Projects/Sustainability

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Mozilla and Environmental Sustainability

As Mozillians, we believe that expanding access to a healthy internet ecosystem is critical. To date, we are still far from providing people globally with the quality of access they need and deserve, but, already, the internet’s impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions is significant -- and we can expect emissions to continue to rise if the emissions to user ratio is not reduced. At the same time, climate change will have significant and lasting effects on infrastructure, connectivity, and human migration, which also affects how people communicate and which tools they use to connect with each other socially and professionally (the corona pandemic made that clear for many of us).

To us, this very obviously means: we can’t just go about our business as usual. We are in a climate crisis. And for Mozilla to thrive and grow on and with the internet, we need to contribute to its sustainability.

We therefore aim to establish (environmental) sustainability as a core trait of our culture and product development. As we embark on this journey, we will start by looking into three dimensions: impact assessments and mitigation, training and developing our staff, and awareness raising.

Expect this wiki to be updated regularly as we explore, learn, and grow along this journey. And if you have ideas or are interested in exploring more of this with our community, please join us on Matrix.

Explorations and Initiatives

We’re in a climate crisis. The internet contributes significantly to the world’s global carbon emissions. But we also believe in the internet as a global public good that can inform, empower and connect us.

So how can we reduce emissions and advance a more sustainable internet? What else could the open internet do for the planet?

We invite technologists, designers, political minds, activists and citizens who care about the internet and our planet to imagine alternatives and develop potential ideas for the future together.

On our journey to environmental sustainability, we are exploring different initiatives and projects:

  • Glossary. When you’re striving to have a positive impact on the world and your surroundings, language matters. As Mozilla is embarking on a more committed journey towards environmental sustainability, we are also heightening our attention and attuning our vocabulary to the challenges ahead of us.
  • Visit our Museum of the Fossilized Internet. In this art and research object, we are in 2050, looking back at the internet's vast greenhouse gas emissions through miniature representations of the major contributors.
  • 1000 Ideas. In a series of workshops, we asked what can be done right now to make the internet more sustainable. These ideas range from very specific actions, like changes in UI or hosting providers, to broader calls for more research and advocacy. And you can still add yours!
  • Magazine. In September 2020, the Mozilla Foundation in partnership with EIT Climate KIC and Climate Action Tech will launch a space to discuss a sustainable internet and the initiatives that could make this vision a reality.

Former projects and initiatives:

  • Earth Day 2020. The climate crisis needs our attention. And our solidarity. On April 22-24, 2020, Mozilla encourages its staff and volunteers to join the #EarthDayLive campaign. Resources and logistics are provided here.
  • Future Scenarios. In this participatory process, we are developing desirable future scenarios where we imagine a more sustainable internet, as well as the ambitious changes in society, economics and technology necessary to realise them.


All of these explorations are designed to spark conversation and generate bold, actionable ideas. We seek to collaborate within and beyond Mozilla towards a more sustainable internet, and welcome working with anyone interested in making that happen.

Individual and collective action need to go together: everyone can do their part and we need systemic change. We’re not looking to vilify people or behaviours, instead we’re inviting everyone to join our journey in figuring out how to do better, and what that even means.

Glossary: How we talk about environmental sustainability

Language matters.

When you’re striving to have a positive impact on the world and your surroundings, language matters. As Mozilla is embarking on a more committed journey towards environmental sustainability, we are also heightening our attention and attuning our vocabulary to the challenges ahead of us. This glossary is set up to help us navigate questions around environmental sustainability – and we’ll continue refining and iterating as we learn and grow our responsibilities.


Read more on climate denial, renewable energy, or a sustainable internet.

The Museum of Fossilized Internet

"To explore something so big, we first made it very small." — Gabi Ivens, creative lead and miniature maker

Welcome to the Museum of the Fossilized Internet.

This museum was founded in 2050 to commemorate two decades of a fossil-free internet and to invite museum's visitors to experience what the coal and oil-powered internet of 2020 was like. Gasp at the horrors of surveillance capitalism. Nod knowingly at the plague of spam. Be baffled at the size of AI training data and lament the binge culture of video streaming.

Museum fossilized internet overview 2337.jpg

1000 Ideas

There are thousands of things we can do to advance a more sustainable internet.

Here you’ll find a list of the ones we gathered through brainstorming, workshops, and feedback. We've used a "double diamond" approach, i.e. we went as wide and broad as possible, generating ideas regardless of feasibility or likelihood. You can keep adding to them and help us link out to projects and research that may bring them to life. We then narrowed these down to a few top ones (below) that have sparked most feedback and engagement so far.

This is an ongoing collection of ideas and inspiration. Feel free to add and annotate!

Explore 1000 Ideas for a More Sustainable Internet

Magazine

This online magazine is supported by a partnership among EIT Climate KIC, Climate Action Tech and the Mozilla Foundation to convene a space to discuss a sustainable internet and the initiatives that could make this vision a reality. The magazine is a mix of longer form writing, short profile pieces and artwork. It will be available online in September 2020 and perhaps later in print as a stand-alone magazine or a supplement for other publications.

Learn more about the upcoming magazine, A Sustainable Internet for All

About

Mozilla’s Sustainability Steward: Cathleen Berger

She and her team can be reached at sustainability@mozilla.com. We share updates about our efforts also on the Mozilla Blog.

All our projects are inspired and thrive through our champions, who are instrumental to putting Mozilla on a path to environmental sustainability.