Since 2019, we have focused our efforts on reducing the travel footprint related to X-IFU meetings

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The climate crisis requires urgent action from all parts of society, including the scientific community. Developing international projects necessarily has an environmental impact. As such, the X-IFU Consortium has its role to play to reduce it, without impacting the quality of our research.

Our environmental commitments

The X-IFU Consortium strives to limit its environmental impact. Since 2019, we have focused our efforts on reducing the travel footprint related to X-IFU meetings.

  • Reduce the number of physical consortium meetings (from twice to once a year);
  • Make the best use of people’s travels by organizing side-meetings and thus reduce the need for additional travels;
  • Select the site of minimum emission for physical meetings;
  • Switch to virtual meetings when possible;
  • Raise the awareness of its members.

We are already looking into strengthening our environmental commitments and planning the next steps. There is a growing support in the scientific community for such initiatives and we are hoping that our experience will encourage others, individuals and organisations, to take actions as well.

Life Cycle Analysis of the X-IFU

In 2021, the X-IFU Consortium kicked-off a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the instrument in order to get a better picture of the environmental impacts (e.g., water or resource consumption, CO2 emissions, etc.) related to its development.

A Life Cycle Analysis is a comprehensive assessment where all life phases of a system are considered, from the extraction of resources needed to build it to its end of life. The ultimate goal of this LCA is to define efficient and feasible actions to reduce the environmental impacts of the X-IFU development. A final report will include recommendations to achieve this objective.

The travel footprint calculator

X-IFU’s Principal Investigator, Didier Barret, has developed a travel footprint calculator to help the scientific community reduce its environmental impact. It was first tested for travels to X-IFU meetings as a way to better understand the exact travel footprint of the Consortium. As an international partnership, with members based on three continents, involving a lot of travels, it was an ideal testing ground.

Thanks to this tool, it was estimated that the yearly travel footprint of the Consortium was around 500 tons of Co2-eq. Our objective is to halve this amount. It has also allowed us to evaluate the site of minimum emissions for the organization of future meetings. With these data, we can better select the next location to gather our consortium members.

The travel footprint calculator is free to use here.

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