BASIC Sustainability Policy
International diplomacy can damage the environment through its reliance on frequent air travel.
We recognise that our work, as a convenor of international dialogues that bring together participants from different parts of the world, can generate high levels of carbon emissions compared to other fields. In our work to ‘safeguard humanity and Earth’s ecosystem’ from nuclear weapons use, we are acutely conscious that we must do everything we can not to exacerbate the grave ecological crises that humanity faces, such as the climate and extinction emergencies.
While there are certain actions that can be taken to mitigate their impacts, there is no sustainable way to fly. Accordingly, we judge that the negative impacts of every flight must be weighed carefully against the expected benefits of doing so, on a case-by-case basis.
BASIC is committed to minimising its carbon footprint as we carry out our work, and we actively foster a culture of flygskam and greater mindfulness of the negative externalities of international travel across the organisation. To advance this, we adhere to the following principles and rules:
- We hold events online instead of in-person whenever possible, provided that we judge that they have the potential to create the same trust-building or policy impact.
- We choose suitable locations for our dialogues that minimise the aggregate carbon emissions produced from participants’ travel.
- We exercise good judgement about whether it is necessary for BASIC staff to attend international conferences in-person, if a virtual option is available.
- We require all BASIC staff and contractors to travel by train or road on journeys up to 8 hours, and staff and event participants are always strongly encouraged to travel by train or other more sustainable transport options wherever feasible.
- We budget to offset the carbon emissions produced from flights in our projects, wherever funders allow us to do so, through investments in actions like tree-planting projects to protect and restore our planet.
- We minimise our use of printing to a bare minimum, taking advantage of digital technologies and practices to share our work online.
- We provide a non-meat option at any meals that we host.
- We will advocate that funders and fellow NGOs in our field adopt stronger minimum standards and best practices in relation to the protection of the planet in carrying out their work.
- We will build a system to allow us to track and voluntarily report on our annual carbon emissions, and encourage others to do the same.