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Environment and Health –
Bridging South, North, East and West
Conference of ISEE, ISES and ISIAQ
Basel, Switzerland 19 – 23 August 2013

Green Conference & Sustainability Initiatives

We aim to minimize the environmental impact and footprint of all of our conference activities. We make all efforts to run a conference that respects the environment to the extent possible. Our goal is to host a completely carbon neutral conference.

Read more about our vision of a green(er) scientific conference (August Editorial in Environmental Health Perspectives by Künzli, Ragettli and Röösli)

Carbon neutral conference

We aim to achieve a carbon neutral conference by implementing measures of CO2 reduction and CO2-compensation. Various measures are taken to reduce the carbon emissions of all of our conference activities such as catering, travels to Basel, accommodation and conference materials. Unavoidable CO2 emissions will be compensated by calculating the CO2-footprint (including travels to Basel) after the conference. The CO2 compensation is an inherent part of the budgeting/sponsoring, thus will be guaranteed, including all travels from all participants. There is no need to compensate your travel to Basel individually.

Partner of CO2-compensation

Our partner for the CO2-compensation is South Pole Carbon. The Swiss company is a leading developer of climate action solutions, with footings on all continents. The Best Project Developer 2011 and 2012 (Environmental Finance) developed emission reduction projects in more than 20 countries, with an overall portfolio of more than 200 contracted projects in the field of renewable energy, forestry, and energy efficiency. South Pole Carbon only works with established procedures guaranteeing the highest quality, transparency, and sustainability. Learn more at

Supported projects

We will buy emission certificates from South Pole Carbon corresponding to the conference’s CO2-footprint. Two Gold Standard projects will be supported that aim to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve the quality of live of the local population. 

Energy from waste gas in China

Efficient cooking stoves in Uganda

Sustainability Initiatives

To minimize the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the conference, the local organ­izing committee has established an envi­ronmental working group and adheres to a range of strategies and policies, including:

Reducing the carbon footprint by

  • Reducing travels
    • Ask invited key-note speakers with no inherent scientific inter­est in the rest of the conference to join by video presentation
    • Encourage international research networks to piggy-back their annual meetings before/after the Conference
  • Reducing carbon emissions of journeys to Basel
    • Support travelling to Basel by public transport
    • Provide information on how to find the best travel route with the lowest CO2 emissions to Basel
  • Providing only seasonal and organic food from regional pro­ducers, with a strong preference for vegetarian options
  • Recommending hotels based on in-house environmen­tal policies and proximity to the conference venue
  • Reducing printed materials and promoting the electronic distribution of information about the conference
  • using environmental friendly conference materials such as bags and name tags
  • Strategies to minimize trash and maximize recycling
  • Discussing with all professional partners contributing to the conference about strategies and options for environmentally friendly solutions, where available.

Social Responsibility

  • We searched for sponsors who are known to follow sustainable guidelines
  • Information on green activities such as city tours and sport activities in Basel will be provided
  • We try to dismantle barriers to accessibility that can result from unequal circumstances such as physical limitations (e.g. restricted mobility) and social differences (social status and nationality).

The environmental working group consists of people from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and external experts from the University of Basel (Sustainability Office) and private companies.

We build on strategies that we received from previous conferences. If you have additional new ideas, please send a note to Martina.Ragettli[at]unibas[dot]ch, chair of the Green Conference team.

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