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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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.

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.

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

Future scenarios

After conducting a series of workshops to gather 1000 ideas for a sustainable internet, we identified some of the more ambitious suggestions and redrafted them as high-level future scenarios. These scenarios were picked to inspire fresh thinking around what is possible and desirable. While they began from a "tech sector" perspective, we quickly realised that positive visions require us to expand the scope to socio-political and economic concerns as well.

Through discussion and reflection, we hope these scenarios may expose where there is consensus as well as disagreement among participants, while also narrowing down the slate of scenarios to those that generate the most ideas, potential shared goals and actions.

It’s a thought experiment. Let's imagine a different world, so we can decide which one we actually want to work towards.

In a next step, we aim to develop these headlines into stories in an effort to identify opportunities, shortfalls, and requirements.

Explore future scenarios

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

About

Mozilla’s Sustainability Steward: Cathleen Berger

She and her team can be reached at sustainability@mozilla.com.

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


Behind the Museum of the Fossilized Internet: Gabi Ivens, Joana Moll, Michelle Thorne.

Behind the 1000 ideas: Michelle Thorne and the many workshop participants.