Blog post: Cosmic Cuts 84,000 Miles Driving During Lockdown

This month, Cosmic has written a guest blog post for the SWIP website, looking at reducing driving during lockdown.

Devon-based social enterprise, Cosmic, have cut 84,000 miles of driving during lockdown by transitioning to virtual skills training delivery. The company has a vision to inspire people to achieve success in the digital world, and has used the Covid19 situation to alter the way they support communities in Devon and Somerset.

Over the course of 3 months since early March 2020, the Company has ceased all road travel. Ordinarily, the forty-strong team of Digital Skills Trainers, Technicians and Developers travel thousands of miles around the counties of the South West – helping businesses and communities to develop new Digital Skills. In order to attend training events, it is typical for participants to also travel considerable distances, often by private car.

The Company has become increasingly aware of the Carbon Footprint of this process, and has big ambitions to reduce their impact. In 2019 Cosmic planted 400 trees around Dartmoor to offset its unavoidable programme of travel, whilst accepting that offsetting alone would not be sufficient to minimise the harm to the environment.

Since the outbreak of Covid19, the Company has taken advantage of the lockdown, transitioning all face-to-face Digital Skills training and services to virtual sessions. The popularity has been enormous, with hundreds of small-business owners from the South West attending online courses over the ten weeks.

The result has been a saving of:

  • 60,000 miles of commuting and business travel by staff – not driven
  • 24,000 miles of car travel from attendees to Cosmic events – not driven
  • And 28 tonnes of CO2 – not released into the atmosphere
  • It would take 56 mature oak trees a year to capture this much carbon.

The Covid19 situation has accelerated Cosmic’s ambitions to become greener. Even if social distancing were fully removed, the Company aims to deliver more of its training remotely and significantly reduce staff-travel. Furthermore, this acceleration in transitioning to virtual work-processes has created capacity for Cosmic to now consider the next steps in their Environmental Action Plan – advancing their “green” ambitions by at least 18 months.

Cosmic want to encourage all industries to rebuild themselves in a greener, more sustainable way. The cost saving for businesses can be enormous; thousands of pounds that would otherwise be spent on fuel. If we could all realise similar savings, the surplus funds could be redistributed to enhance investment in digital resources and digital skills training for staff, future-proofing businesses & organisations in our region.

Where money would be traditionally spent on staff travel, and where working hours lost to time on trains and traffic jams, a transition to remote and virtual working releases resources for new “green” purposes. Cosmic want to see a societal shift with how industry looks to decarbonise in the wake of Covid19, and are willing to support organisations looking to transition to new Digital ways of working.

About Cosmic

  • Cosmic provides an innovative range of services and support to help people identify their Digital needs and tackle Digital Exclusion. They are a Social Enterprise, existing to: help people; protect the planet; and drive prosperity.
  • Based in East Devon, they have been operating for 23 years.

A team of 40 Digital Skills Trainers, IT Technicians and Website Developers work with charities, community groups, local authorities, small businesses and large corporations.