EHPS 2022 Sustainability Initiative
Below are suggestions on how to reduce the environmental impact of the conference as individuals and a community.
More details are available in a recent publication of the special interest group in Equity, Global health, and Sustainability on “How to make EHPS conferences more climate-friendly” accessible here: https://ehps.net/ehp/index.php/contents/article/view/3390/1273
Around 200 delegates will attend the EHPS conference remotely this year, which will enable us to pilot a hybrid model of the conference and get feedback from the EHPS community. Those attending in person may want to consider the travel options below. The geographical position of Bratislava makes it ideal to try other options than air travel.
- Carbon footprint: See how much CO2 you can save by switching to ground travel instead of flying where this is possible: EcoPassenger or TravelClimate. If flying is unavoidable, choosing the most direct flight to the nearest airport on the continent and taking a train to Bratislava should reduce emissions.
- Trains: These travel search engines may assist in searching and booking a train to Bratislava: Seat 61, Omio, German Railway, Trainline, Rail Europe, NightJet-Trains
- Cycling: The EuroVelo network connects Bratislava with many other cities via cycling paths (routes 6, 9, or 13).
- Ferry from Vienna to Bratislava: CityLiner
- Carpools: From some destinations the best idea would be to fill up a car. Talk to your colleagues or lab-mates if this could be an option.
- The best way to get around Bratislava is by foot or using public transport which is generally cheap and reliable (https://imhd.sk/ba/public-transport)
The locations of the conference venues have been chosen to make it easy to walk between them for most people, with the farthest one being Comenius University’s auditorium at 1000 meters from Crowne Plaza. Booking accommodation close to the city centre reduces commuting.
All catering services are advised to avoid single-use plastics and source their ingredients as locally as possible. Lunch will be served as a buffet at the hotel to reduce waste and packaging. Our goal is to serve all food and drink on ceramic plates and in glasses.
Lunches for delegates attending meetings during lunchtime will be packed as eco-friendly as possible.
Tap water in Bratislava is of good quality, and there are drinking fountains available around the city. We will provide a number of reusable glass bottles to participants, but everyone is also welcome to bring their own bottles.
We have planned one completely plant-based lunch menu on Thursday (all meals will have plant-based options, but this one will be completely plant-based). If the response is positive, EHPS may try more plant-based lunches at the next conference.
Conference bags and other material
We have purchased conference bags specifically designed to be reusable (non-obtrusive branding), and as multi-purpose as possible. We will reduce the number of printed copies of the conference program, and the abstract books will be published online only. Delegates will be asked to leave their conference name badges at the site to be re-used. We have given special attention to reducing waste in terms of paper or plastic pens.
Contact us with further ideas
If you have any further ideas on how to reduce the environmental impact of the conference or tips for other delegates on how to travel more sustainably (e.g. planning bike journeys, or taking the train), tag us on Twitter to share them!
#sustainableEHPS & Special Interest Group @Ehps4G