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Reducing CO2 footprint of scientific meetings


EMBO would like to promote the reduction in CO2 emissions in order to lessen environmental impact of scientific meetings by encouraging the organisers of EMBO Courses and Workshops to implement, to the best of their abilities, some measures that should keep the CO2 footprint of the course or workshop at a minimum.


We are aware that these measures may neither seem nor be significant on their own, but we do hope that they will create awareness and will help to change many people’s minds and behaviours. Only together can we make a difference to the climate and the future of the planet and our children. We would therefore welcome that organizers encourage debate about this topic at the meeting.


Reducing long-distance air-travel: It is recommended to include at least one remote presentation at the meeting. This should not be given by an additional speaker, but should replace a regular speaker in your programme. The money saved for travel and accommodation (max. 1500€) as a result can be used to cover additional travel grants for participants travelling to the venue by train from the available core budget. Please indicate this in your budget estimate. Please note that this is not a binding requirement for Practical Courses.


Train travel: Encourage speakers and participants to take trains within Europe for distances, for e.g. under 800km or under 6–8 hours of travel time. As above, organisers may use the money saved by introducing remote speakers to offer travel grants or subsidies to participants travelling by train (max €1,500).


Provide catering with lower CO2 impact: Serve vegetarian food preferentially and reduce meat options from the meals. You might consider the following:

  • On at least one day of the meeting only vegetarian food is served.
  • Catering should be served in non-disposable wares.
  • If possible, try to avoid (plastic) bottled water and plastic cups.

Electronic programme and abstract book: Organisers should distribute the abstract book in electronic format via the workshop website and to print only a minimum number of hardcopies, if necessary. Via the EMBO provided meeting web site organisers can export the abstract book in electronic format. This can then be made available, password protected, on the workshop website.


Voluntary CO2 compensations: Organisers may consider collecting voluntary CO2 compensation payments from participants and donate to accredited compensation brokers.


Central locations: Consider venues that are centrally located and easily accessible by public transport.


Plastic-free Badges: Organizers may consider to use paper badges, for e.g. at MeetingLinq (search for Butterfly badges)


EMBO promotional items: EMBO provides notebooks (FSC certified paper), bags (from recycled materials), and pencils for meetings on request. Notebooks are perforated to encourage their continued use after the meeting. You will be contacted prior to the meeting to request your needs.