Environmental Policy


Researchers create a particularly large amount of carbon emissions, particularly from flying for travel to conferences. This means that scientists cannot expect to be taken seriously in the debate about the climate crisis, if they do not implement the measures they themselves advocate for others.

As a researcher with international projects and a global focus, it is impossible to completely avoid all the negative environmental impacts of air travel. For example, some trips may simply be inevitable to gather relevant data and conduct field research. We also don't want to miss direct, personal contact with scientists with whom we work.

However, we must strive to drastically reduce our environmental footprint, while continuing to conduct our research and teaching activities successfully. We have discussed this challenge openly in our team, and together we have taken strict measures aimed at reducing air travel and traveling more ecologically as a whole:

We only take part in conferences that take place in transatlantic locations if there is an extraordinary professional interest in participation. An extraordinary professional interest exists if, in addition to the presentation of a (new or significantly revised) paper, other activities are agreed. These might include: the organization of a panel or an event before / after the conference, active participation in a panel discussion, a research meeting with a cooperation partner or Experts as well as interviews or archive visits at the conference location.

We only fly to European locations in exceptional cases. Accepted exceptions include very long distances, extremely inconvenient connections, or time restrictions due to teaching, administrative or other obligations. Conferences and workshops that can be reached by (night) train are generally preferred.

We also reduce air travel when guest speakers and other visitors are hosted. Virtual connections should always be checked as an alternative and, if necessary, given preference.

If air travel is unavoidable, the chair will offset negative environmental impacts by donating to myclimate, a Swiss-certified organization that is committed to neutralizing CO2 emissions by investing in climate protection projects.

We report annually on our carbon dioxide emissions from air traffic.