Frequently Asked Questions


I’m confused! Isn’t Do Nation about sponsorship through actions, not cash?

Ah, you know us well!

Our business programmes and our sponsorship through actions, not cash are two sides of the same coin. You can see more about how it all works here.

Do you save my contact details?

Yes, but we keep them nice and safe, naturally.

And we don’t share them with any third parties. Check out our privacy policy.

Is climate change really happening?

With 96% of climatologists believing that mean global temperatures are rising, I think we can safely say that there is a scientific consensus on the matter.

And we’re beginning to see it with our own eyes – we can’t escape the photos of melting ice caps, catastrophic floods, bush fires, droughts, and hurricanes. They’re happening more and more often, and nearer and nearer to home.

Is climate change really caused by us?

Our first answer to this is that contrary to popular belief, the scientists rarely dispute the answer: 97% of climatologists believe that human activity is a significant contributing factor to climate change. Sure, it might not be the only factor, but it’s the one that we can control. Our second answer involves a touch of high school science and a dose of intuition:

Over the past 300,000,000 years plants have been using the sun’s energy to trap carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into plant tissue.
In turn, these plants die, rot, and gradually (over millennia of geological processing) this carbon is locked tightly away as fossil fuels deep under the Earth’s surface.
In the course of a single generation we are likely to have exploited and burnt almost the entirety of these fossil fuel reserves. 300,000,000 years of natural investment, squandered in a mere 100 years.

Surely that’s got to have an impact on nature’s finely balanced systems? So let’s ask that question again: are humans causing climate change? Intuition tells me there’s a pretty good chance we are…
This isn’t the place to go into it – but you can read more on the debate through the Energy Saving Trust or Skeptical Science.

The Do Actions

How do you calculate the carbon savings?

With the help of ERM. For each Do Action there are a few short questions that allow us to calculate the difference between the carbon used by the existing and pledged behaviours. Clearly there are a few (very sound) assumptions involved, and the numbers are more indicative of scale of impact than anything else.

It’s not designed to give you a robust and all-encompassing carbon footprint report, just an indication of the impact each Do Action could have. We used national averages where appropriate and made a few other reasonable assumptions to help make the pledging process as straightforward as possible. Some of these are:

• People do the Do Actions over the full two months (this gets adjusted when they return to confirm how they got on)

• When single pledge actions have a long-term impact, their savings are calculated for the most appropriate period (e.g. three years’ worth of savings from Soak in the sun, Sun power, and Clean your bills are counted).

• An emission factor of 0.4836 CO2 per kWh of grid electricity (Defra conversion factors 2013) is used.

• A fuel price conversion factor of 0.16 £/kWh of electricity (Act on CO2 July 2009) was used.

• The average household has 2.34 occupants.

Why just CO2?

CO2 is the currency of Do Nation, not the soul.

We believe in a lot more than just carbon, and are strong advocates of a more holistic view of sustainability. Hopefully that’s made clear through the site.

Soon, there will be waste and water metrics coming too. Look out for them!

Can I make up my own Do Action?

No, I’m afraid not. It makes consistent carbon calculations very difficult, and it also makes it harder for you to see how many people are doing the same action as you. We always think it’s nice to see that, so you don’t feel so alone.

But if there’s something that you think should be up there then let us know and we’ll add it to our wishlist.

How did you choose the Do Actions?

Initially, we came up with a long list of possible Do Actions in a string of brainstorming sessions.

We wanted to build a selection that would appeal to a broad range of people, whether they own a palace or live in student digs; drive a Porsche or are welded to their bike; are up for a challenge or just want to make a quick one-off contribution.

We were also careful to make sure they really did have all-round environmental benefits, as well as helping boost people’s finances and health if possible.

Over time, we are adding to this list through requests and suggestions from users like you. So send us your suggestions please!

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to complete their pledge so we’ve done the research for you and, where appropriate, recommended some good, reliable and truly green products that can help you out.

For each successful referral made we receive a small commission, which we feed back into developing and improving Do Nation.

