Thursday, June 05, 2008

Millions, I tell you... millions!

I am please to sahre this PR from DEFRA: One million people turn to ACT ON CO2 calculator for advice on fighting climate change

As provided, E&EO:

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: The ACT ON CO2 calculator - which helps people to work out and reduce their carbon footprint - has received its one millionth unique visitor, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced today.

The calculator, which was launched last Summer, enables people to reliably calculate their carbon footprint from home energy, appliances and transport. It then develops a personalised action plan for users, with practical steps they can take to cut their emissions.

Climate Change Minister, Joan Ruddock, said:

"A significant part of the fight against climate change is about the action we can take as individuals. On World Environment Day it is really encouraging that so many people are deciding to Act on CO2 to help the environment. Our calculator has received a million visitors in a year."


I was prompted to ask some clarfication questions, which the press departemnt has kindly, quickly and comprehensively now got answers to:

* Might I ask you to amplify on what is meant by 'Turn to'?

The ACT ON CO2 calculator received one millionth unique visitors.

*Is this million all distinct? No repeats? Are these names and emails logged on a database?

One million unique PCs (ISP addresses) have connected with the calculator. This is without repetition. It is not compulsory to enter an email to use the web-site, although entering an email address allows a user to return to view or update their footprint. The database which supports the calculator holds information on answers and footprints. We only use the information to generate anonymised statistics. Because we don't collect names, or the second half of postcodes, the calculator does not collect or hold personal information.

* What were the numbers of those who looked vs. acted? And what actions were taken?

We can't say what actions have been taken as a result of the calculator. Two evaluation studies have, however, shown that the calculator is received very positively and meets its objective of informing people about their carbon footprint, what contributes to it, and what they can do about reducing it.

* How much has been spent creating and running the site, and promoting it to date?

The Government's “ACT ON CO2” campaign aims to increase awareness and understanding of the relationship between climate change and CO2 and encourage genuine sustained behaviour change. Defra has spent around £750k creating and maintaining the site since the project started in 2006 and in 2007/08 Defra spent approximately £5.5M on the core ACT ON CO2.

So, that's £6 a head then. In one year. I look forward to seeing how this great result is shared in other media.

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