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Upby2 Campaign by cBalance Solutions

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A campaign encouraging residents of cities to turn up the AC temperature by 2 degrees in commercial spaces to reduce climate change impact.



The Upby2 campaign engages student members of environmental clubs in colleges to galvanize citizens’ rights to be "thermally comfortable" while directly participating in avoiding emission of Greenhouse Gases that warm the atmosphere and cause Climate Change.

A campaign encourages occupants of air conditioning spaces or operators of AC systems to turn up the AC temperature by 2 degrees and help achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees as agreed upon by the UNFCCC at COP15. The campaign is organized through collegiate environmental clubs already prevalent in India and used social media based communication tools and platforms to document action and mobilize actors.

What actions do you propose?

A. Organizing of College-Level Campaigns to reduce energy consumption from ACs

People while spending time at public commercial spaces - cafes, restaurants, bars, book shops, cinema halls, malls, salons, banks etc. are often thermally uncomfortable due to the propensity of commercial establishments to set ACs at 18 to 20 degrees due to misconceptions or inadequate exposure to adaptive thermal comfort concepts for tropical climates. The campaign creates an incentive-based system which provides compelling reasons for occupants of these spaces to voice their preference for lesser cooling by asking management of commercial establishments to have the AC thermostat setting turned “up by 2” degrees.  These actions are documented by video, noting contact details of the respective managers/employee who turned up the AC by 2 so as to enable random sampling based verification of actions by campaign managers. Participants of campaigns report their upby2 actions facebook and twitter groups created for college-level campaigns by informing their up by 2 act along with exact details-place , time, the name and contact details of the concerned manager or supervisor they spoke to.  Also, the video shot by them will be posted.

Each such upby2 act earns participants ‘virtual carbon credits’ based on kgs of CO2 equivalents avoided through reduced energy consumption from ACs operating at a higher temperature set-point. Measurability, reportability and verifiability (MRV) is achieved through statistically significant random sampling of upby2 actions by contacting commercial locations where actions occurred to confirm claims of upby2 actions at the place and time reported by the participant.

Competitiveness amongst participants in college level campaigns is incentivized through accumulation of ‘virtual carbon credit’ points for each participant; each campaign leading to identification of winners who are rewarded through prizes offered by sustainable product manufacturers/retailers in the region who perform the role of campaign sponsors.

Upby2 Campaigns will be dovetailed into:

a) annual competitions operated by Campus Environmental Clubs during peak summer months when Air Conditioner use is most conspicuous and peak-usage related power cuts are most visible and part of the collective consciousness of citizens

b) made part of carbon offsetting projects that are undertaken by carbon-neutral college fests which are gradually proliferating amongst campuses in India. Pilot instances of these campaigns as informal but MRV-compliant ‘offsetting’ mechanisms for college festival carbon footprints have already been conducted by cBalance in India.

B.  Corporate Thermal Comfort Policies Campaign

Working directly with large corporations and industry associations as well as policy advocacy bodies to establish AC thermostat and associated workplace dress code policies to enable corporate offices in the city to operate at an optimum level temperature without supplementary comfort issues.

The campaign encourages companies to allow office employees to forgo formal attire in favour of casual outfits so they can feel comfortable at the office, as well as in public and commercial facilities.

The campaigns will engage with HR departments in large corporations to officially declare and adopt these altered dress code policies, altered facility management rules to promote higher thermostatt temperature settings.  The campaign will also assist companies by creating toolkits for quantifying and self-reporting energy and GHG emission savings as a result of these interventions.

The campaign for corporate entities will include holding workshops with industry bodies (eg. NASSCOM for IT Companies in India), and individual corporate offices in 8 large Indian cities. These will be held at the beginning of the programme to stimulate the interest and impart vital information related to the benefits of climate-appropriate thermostat settings and dress code policies to achieve significant energy savings from cooling at virtually zero cost to corporate operational expenses.

Who will take these actions?

  • cBalance Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • College Partners (Environmental Clubs)
  • College students affiliated with Environmental Clubs
  • Operators of commercial spaces
  • Large corporations and industry associations

Where will these actions be taken?

Up by 2 is a large campaign to take place all across the region. The campaign is targeted at commercial establishments like retail stores, restaurants, theatres, cafes, banks, shopping malls etc., SMEs and large corporations and industry associations in cities with room AC’s and large cooling systems.

Workshops with cluster consumer corporate entities in different cities will be held at the beginning of the programme to stimulate the interest and impart vital information related to the benefits of climate-appropriate thermostat settings and dress code policies to achieve significant energy savings from cooling at virtually zero cost to corporate operational expenses. These workshops will formally kick off the corporate campaigns in the cities.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

These ‘Upby2’ actions are quantifiable in terms of energy conservation, cost savings, and carbon footprint reduction achieved. Potential energy saving could be in the range of 8-10%.

Location Type                     Carbon Footprint savings/action (kgCO2e)

Coffee Shop                                        0.29

Restaurant                                          0.63

Movie Theatre                                     3.13

Department Store                               2.51

Mall                                                     3.76

Other                                                  1.8







What are other key benefits?

  • Inspire SMEs and corporate management personnel to make sound environmental and economic decisions based on solid evidence for savings.
  • A ripple effect is expected for non-participating SMEs.
  • Reduction of energy usage, thereby reducing costs and GHG emissions
  • Behavioural change and awareness among citizens and commercial spaces

What are the proposal’s costs?

Project Cost Components                                          Cost in Dollar ($)

Admin and Finance officer                                                               60,000

Volunteers for Preliminary Survey and Physical campaign            48,000

Project Manager and Assistants for Project Plan Development     30,000

Content Development                                                                      30,000

Graphic Designer                                                                            15,000

Social Workshop/Seminar/conference Planning                            15,000

Website                                                                                           15,000

Total                                                                                               213,000

Note: Office infrastructure, travelling, IT equipments, resources for workshop/seminar organisation (external consultants/experts, venue, equipments etc.), external partners/consultants and material & printing costs are not included in the above estimated cost.


Time line

1 year for planning and executing the campaign.

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