Sustainable menus at events: nurturing with less impact (part 2)

11 April 2024

At any event food is an integral part of your attendees’ experience. However, managing the impact of food choices is not straightforward in terms of sustainability. In this blog, we look at some more tips to help make the menus at your upcoming events more sustainable. In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this guide.

Our plans for sustainable Workshops in 2024

29 January 2024

As we all continue to manage the challenges of global warming and biodiversity loss, it is important that the events industry embraces new and emerging technologies to play our part in contributing in the fight against climate change.

Last year, The Company of Biologists reinforced our commitment to making our Workshops more sustainable. We are now looking forward to our 2024 Workshop programme and will continue to implement all we have learned last year, as well as explore new ideas that can help mitigate the impact of our events.

Workshops in 2023: our sustainability journey

20 December 2023 

It is known that some organised events can create up to 2400 metric tonnes of CO2/eq, which has a significant impact in accelerating global warming. Every step taken to decrease the carbon impact of the event industry counts in the fight against climate change, and this is something which The Company of Biologists feels strongly about.

This year, we reinforced our commitment to decrease the carbon footprint of our scientific Workshops, working hard to implement new sustainable strategies during the organisation and implementation of our events.

We are excited to share with you some of our achievements from 2023 in tackling the carbon footprint of multiple aspects of our Workshops:

Sustainable transport: one goal, more solutions working together

24 October 2023

Travelling represents the largest carbon impact of an event. It can count for up to 56% of the whole event’s carbon footprint 1, and the impact is significantly higher when international participants use flights to reach the event.

With this in mind, we were delighted to award a Sustainable Conferencing Grant to Dr Serena Stanga who came with a solution that combined technology with alternative travelling, leading to a reduction in travel carbon footprint for her symposium “In pursuit of healthy brain aging: unveiling the biology of novel age-related mechanisms leading to dementia”, which was part of the 20th National Congress of the Italian Society for Neuroscience (SINS) 2.

The Forest of Biologists – an interview with Professor Steven Kelly

24 July 2023
Steven Kelly under an umbrella with trees in the background

The Forest of Biologists was launched on 13 March 2023. We recently caught up with Steven Kelly, Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and former Editor-in-Chief of Biology Open, who planted the seed for this project several years ago.

Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing – new name, but same support

7 March 2024

We are delighted to see that the biology community has been showing their natural creativity by experimenting with different conference models  (Lowell et al. 2022) and we have been very pleased to support some of these experiments with funding through our Sustainable Conferencing Grants.

To signal our enthusiasm for supporting innovation The Company of Biologists have changed the name of our funding scheme to the Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing. Our funding criteria have not changed, so not all funding requests need to be highly innovative, but we especially encourage requests for funding to test new and innovative ways of delivering events, whether these are small changes or big ones.

One recent example of a conference that we supported was the European Society for Developmental Biology meeting in September 2023, which took place across three different regional venues.

A visit to The Forest of Biologists

18 January 2024

Our Publisher Claire Moulton recently visited the two Woodland Trust UK sites where we are planting new native trees for published Research and Review papers and protecting ancient woodland on behalf of our peer reviewers.

Choosing sustainable venues: a guide

28 November 2023

Accommodation and catering often has the second highest environmental impact of an event after transportation 1 2 3 and so choosing a sustainable venue for your event can make a big difference in your environmental impact. Venues are increasingly transparent about their sustainability measures and commitments, and information can be found on their website or by speaking with staff.

So what are the key factors to consider when looking for a sustainable venue?

Sustainable menus at events: nurturing with less impact (part 1)

14 September 2023

Event catering can account for 7-17% of event carbon footprint 1 2 3 . Conferences and scientific workshops play a crucial role in the career development of researchers, helping them to spread awareness about their work and connect with like-minded peers 4. Equally crucial is environmentally friendly practices at these events. Organisers can make a difference with eco-friendly menus and encouraging conscious choices.

But what does it take to build a sustainable menu? This is a guideline on how to build a sustainable menu for your next scientific meeting.

Decolonising and Diversifying Biosciences Education – a focus on inclusivity and sustainability

8 March 2023

By Catherine Mansfield

The symposium ‘Decolonising and Diversifying Biosciences Education’ took place from 19-20 December 2022 at Robinson College, Cambridge. This meeting was organised by Dr Catherine Mansfield, Dr Katharine Hubbard, Dr Tina Joshi and Isaiah Ting, with funding and support from the Society for Experimental Biology.

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