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 improve 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:
- 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.
- 1 Mozilla and Environmental Sustainability
- 2 Mozilla's Climate Commitment and Activities
- 3 Explorations and Initiatives
- 4 Research
- 5 Sustainability at MozFest
- 6 Glossary: How we talk about environmental sustainability
- 7 Speaker Series
- 8 The Museum of Fossilized Internet
- 9 Foresight Workshops
- 10 Magazine
- 11 About
Mozilla's Climate Commitment and Activities
We can’t save the planet without people. We understand that the internet is an incredibly powerful tool to help us draw the attention to what needs to happen.
The first line of order is that Mozilla assumes responsibility for its greenhouse gas emissions: We will reduce our emissions significantly and mitigate what we can’t avoid. We will share what we learn and lead transparently, supporting others on their journeys and continuously exploring ways to increase the resiliency of our communities.
Read more on our greenhouse gas emissions assessments, climate commitments and mitigation plans.
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:
- Research. Together with the Ford Foundation and Ariadne, Mozilla commissioned a research about the intersection of digital rights and climate justice.
- Sustainability at MozFest MozFest 2023 takes place virtually from March 20-24. Sustainability is being discussed in the Tech & Biodiversity Space. E.g.: The Digital Doughnut: A holistic way of exploring tech's impact on global sustainability
- 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.
- Speaker Series. We realise we're new to this journey, so we invite experts from across the field to share their insights, lessons, and recommendations with 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. And the exhibit can now also be explored on Mozilla Hubs!
- Foresight Workshops. This series of foresight workshops convene sdiverse, interdisciplinary groups to explore different facets of a positive, sustainable future, e.g. by exploring options for the EU's AI policy or strategising with funders.
- 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:
- MozFest Sustainability Track. MozFest 2021 took place virtually from March 8-19. For the first time, we curated a dedicated sustainability space. There was a Sustainability Track at Mozfest 2022 as well.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
Together with the Ford Foundation and Ariadne, Mozilla commissioned a research about the intersection of digital rights and climate justice. If you are interested in this project, please contact Michelle Thorne, Sustainable Internet Lead at Mozilla (michelle at mozillafoundation dot org).
Read the results of this research and learn more about the process.
Sustainability at MozFest
MozFest 2023 will take place online and is scheduled for March 20-24, 2023. Sustainability is being discussed in the Tech & Biodiversity Space. E.g.: The Digital Doughnut: A holistic way of exploring tech's impact on global sustainability. Learn more about the team, process, and what to expect of the schedule.
Glossary: How we talk about environmental sustainability
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.
We realise, we're still new to this journey, so we invite experts from across the field to share their insights, lessons, and recommendations with us, roughly on a monthly basis.
Do you have any suggestions, who else we should learn from or would potentially want to present yourself, reach out!
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.
In a series of foresight workshops, we intend to convene diverse, interdisciplinary groups to explore different facets of a positive, sustainable future. By visualising this future, we will back trace the steps necessary to bring this vision to life and identify the action we can and must take now to get there.
A pilot workshop in August 2020 will take a closer look at policy options, tapping into the idea of trustworthy AI and sustainability in the context of the EU’s upcoming AI policy.
Additional foresight workshops will explore actions for technologists, business leaders, and funders. And if you have additional ideas or interested in running similar workshops -- please do reach out, we’re happy to connect with you and support the facilitation of your efforts.
Read more about our Foresight Workshop series and the Pilot here.
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
Mozilla’s Sustainability Steward: Jenny Wong
She and her team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.