact has always been at the core of what we do, the process of certifying as a B Corp has helped us to solidify many of our internal policies, develop community giving programmes, and set clear climate targets. Together, this has helped to make Do Nation a really great place to work, creating impact for our planet, people, and communities. In fact, we have just been selected as one of the top 100 places to work by fellow B Corp, The Escape 100.
"We feel privileged to be part of B Corp's mission, harnessing the power of business to use profits and growth as a means to a greater end. Thanks to the B Corp community, small actions will continue to make a big difference."
SO HOW EXACTLY DO THE PLEDGES WORK, AND HOW CAN I GET MY WORKPLACE INVOLVED?
"Our bread and butter is helping companies to engage their employees in sustainability through encouraging individuals to take actions. Organisations can set up challenges, pitting teams against each other in friendly competition, to see which team can make the most pledges and save the most carbon!
"There's lots of flexibility in how teams are put together, and what actions you promote - we've got a list of over 60 actions to choose from - from wasting less food to buying an electric car. At the end of the day, it's up to the individuals to pick actions that suit their lifestyles, contributing in a way that works for them.
"All pledges are to try an action out over a period of two months. Two months is a nice amount of time - it's short enough not to be too intimidating, but it's long enough for you to get a true taste of the Do Action, and hopefully to form long lasting habits.
"After two months, we ask you if you completed your pledge or not. It's a simple sliding scale, from 'totally nailed it' to 'oops! I completely failed'.
"We measure and report on the personalised carbon, waste and water savings for every pledge, however, we believe in a lot more than just carbon, water and waste. We're strong advocates of a more holistic view of sustainability: health, wellbeing, community, biodiversity, pollution - all of it matters!"