At Global Action Plan, we believe that all of us can make a big difference. And through our programmes, we help people to discover their potential as change makers.

Through our partnership with Ducky AS in Norway, we also have the tools to prove that our actions, however small, do really matter.

This is our invitation to you, to join us in a new way to fight climate change.

Of course, at present, being worried about the climate crisis is normal. Everywhere we look, we can see massive, and apparently irreversible, changes happening to our planet, and we see humanity responding too slowly to stop the damage being done to our natural environment.

We seem to be caught, collectively, in a vicious circle, where our current carbon-intensive lifestyles and habits have become so ingrained that there is little appetite for change. We see that increasing numbers of people are waking up to the damage that is being inflicted on our planet – and on ourselves – but that most of them feel powerless, as individuals, to change it. And we see that, despite the noise, we are not taking the crisis seriously enough.

What can I do about it? I’m just one person…

The public debate on climate change is on a slow burner. After many years where, despite the mounting evidence that climate change is real and man-made, media coverage continued to either ignore the issue or present it as if there were ‘two sides’ to the science. 

And even among those who don’t deny the science, there are huge differences of view about the reasons why the crisis is growing and what is causing it. Many are quick to point their fingers to governments for  ‘not doing enough’, to blame car drivers, airlines, farmers, and the construction industry, or other countries like China or the USA.

When you strip away all of the rhetoric, the reality is there are just too many of us consuming too much. We fly too much, eat too much, buy too much, build too much, drive too much, and so on.

Nigel Powell, Ducky AS

Amid the noise, it is easy for individuals to get confused. Many of us don’t feel we have any power to help tackle the crisis, or feel that whatever changes they might make won’t make any difference. The climate crisis is so big, so urgent, so complex that it can appear overwhelming. And humanity is so numerous that, indeed, the actions of one person can seem trivial. 

At Global Action Plan, we believe that our choices and actions as individuals influence others: that we all can inspire positive change.

Doom-mongering has overtaken denial as a threat and as a tactic. ‘Inactivists’ know that if people believe there is nothing you can do, they are led down a path of disengagement. They unwittingly do the bidding of fossil fuel interests by giving up.

Michael E. Mann, quoted here.

Highlighting, and measuring, positive action

When we talk about climate change, we must not be weighed down by guilt of not being ‘perfect ecologists’ or by fear. Instead, we must focus on the many steps that people can take – and that many are already taking – to change the world. By focusing on positive, climate-friendly actions by friends, family and neighbours, and by organisations and companies all over the world, we can encourage ourselves and each other to make tangible changes in our own lives, and to use our voices as citizens to campaign for policy changes at national and international level.

And that is one of the reasons why we at Global Action Plan have teamed up with Ducky AS. With the Ducky technology, we can support each other to change the way we talk about, and act on, climate change.

We need to start a new conversation. A conversation about how we can collectively reduce our consumer habits together, and how important those changes, when added up, are for our planet. Our recent project in Co. Kildare, which involved 124 people over 3 weeks, resulted in savings of 19,000 kgs of Co2 emissions. If everyone in Ireland had taken the same actions, it would have resulted in a 36% reduction in our national greenhouse gas emissions. The Ducky challenge also showed which habits were hardest to change at individual level, and where changes to government policies would be most helpful.

The Ducky platform helps to create new narratives for people. Not threatening, or doom laden, but stories which show that if we work together we can create real change. If we change one small habit in our daily lives – e.g. turn down a thermostat, use public transport instead of a car, eat a vegetarian meal – then it will have a direct positive effect on our climate footprint. And if enough people get together to do this, share their experiences and try and do it regularly, then we can really swing the needle.

Nigel Powell, Ducky AS

‘Ducky’ is a digital behaviour change system which helps people track and reduce their carbon emissions footprint.

There are three parts to the Ducky programme:

  1. A unique and detailed carbon footprint calculator to track how our lifestyle impacts the planet;
  2. A gamified climate challenge app where participants compete with their peers to change habits and reduce their footprint;
  3. A custom development service which can be used to integrate CO2e  emission calculations with company products, apps and websites.

Ducky is a catalyst for change

Ducky is evidence based. Using the Ducky technology, we can help individuals track their personal carbon footprints. Instead of using generic footprint calculators that combine global averages, Ducky uses country-specific data, combined with each individual’s personal emissions, to calculate the impact of our actions. This means that the carbon footprints we calculate are tailored to individual users and their context.

And Ducky is fun. At Global Action Plan, we run Ducky campaigns – gamified competitions between teams – to encourage individuals to reduce their emissions by changing their daily habits. During the campaigns, participants log their daily carbon saving actions, the results of which are displayed in real time. We can provide people with immediate feedback on how their actions reduce their carbon emissions, kilogram by kilogram.

And just as importantly, Ducky is a conversation starter. Through the Ducky Challenge, participants are invited to start a conversation about the potential for reducing or changing consumption. This in turn highlights clearly that we can, each of us, contribute to reducing emissions and creating a culture of climate awareness.

And finally, Ducky is about impact. Using the Ducky technology, we can aggregate all this anonymous data and help groups design more effective strategies to make their organisations ‘greener’. And we can help local governments to identify citizen consumption and emissions patterns, enabling them to take action at a regional level to encourage even more emissions reductions. In this way, we are able to increase the impact of individual actions exponentially, beginning a virtuous circle of more environmentally aware citizens contributing collectively to a better and more informed world.

Take part in the Ducky project

At Global Action Plan, we want to invite you, or your organisation, to join us in trying to start a new conversation about climate friendly actions with your staff, suppliers or customers.

Join us on a journey where good things come from adopting a more mindful approach to consumption and effects, and where a simple game can change the way people think, and act.

Contact us via [email protected] for more information.

Please note:

  • The Ducky challenge is a team competition. To participate, you need to find a few like-minded people to join the challenge. Remember: the overall aim is to inspire as many people as possible to log their actions and reduce their daily carbon emissions for at least two weeks.
  • In most cases, the Ducky challenge is not free. Included in the cost of participation is a suite of support measures, including online resources, in-person assistance for all participants, a web page and mobile app, and detailed follow-up and data analysis. We can also provide embeddable climate widgets for your website, that visualise the CO2 savings resulting from your climate actions.

Related stories:

200 Participants Take on the First Sustainable Kildare Challenge
What is the Ducky Challenge?

Video: results of the November 2021 Ducky Challenge in Co. Kildare:

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Registered number: 346806. Charity Number: CHY 15448. Charity Regulatory Number: CRA 20053338.

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