We have developed a clear affiliate selection policy to enable us to maintain our values and promote the best products possible. If you have any queries, concerns, or feedback on any of our affiliates, please drop us a line.

Making pledges

What difference do my actions make anyway?

Alone, very little. Especially on a global scale.

But they make a very real difference towards your company’s target, combined with all your colleagues’ efforts to make a meaningful impact. And if you then combine all the doers of Do Nation together, as the nation grows and grows, the difference could be pretty staggering.

42% of the UK’s carbon emissions are a result of individual’s actions, at home and in travel. That means that our actions, collectively, influence almost half of the nations carbon. So together we could make a pretty big difference…

How many emails will you send me?

Not too many. We’ll send a few to make sure the process runs smoothly and that you don’t forget what you’d pledged to do, as well as a prompt to return and let us know how you got on at the end of the two months.

We will also send monthly newsletters to members of our mailing list - you can subscribe from that here

See our privacy policy for more info.

Why is the pledge period two months?

We can’t ask people to change their ways forever – that would be far too daunting a prospect. When making a pledge, you’re just trying out the Do Action for a short stint.

Two months is a nice amount of time – it’s short enough not to be too intimidating, but it’s long enough for you to get a true taste of the Do Action, and perhaps form some nice new habits. Which is obviously our ultimate goal.

It’s also just about long enough to have a reasonable impact on its own.

Can I eat fish when doing Veg Out?

Now this is a tricky one. In one sense, this is all about cutting carbon emissions, because they’re the most measurable and ubiquitous cause of our problems. And fish consumption doesn’t have much of a carbon footprint, so it should be ok to eat fish.

But (there’s always a but!), the fish industry is one of the biggest environmental nightmares at present, clearing our oceans of all their natural stocks. So what we say is this:

It’s fine to eat fish in moderation, so long as it’s sustainably sourced. Why not make the Fish food pledge at the same time?

How do you know if I really do my Do Action?

We don’t, but your colleagues, friends or family probably will. And you’re making your commitment to them and to your company, not to us.

They will probably have a good idea if you’re being honest about your actions.

A bit of gentle peer pressure goes a long way…

What happens if I don’t fulfil my pledge?

You tell us. After two months you’ll be asked to return to the site to confirm how you got on; at that stage you can simply say that you weren’t able to complete it. If that’s the case, your carbon savings won’t be added to your company’s total.

Lots of people don’t complete the actions, a lot of them are easier said than done, so there’s no need to feel bad about it. We’d just love to hear what got in the way and made it tough!

ROCs (renewable obligation certificates) - what are they?!

Electricity generators are given Renewable Obligation Certificates for electricity they produce from renewable sources.The UK government has set an obligation for all electricity suppliers to produce a set proportion of their electricity from these renewable sources; the exact proportion increases year on year – from 3% in 2002/03 to 11.1% in 2010/2011. This obligation is met by electricity producers when they present their Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

ROCs can be traded separately from electricity, and so if a producer falls short on renewables production they can buy additional ROCs from other suppliers who have produced excess.

The economics of it get complicated, but in short this means that some of the ‘greenness’ of a green producer is sold off to other producers, and so by simply switching to a green energy supplier you don’t suddenly become carbon neutral. It’s still a great thing to do nonetheless.

If you want to find out a bit more, head over to Ofgem’s website.

Can I edit my pledge once I've made it?

Unfortunately not. At the moment it's not possible to go back and edit your pledges - but it is something we are working on for the future!

Setting Up a Programme

What’s the optimum length programme?

That depends on your aims, how you plan to use Do Nation, and the type of programme you’re going for.

Pro programmes are ideal for one off events, such as green weeks and sustainability workshops, and so one month’s subscription is often plenty.

However, Do Nation can also be a great tool for an ongoing employee engagement programme, helping you to integrate communications, community, and measurement around your sustainability strategy over time.

