Category Archives: Organisations

The PassivHaus standard

It’s been called the last word in green building, and is starting to get a foothold in the UK. 10:10 Councils Coordinator Alexis Rowell explains the benefits of the PassivHaus standard.

The UK's first complete PassivHaus

The UK's first complete PassivHaus in Powys, Wales (image:

10:10 Councils are already doing great work on insulation. Manchester and Camden have retrofitted Victorian houses with energy efficiency measures to create low carbon exemplars and show residents what can be done. As you might remember from the last councils email, Sheffield, Leicester and Kirklees are offering free cavity wall and roof insulation for residents in both social and private housing. Camden has come up with a cunning plan for installing cavity insulation in tower blocks using abseilers!

However the best thing councils can do to further the energy efficiency agenda is to introduce the PassivHaus standard for new buildings and refurbishments. The PassivHaus standard has been used for the last twenty years in Europe (particularly in Germany), and makes buildings so energy efficient that they don’t need central heating or air conditioning. This cuts their energy requirement by around 85% compared to a typical house. We simply cannot reach zero carbon homes by 2016 as the government has mandated without building on the work that has been done by the PassivHaus Institute in Germany and the architects around Europe who have created the PassivHaus buildings that exist today.

PassivHaus isn’t just about new build – it can be used to scope retrofit work as well. That’s lucky, because more than 80% of our buildings will still be standing in 2050. Passivhaus is now an aspiration in Camden Council’s draft Local Development Framework (LDF) which means our planners will be asking developers and architects who plan to work on sites in Camden to think about using the PassivHaus standard from mid-2010 when the LDF becomes policy.

So ask your property services people to use the PassivHaus standard if they’re building new buildings or refurbishing old ones. It will save money in the long run in terms of dramatically reduced energy bills.

Visit the PassivHaus UK website


Sustainability leadership training on two wheels

Looking to kick-start your 10:10 effort? We’re conspiring with the Otesha Project to offer 10 day bike tours designed to get your team on the right track and make your work environment a cleaner, greener, healthier and more productive place.

Hosted at the beautiful Fforest Camp at Cardigan Bay in Wales, 10:10 tourers will receive dedicated training on the best ways to reduce office energy use, get help putting together their 10:10 baseline data and learn behaviour change strategies that work. There’s also a short course option for those who can’t spare a week away from the office.

To find out more and book your place, head over to the Otesha website.

10:10 – month by month

Our mums always told us that the best way to handle a big task is to break it down into smaller chunks, so each month in 2010 we’ll be concentrating on different ways to cut our carbon. Here’s how it’s going to work.

February was insulation month

February's theme was insulation

With everyone from plumbers to politicians signed up, there’s no doubt that we’ll all take a slightly different route to our 10% target. But 10:10 really comes into its own when we work together to make it happen.

That’s where our monthly themes come in. The idea is to get everyone pulling in the same direction – if we all focus on one thing each month it’ll be easier to help each other out. At this end, we’ll make sure the website is overflowing with tips and case studies to help you on your way.

The last couple of months have been a bit of a trial run as we’ve dabbled in lighting and insulation; now we’re ready to give you the full run-down for the year. Drum roll please…

January – Lighting
Everyone talks about changing lightbulbs, but here’s the detailed advice on everything from dimmer switches to halogens.

February – Insulating
Draughtbusting to double glazing, and a new use for incense sticks.

March – Planting
Spring has sprung – get planting!

April – Travelling
Plan your summer holiday to maximise fun and minimise airport misery.

May – Shopping
Carbon-conscious consuming.

June – Saving
Hunting down wasted energy around the house.

July Eating
Taking carbon off the menu with local, seasonal deliciousness.

August – Playing
Get outdoors for a climate-friendly summer.

September – Driving
Back to the commute and the school run – liberate yourself from the car.

October – Fixing
All will be revealed. For now, fix 10/10/2010 in your diary and watch this space.

November – Heating
It’s getting cold again, so get your heating system into shape.

December – Giving
Dreaming of a green Christmas.

As always, we need your help to bring these topics to life. If you’ve already cracked one or two of these and think others could learn from your experiences, contact If you’ve spotted a brilliant resource that could fit into one of these themes, email

Quick off the mark: a staff engagement case study

After signing up 500 staff in just two weeks, first direct’s 10:10 employee engagement campaign deserves a closer look.

First Direct HQ - now £40k cheaper to run

It started, as these things often do, with a flash of inspiration. Company climate champion Derek McCreadie was casting around for a way to frame the company’s planned 2010 energy-saving challenge, having been briefed to “keep it fun, keep it simple, and look for the engagement factor”. Although he’d heard about 10:10 in a staff meeting, it wasn’t until a quiet moment a few days later that it really hit him. “I was just at home late one night and I had one of those light bulb moments that we just need to do this!”, he recalls.

After a flurry of emails debating the business merits of signing up, First Direct finally took the plunge in in early January, bringing their two sites in Leeds and Glasgow under the 10:10 umbrella. Since then, they’ve put together one of the smartest and most successful 10:10 staff engagement campaigns we’ve come across.


The first step was to put the 10:10 signup widget on the first direct intranet. This allowed employees to join 10:10 directly, and let the company track how many had signed up.

For first direct, incentives were key to getting staff on board. Everyone signing up was given a free copy of the Rough Guide to Green Living by 10:10’s resident carbon expert Duncan Clark. New 10:10ers were also entered into a draw to win a £1,000 eco holiday, an OWL energy monitor or a solar-charged MP3 player. A bit of healthy competition was introduced by offering a second holiday to a randomly-picked member of staff at the site which generated the most signups.

