At the start of November 2022, countries came together in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to plan action towards improving the world’s collective climate goals. Although DeltaXML does not wield that power of the world’s leaders, we still see value in helping improve our own carbon footprint to add to the collective world’s efforts. With the DeltaXML team now working in a hybrid environment, a positive consequence from the Covid pandemic, we’ve been able to cut down our major energy use, which was heating and cooling our office. Last year, we pledged to partner with Temwa to offset our carbon footprint further and get even greener.
Temwa was founded in 2003 by Managing Director, Jo Hook, and Sophie Guise. The friends were running a backpackers’ lodge in Usisya, a remote town on the lakeshore from 1999 to 2000. After losing their friend Lottie, who lived within the region, they learnt more about the difficulties that affected communities there. They returned to the UK in 2000, where they spent the following three years fundraising and researching how best to support people like Lotti and remote communities in Northern Malawi.
“Our vision is thriving, inclusive and self-reliant communities in Northern Malawi that are able to transform their own futures.”
Temwa website, 2022
Home to just under 15,000 people, Nkhata Bay is a Malawian port town on the western shore of Lake Malawi. The region is extremely isolated and, as a result, receives little help from the government or other NGOs. Temwa’s goal is to help communities within Nkhata Bay North to achieve self-reliance, so their projects provide sustainable, long-term training for individuals there to become independent. With the key problems affecting communities being: starvation, limited access to education, limited access to employment, lack of medical resources and deforestation, working in partnership with communities in Nkhata Bay North, Malawi, since 2003, Temwa has planted over 1.5 million trees, supported forest management, and helped families adopt sustainable farming. Not only do they help plant more trees for the planet, but they also make sure that it is a community led approach.
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the major driver of climate change, primarily because of burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. As stated, DeltaXML have tried hard to make sure we’re being smarter with our energy usage.
After heating and cooling our office, our next big energy usage is for servers and computers. For the heating and cooling element, we’ve installed air-source heat pumps which will use one third to a quarter of the electricity for the same heat output – and they also provide cooling when needed in the summer. For our servers, we have reduced our in-house server capacity significantly as we have moved more to the cloud. It is difficult to quantify the real energy saving here; the energy used for cloud services offsets because of our reduction in the office to some extent – but we would expect it to be less than 24/7 physical servers.
This brings us back to Temwa. Overall, DeltaXML’s carbon footprint is already quite low compared to other businesses like our own. Working with Temwa allows us to make an even bigger contribution to doing our part and balancing out the global carbon emissions. A significant benefit that we found with Temwa is their size. Although small, it means that our contributions go directly to the people and directly to getting roots into the ground! We have donated based on estimated emissions from all those working for the company, as individual people. We were delighted to receive a special thank you from Temwa, and it solidifies what we already knew: working with Temwa is a great thing for us all, not just for DeltaXML, but the planet.