If this is more what you’re after, we’d recommend running a competition through our Plus package over the year, adjusting your prioritised Do Actions throughout the year to fit with your seasonal activities.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on how many employees you have and on how long you want to run your programme for. You can see our prices here.

How do you take payment?

We will issue an invoice and send it over to you.

How much warning do I have to give to cancel our subscription?

You can cancel your subscription at any time. Once you cancel your subscription your page(s) will stay live until the end of that billing month (i.e. if you signed up on 16th January, your billing month is 16th Jan - 15th Feb and so on, and so if you cancelled on 28th June your pages would stay live until 27th July).

At this time, your programme will be closed, meaning people will no longer be able to make new pledges for it. Employees will still receive their reminder and confirmation emails, and will be able to confirm how they got on with their pledge.

Can we pay based on how many people sign up?

The cost is based on how many employees the programme is exposed to, not on how many make pledges. This is simply because we wouldn’t want price to disincentivise you from encouraging maximum uptake and impact.

Many companies also prefer to know what they are going to pay up front, so we like to keep it simple and predictable.

Why can’t I change our selected Do Actions?

Once you’ve launched your programme, you can still move actions between selected and prioritised, but you are not yet able to move them into or out of the unselected category.

We have designed it this way initially to keep the user journey simple for you and your employees, and to make sure that the reports we produce for you are accurate and unbiased. However, we are constantly reassessing these features and will keep you posted as they develop and change.

Will our programme and pledges still be accessible once I cancel our subscription?

Yes. When you cancel your subscription your programme will be closed, meaning people will no longer be able to make new pledges for it.

However, your pages will still be available so that employees will continue to receive their reminder and confirmation emails, and will be able to confirm how they got on with their pledge. This also allows you to return later to pull data for any CSR or sustainability reporting purposes.

Do you provide prizes for winning teams?

No, I’m afraid we don’t provide prizes for winning teams.

Rewards can greatly incentivise pledges and we do recommend each company consider how they might be able to integrate them into their programme. Many of our clients have offered small prizes at the end of each month, e.g a cake or a bit of extra budget for the winning team’s social kitty.

However, this this does vary for each company and so is not something we provide as part of the platform.

How do I cancel my programme?

If you’d like to cancel your programme at any point, you can simply contact us through your direct contact or our contact us page, and we'll take it down for you.

We’d be sorry to see you go and would love to hear your feedback if you do decide to cancel

What happens once I’ve cancelled our subscription?

When you cancel your subscription your programme will be closed (at the end of that billing month), meaning people will no longer be able to make new pledges for it.

However, your pages will still be available so that employees will continue to receive their reminder and confirmation emails, and will be able to confirm how they got on with their pledge. This also allows you to return later to pull data for any CSR or sustainability reporting purposes.

How do i become a 'Doer of the Month' and win Ben & Jerry's?

To celebrate our most enthusiastic and inspirational Doers, every month we reward the person or team who collects the most pledges with a year's supply of Ben & Jerry's*!

There are few terms and conditions that apply to this and you can see them all here:

1. Doers will be entered into the running for Doer of the Month in the month that they completed their challenge or event.
2. The winner is the Doer who raised the most pledges that month from the most people. In the case of a draw, the Doer whose sponsors saved the most carbon will be the winner.
3. *A year’s supply is 24 vouchers for 500ml tubs of Ben & Jerry’s at £4.49. Vouchers are valid for 6 months.
4. By winning the prize you agree for your photo, first name and challenge details to be shared on Facebook and Twitter by Do Nation and Ben & Jerry’s
5. To be eligible to win, you must:

• Be 18 years old or over.
• Be an individual or team of less than 5 people
• Not have created your campaign page as part of a Pro or Plus paid campaign on Do Nation.
• Not be Employed by Ben & Jerry’s or Do Nation
• Have received pledges from at least ten different people.
• Must live in The UK or Northern Irleand

6. The partnership between Ben & Jerry’s and Do Nation starts from July 2013. Unfortunately, Doers who have won Doer of the month before this date are not eligible.


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