Re: Question to candidates: eco-friendliness

On Mon, 2019-06-03 at 18:10 +0100, Philip Withnall wrote:
Hi all,

Hi Philip,

Thanks for running for the board!

What steps do you think the Foundation could take to reduce its
environmental impact, and the environmental impact of the project as a

Great question! Keeping us on our toes... :)

As others have suggested, I think our ecological impact as a Foundation
is most acute in travel, then after a significant gap, energy usage of
our services, then probably anything else.

As Allan pointed out, we've been pushing for increasing travel to
hackfests etc as after our staff, hosting and organising events is the
most significant and impactful way we can add momentum to project
initiatives, giving something of an "opposing force" to any initiative
to reduce travel. We've also (with only modest success) been trying to
rotate the location of some of the conferences so that we're able to
provide more local face to face events, potentially alleviating some of
the requirement to travel larger distances.

In terms of where the Board "legislates" I see two main places which
we've looked at over the past year and could make some changes to what
is required - the travel sponsorship policy, and the templates (and
requirements) for evaluating hackfests and conference bids. Both seem
very feasible to improve the consideration of environmental factors.

In the travel policy, we could go ways potentially place requirements
there, such as taking ground transfer when it is safe to do so and does
not increase the journey time / cost more than a certain percentage -
and/or (IRS permitting) making ground travel more comfortable/pleasant
(eg allowing a first class upgrade etc) so we have both carrot and
stick. The travel committee might have some more insight here.

In the event approval processes, simply updating the templates to add a
requirement to assess and then ameliorate the environmental impact
means we can engage the ingenuity of the volunteers who are helping us
to set up these events. Monitoring something changes the behaviour.
Best practices or requirements could emerge from this (ie, if we see
good ideas, we could roll them out as something we ask/look for

In terms of energy usage, Andrea & team are already using cloud
technology (OpenShift) to make more effective/dynamic use of our
donated computing resources, which is a good way to get more "bang for
buck" versus having statically scheduled machines idling away.
Generally dynamic scaling for CI and other "intensive" workloads is a
best-practice we do and should continue to follow. We should never use
any crypto currencies.

I think providing some "gold standard" real-time audio/video
infrastructure for the use of the project would be a superb investment
in time/infrastructure to allow more effective collaboration outside of
events. We certainly practice this in the Board and make extensive use
of Bluejeans and Uberconference for effective voice and video
collaboration. It would be great to have a self-hosted and FOSS system
we can use and make available for the project.

There is quite a lot of other "cute stuff" like avoiding single-use
plastics at conferences, un-necessary swag, having non-meat-eating days
during events that are catered to reduce the carbon impact of food
preparation, etc, but I suspect that one person taking a single
transatlantic flight would obliterate the cumulative benefit from all
of that. I think these things can and should be done "at the leaves" as
everything helps, but the policy changes outlined above would be more
impactful in effecting that change in a more persistent manner.

Obviously, those who have already served on the board will have some
insight to share about what the board already does, and concrete ways
it could improve; hopefully this doesn’t disadvantage those who
already served on the board.

My decision to "sleep on this" has made my answer look significantly
less original. C'est la vie - however I think it's clear that there is
some good alignment between candidates and we should be able to make
concrete moves on at least high-level policy changes so that some of
these factors are considered in the board's day to day activities.



foundation-list mailing list
foundation-list gnome org

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]