Gope, UK

I’ve always been conscious of climate issues but it wasn’t until I saw Flight Free UK on BBC Breakfast in August 2019 that I realised the huge environmental impact of flying. After doing some research online I decided to take the Flight Free 2020 pledge. 

From a personal point of view this was quite a challenge because in my spare time I do triathlons and my training was always in places like the south of Spain or Lanzarote. This year I went to the Lake District and Wales. Yes it’s colder and the roads aren’t as good, but the UK mountains and lakes are as beautiful as anywhere in the world in my opinion. There are some stunning parts of the UK that I was not aware of up until last year – it’s a real shame it took me this long to find out about them.

Work-wise, I run an IT consultancy, Data Kraken. We’ve always had processes in place to minimise unnecessary travel, like high-quality cameras & microphones and digital whiteboards etc so we can hold effective meetings and training online without losing business hours travelling between clients. Covid has meant businesses are having to adapt to this new way of working but based on my experience of working for Blue Chip companies for 16 years, I strongly believe a large majority of business flights are ultimately unnecessary. 

Data Kraken is also going flight free in 2021. That doesn’t mean all of the staff will be flight free in their personal lives (albeit we will be encouraging staff to do this), but from a business perspective, none of our team will be flying for any business purposes. Bearing in mind we’ve got staff and clients in three continents, it could be a challenge but based on the fact that due to Covid we did no business flights in 2020, the team is certainly motivated by this initiative in 2021.

Gope Walker
Oxford, UK

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