Rotary: Three steps to becoming a changemaker

Support people, projects, and ideas that help shape the future: That is how Rotary International aims to become socially responsible. Now, the global network of Rotary clubs wants to go one step further: The "End Warming Now" initiative of the Rotary- and Rotaract-Club Berlin Brandenburger Tor is launching its own CO2 calculator in cooperation with myclimate. In three steps, they want to become changemakers for a life-sustaining future. The idea is to spread from Germany to all Rotary clubs worldwide.

It all started in 2021 with an idea at a barcamp workshop of the regional organisation of North-East Germany in a team of Rotaract, the young network club in the Rotarian family, and Rotary members. The first approach was a self-programmed simulation game called "My Rotary Club Joins the Paris Climate Agreement". It quickly became clear that there was a high level of engagement and interest in the issue. In order to provide as many Rotary members as possible with opportunities for learning, dialogue, and action on the climate crisis, the team set out to find an easily accessible, virtually barrier-free digital tool for decarbonising club activities. Called "End Warming Now," the goal was to create a service that would give each club the freedom to design its own responses and actions to contribute to effective climate action.

"The global climate challenge requires globally scalable responses. The rapid pace of global warming demands speed. Together with myclimate, Rotary can do both: globally and quickly. Rotary offers scaling based on community and trust among 1.2 million members worldwide. With myclimate's Rotary-specific CO2 calculator, every club can support carbon offset projects that demonstrably avoid or reduce CO2 in the amount of its own emissions," says Hans Rüdiger Lange, founder of the End Warming Now initiative.

"We want to analyse, reduce and save CO2 worldwide!"

It quickly became clear that the digital service needed a way to professionally track its own emissions in order to take action to reduce them. The challenge: Every club in the Rotary family is different. In order to have the greatest possible impact, the analysis had to take this into account and allow for individual, yet easy-to-use, recording of criteria. To achieve this, the initiative brought in the expertise of myclimate.

"For us, this is just the first of three steps to take responsibility and contribute to climate protection. We want to analyse, reduce and mitigate emissions through concrete carbon offset projects. Because if you want to bring about change elsewhere, you first have to start with yourself. And that is exactly what we are doing together with myclimate," explains Dana Schönefeld from Rotaract.

Jan Philipp Trusheim, Senior Manager Corporate Partnerships at myclimate, reports on the cooperation: "As a non-profit climate protection organisation, we at myclimate were of course delighted to receive an enquiry from an organisation that wants to combine its public welfare concerns with climate protection efforts! Together with our web developers, experts from the consulting and solutions team and myself, we immediately got together to come up with a comprehensive solution.

"It's all about getting started!"

With this solution in place, the initiators of End Warming Now are now looking to take the momentum from one club to all Rotary clubs around the world. The website was developed to reach not only Rotary's more than 1.2 million members, but also other multipliers. The website shows how Rotary and Rotaract are working together to achieve this goal. The first step is to use the myclimate CO2 calculator to analyse your individual carbon footprint. The necessary criteria include the number of members, the number of meetings, the distance between the meeting place and the place of residence, the proportion of low-emission means of transport and the composition of the vegetarian cuisine.

On the website, the initiators encourage Rotarians to get involved, organise lectures to share knowledge, and take part in debates about the climate goals they have set themselves.

A winning project

These many actions promote knowledge and awareness, lay the foundation for optimisation and ultimately reduce CO2 emissions. For the remaining emissions, Rotarians can also support myclimate's high-quality global climate protection projects, which reduce emissions worldwide and contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rotary's own certified projects will be added later.

"We want to get started! With myclimate, we have made the first step as easy as possible. Together with the Rotary community, we want to use our example to pave the way for urgently needed climate protection and to make options for active climate protection in everyday life visible to everyone in the world," explains Hannes Kulp, co-founder of the initiative.

The initiators won the Rosyne Award at the annual meeting of Rotaract Germany (DEUKO) in Constance for their idea and its implementation.

Would you like to get started? Then get in touch with our industry experts!

Stay informed!