This Declaration is not legally binding and aligns with the European Green Deal objectives1, recognising the need to foster sustainability in all sectors, including research. It has been developed by the following projects funded under the Green Deal Call: ALTERNATIVE, LIFESAVER, PANORAMIX, PROMISCES, SCENARIOS and ZeroPM.
Specifically, we recognise the need to significantly shift:
✓ mobility habits towards low-carbon-emission2
✓ food consumption patterns towards plant-based diets3
✓ resource consumption towards waste reduction and circular economy4
By crafting a compelling and motivating experience for project participants, collaborators, and local food and service providers that fulfil these criteria, we can contribute to the intended societal impact. This influence might extend to future scientific projects and even shape broader societal behaviors.
We commit to using European Green Deal Research funding along the following principles and guidelines to reduce our environmental impact, promote circular economy practices, and contribute to the achievement of climate neutrality:
- Travel and Office-Work
- Virtual attendance: We take advantage of virtual attendance options for meetings as often as possible, thereby reducing the need for travel.
- Public transportation: We encourage using low-emission modes of transport (public transportation, cycling, walking) when travel is unavoidable.
- Rail travel over flights: We use rail travel over flights when total travel time (door-to-door) using rail connections is not more than 8 hours. For longer rail travel, we opt for rail travel whenever feasible considering the use of sleeping cars within night trains. If we do not have experience with sleeping cars, we test them at least once to decide if this is a comfortable option.
- We support home office work within our institutions as far as technically and institute policy possible, to reduce energy consumption related to daily commuting and possibly additional energy and resource needs for the office.
- We avoid unnecessary use of energy, e.g., by avoiding long-time use of standby modes and switching of personal computers, or monitors and lights, when not in use and by optimising temperature regulation within the office in winter and summertime to improve the balance between energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
- Planning of Project Conferences and Meetings
- Virtual attendance options: Provide virtual attendance options for meetings, thereby reducing the need for travel.
- Reduce the need for air-travel by giving preference to meeting places that allow rail travel for most participants.
- Minimise resource consumption: Provide digital copies of meeting agendas, presentations, and materials instead of paper handouts. If printing is necessary, use recycled paper and print on both sides. Avoid excessive packaging for materials and project merchandise.
- Raising awareness and education: Include, where possible, one scientific presentation (possibly online) about the environmental impact of the various Green Deal measures agreed in this Declaration. Broader environmental awareness sessions or workshops could be optional and for larger events (i.e. conferences, summer schools, etc.).
- Food during Meetings and Travels, as far as financed by EU GD projects
- Plant-based menus: In order to reduce the environmental impact of food production, we finance with the EU GD project money only plant-based or vegetarian menus. Among the options for plant-based or vegetarian menus, we prioritise plant-based options.
- Local, seasonal, organic: We offer food options that are locally sourced, seasonal, and organic to reduce the carbon footprint associated with food production and transportation.
- Minimise food waste: We implement strategies to minimise food waste, such as accurate planning, small dishes at the buffet and safe redistribution of leftover food.
- Avoid single-use utensils: We avoid single-use plastics in catering, opting for reusable, recyclable, or compostable alternatives.
- Circular Economy
- Waste prevention and recycling: We implement waste prevention measures and promote recycling in all project activities.
- Reuse of equipment and materials: We promote the reuse of equipment and materials among project partners to minimise waste.
- We support within our institutions the purchasing of energy-efficient equipment for our projects and contracting sustainable energy supply at institutional level.
This Declaration is not legally binding but serves as a testament to our shared commitment to sustainability and the European Green Deal.
Read more about the LIFESAVER project here.