Academic conferences need environmental policies

CEED researchers are passionate about trying to reduce our environmental impacts. A team of our researchers have recently published a correspondence piece in Nature Ecology & Evolution asking why so few academic conferences seem to have taken actions to reduce their environmental impact. The team consisted of Matthew Holden, Nathalie Butt, Alienor Chauvenet, Michaela Plein, Martin Stringer and Iadine Chadès.

They found that, from a selection of 116 conferences from a range of disciplines and countries, only 9% advertised actions that reduced the environmental impact of the conference, with even fewer (4%) offering options for carbon offsetting.

The ecological disciplines led the way in attempting to reduce the environmental impact of their conferences (and so you would hope), but sustainability paradoxically lags behind (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Frequency of advertised sustainable practices

Figure 1: Frequency of advertised sustainable practices


Holden M, N Butt N, A Chauvenet, M Plein, M Stringer & I Chadès (2017). Academic conferences urgently need environmental policies. Nature Ecology & Evolution

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