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Presentation at Wikimania 2021

Etherpad questions from Wikimania 2021 presentation


1) So the Wikimedia servers are not carbon neutral? Why hasn't this happened yet?
A: VERY GOOD QUESTION! It is not as easy to change as it seems, but the main reason is that it has not been prioritised by WMF management.

2) Lukas-Bodhi - carbon-neutral is a bit too late - damaging one forest and planting a few trees elsewhere has been unfortunately been made as being equalent...
A: You're right. That is the reason exactly the covenant says that "when engaging in carbon offset programmes, .... not using offsets as an ‘excuse’ for their carbon emissions,"

3) Do you know how many of the affiliates that has joined who's taken decisions like only serve vegetarian food on events?
A: We have started to collect this data and will publish it soon. One example is Wikimedia Deutschland.

4) Are there any concrete ideas how to put this into practice what you propose in the covenant? Practically if you don't have much of a footprint as an org, you can invest directly in content activities for climate and sustainability topics.
A: We will publish a list of examples soon.

5) What are the risks for the Wikipedia projects in regards with enregy costs (green or not) in the near future? As a substancial part of the funding might have to be injected into the infrastructure.
A: Personally, I think that sustainable energy will be quite cheap in the medium-term.

6) Is it correct to say that the Wikimedia servers are not running off renewable sources? If not why hasn't this happened?
A: VERY GOOD QUESTION! First, the data is official – the WMF publishes yearly reports on this. It is not as easy to change as it seems, but the main reason is that it has not been prioritised by WMF management.

7) What about sustainable employee benefits? Is there anything being imagined or employees / Wikimedians invited to brainstorm and hand in their ideas?
A: Yes, there are examples for this. We will publish them soon.

8) Would it not be a good opportunity to enable individual Wikimedians to sign themselves up to these principles. I think many people (me included) do not really understand what an Affiliate is.
A: As an individual community member, you can sign here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sustainability_Initiative/List_of_supporters

9) I think it would be good to make grants committee include questions requiring justification of flight charges and reason for not choosing alternatives
A: Yes, true. Movement strategy process should include every player in the movement. Without support from grants team on how to take care of the environment and organize optimal conferences and flying people around simultaneously should be discussed.

10) Carbon offsets are terribly corrupted options - a tree in the amazon forest or a natural habitat is SIMPLY NOT THE SAME as growing a tree of the same species in another isolated plot of land - compensatory afforestation is a bit of a sham really
A: Yes, thats true. That is the reasone exactly the covenant says that "when engaging in carbon offset programmes, .... not using offsets as an ‘excuse’ for their carbon emissions,"

11) I find also recommendations on usage of Internet, ICT, ... important, e.g. saving of temporary local copies or not clicking a link and back more times. What do You think?

Recordings of presentations at 2021 virtual Wikimedia events


Propose amending covenant to anticipate future amendments


This covenant was written by a few, which is fine, because that is how things start.

It seeks to get Wikimedia affiliates across the movement to join, which is also good, because in wiki world ideas start small then grow.

History has proven that when more wiki people join an idea, they offer new ideas and want changes beyond the original thoughts of the few who designed the idea.

Before too many other grows sign onto this, I propose to bake into the covenant the idea and expectation that the members will re-assess it, amend it, or even re-rewrite it periodically, and in doing so, the member organizations still actively endorse the new version and there is no particular need to re-confirm support from all members.

Here are some examples of things which I do not think are timely now because they would create stress for wiki volunteers, but that I wish for discussion for future versions of this:

  • affiliates give a sustainability report, including information such as count of flights funded or flight distance measurement
  • affiliates directly call for the Wikimedia Foundation to comply
  • affiliates support funding requests to the Wikimedia Foundation done in the name of this covenant, to support member organizations in advancing the goals of this

When this covenant becomes more like an organization, I wish to avoid the situation where it takes multiple actions a year and needs a vote from the membership of each affiliate organization to indicate support. Make this all a little bolder now, and make this an agreement to support the Wikimedia community consensus around sustainability rather than any permanent text written right now. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:00, 18 December 2021 (UTC)Reply

Hi Bluerasberry, thank you for your feedback. I fully agree with you that the document may need a mechanism allowing for "updates" of the sort you described. As you correctly assumed, we wanted to get out a "version 1.0" first. Also, I am with you that we should avoid making this unnecessarily bureaucratic. Thanks again, --Gnom (talk) 21:09, 18 December 2021 (UTC)Reply

listed below


Hi, as I was reading this covenant, I was wondering about a specific: What is 'other practices listed below' referring to? I'm assuming the grey box is the limit of the covenant text, and there don't seem any practices listed below. Was this the result of editing? I'm assuming it's not referring to something outside the covenant that then is free to edit? Thanks! Effeietsanders (talk) 19:52, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Exchange on progress of the chapters that have signed


Here are a few questions to the different chapters on behalf of Wikimedia Switzerland who just signed the agreement. We would welcome and appreciate an exchange of information on what has already been done and on what is planned for the future in order to work more sustainably and environmental friendly.

1. Did you succeed in measuring your carbon foot print? If so, was the process done by an external consultant or by someone else?

2. Did you gather data on the carbon footprint (or sustainability in your chapter more generally) by using qualitative or quantitative methods?

3. Did you decide to evaluate your starting situation in a different manner?

4. Have you given up the carbon footprint calculation for another method? If so, what was your first step in this “sustainability journey”?

Information on other chapter's progress could help us all to advance in this matter. Claralouu22 (talk) 09:52, 14 June 2023 (UTC)Reply