The Chair’s Policy on Minimizing Environmental Impact

Researchers contribute to a particularly high degree of carbon emissions, especially by using air transport to travel to conferences. This also means that academics cannot expect to be taken seriously in the debate on climate change if they do not themselves implement the measures they propose. We have to put our own house in order first if we want others to listen and to engage in activities of climate protection.

As researchers with a global orientation, engaging in international projects, it is impossible to completely avoid all negative environmental impacts emerging from air travel. Some travel may simply be unavoidable in order to carry out data gathering field research.

We strive to drastically reduce and minimize our environmental footprint while successfully accomplishing our research activities. In particular, the chair applies an extremely strict policy to reduce air travel. To achieve this goal, we rely on the following measures:

  • Conference attendance at transatlantic locations is reduced to highly exceptional cases, in which there is an extraordinary professional interest in attending the meeting.

  • Air travel to European locations will be kept at a minimum. Strong priority will be given to conferences and workshops that can be reached by train. 

  • For the attendance of conferences and workshops, the chair provides incentives to rely on train travel by refunding first class tickets.

  • The chair will also strictly try to reduce air travel when inviting guest speakers and visitors. 

  • If air travel is unavoidable, the chair will compensate negative environmental impacts via donations to certified organizations engaging in neutralizing carbon emissions through investments in climate protection projects. 

  • The chair will report yearly its carbon dioxide emissions emerging from air travel.