In this area, a bit of joined up thinking can go a long way. The company have fitted solar panels at their Leeds HQ and installed a clever auto-shutdown programme on all office computers. The £30-40k saving from these changes will be ploughed back into staff incentives for low-carbon behaviour, helping to make the company’s carbon reduction activities self-funding.

Measuring success

Thanks to the code built into the widget, first direct were able to measure the success of their initiative by tracking the signups that came through their site. But McCreadie only realised how strong the take-up had been when he was browsing the Who’s already in? page and found that he recognised most of the names. In just two weeks, more than 500 employees had joined the campaign, with more signing  up every day. Moving foward, first direct are keeping up the momentum by tying their employee engagement in with our monthly themes. These focus on different areas of  personal emissions using themed guides, giveaways and case studies to help individuals on their way to 10%.

This kind of outreach work is where 10:10 really comes into its own – encouraging everyone to cooperate and bringing new people on board. As McCreadie puts it, “there’s a lot more to 10:10 than just reducing emissions – it’s about celebrating success.”

What they said: first direct employees’ thoughts on 10:10

“The 10:10 site has prompted me to check whether I need cavity wall insulation and am arranging this for my house in the next few weeks.”
– Kate Sandham

“I think that the 10:10 campaign makes reducing our impact on the environment feel achievable. It gives sensible suggestions on ways to reduce our carbon footprint easily. This means that less people will be put off by what could seem to be an impossible task. Personally I am concentrating on insulating my house more, starting with the loft and reducing the amount I use my car by 5 miles a week. I have been walking to the supermarket when we only require a few items and not taking the car.”
– Carolyn Stuart

“10:10 makes me think of my family and future generations, and what I can do to help them.”
– Amy Garbett

“At home I have installed compost bins, reduced the speed I drive my car and now only buy seasonal food from local markets.”
– Cameron Thompson

A big night out for women and the climate

It was a big night for women’s groups last night in London and 10:10 was out on the town.

10:10 and the WEN
Last night’s high-profile report launch by the Women’s Environmental Network coincided with 10:10 partner Mumsnet’s 10th birthday bash (more on that later). A great opportunity to accompany 10:10’s Campaign Director, Eugenie Harvey, on a whistle-stop tour of progressive women’s movements here in the capital.

If you’ve been wondering how gender relates to climate change, look no further. The Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) offer enlightenment. The House of Commons hosted the launch of ‘Gender and the Climate Change Agenda’, which underpins the quest for environmental justice through feminist principles. A panel of one lucky man and many prominent women, including Eugenie, was on hand to share their visions of a greener, fairer world with women at the core.

Bernadette Vallely, founder and chair of WEN, outlined the disproportionate burden of suffering shouldered by women worldwide as a result of poverty and gendered social roles. One staggering statistic shows that 20 million of the 26 million people currently estimated to be displaced by climate change are female. However, far from a prophecy of doom, the report highlights the potential of empowered womanhood to deliver a gender-sensitive response to our planetary predicament.

Accepting assurances from the chair that his inclusion was more than tokenistic, Peter Ainsworth MP bravely broached the topic of population growth. The subject sparked further debate when the floor was opened to questions. A cautious consensus formed around the necessity of sexual education, available contraception and improved healthcare. There was also mention of meat and dairy consumption and the impacts associated with dietary choices. We were reminded of women’s position globally as the predominant providers within the context of food hierarchies.

Tamsin Omond, a driving force behind 10:10’s work with faith groups, praised the report as an invaluable resource in the continuing struggle for social justice. With a nod to the Suffragettes, Eugenie recognised the “responsibility to do for women in poor countries what women in the developed world have had done for them” and emphasised the importance of small steps to start people on a journey of engagement.

The WEN report is available to download for free here.

10:10 sticker spotting

Q: What do the following have in common? The tabard of an animatronic polar bear at Dublin Zoo. A hospital window opposite Warren Street tube. Thom Yorke’s wrist. The Sage in Gateshead.  Tamsin Greig’s neck. Pitchside at White Hart Lane. 500 car club vehicle windows.

10:10 window sticker

A: They’ve all had the 10:10 logo on them.

Those two little tens are popping up all over the place at the moment, and if you’ve seen our latest mailout you’ll know that we’re helping things along by giving away 1000 of our new window stickers. (Signed up but not getting emails? Let us know.)

We’re aiming to turn 10:10 spotting into an Olympic sport in time for 2012, so now’s the time to start training. If you come across a 10:10 sticker, poster, tag or tshirt on your travels, snap a picture and send it over to us ( We’re fresh out of gold medals, but will rustle up a prize and a website appearance for the best ones.

Let the games begin…

Announcing the first 10:10 Leader: Kyocera Mita

Introducing Kyocera Mita, our first 10:10 Leader

At 10:10, we’re trying to do a lot with not very much, and we’re always glad of a bit of help. Kyocera joined 10:10 back in October, and just became the first 10:10 Leader. In a nutshell, 10:10 Leaders support the campaign by giving us resources to help turn all our outlandish plans into reality. In Kyocera’s case, that means some much needed cash and the sleekest, greenest office printer we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Our new megaprinter

Yes, it prints double-sided

Kyocera and 10:10 are a really good match. Although their worldwide operations cover everything from solar panels to artificial hip joints, Kyocera UK are all about low-impact printing – just the sort of thing we’re asking businesses and organisations to look at as part of their 10:10 commitment. And they seem to like us – here’s what their very own Tracey Rawling Church had to say:

“The 10:10 campaign represents a straightforward target for individuals, businesses and public sector organisations, small enough to get their arms around and close enough to introduce a sense of urgency. Its strength lies in a clear message which promises quantifiable results which, in climate change terms, are almost immediate.”

Download the press release (pdf)

See Kyocera’s 10:10 progress

More on Kyocera and 10:10

If you’d like to talk to us about becoming a 10:10 Leader, drop us an email: