PROGRESSBelow we’d like to share special moments, celebrate personal highlights and reflect on the progress made at ETH.
Sustainability at D-PHYS
It must be an incredible feeling when you cross that finish-line after running a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon. And actually, the progress I want to share with you is not a finish-line, either. It’s rather a milestone in the journey towards sustainability of the ETH physics department. During FS20, I was part of a working group in D-PHYS that produced a document thoroughly analysing our CO2 footprint and making suggestions for improvement. It was inspiring to hear how strongly some of our professors, technicians etc. do care about sustainability. How much time and energy they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of making a change, even if they’d rather be doing the research they love.
Please read this article I wrote about our work. And return to this page to read about the further progress we make in HS20.
The course has been set. The physics department officially endorsed the 47 page CO2 analysis and guideline document which I presented in a previous post in the departmental conference last Friday (2. October). There were no major objections and the document received a 85% majority support. However, this success will be purely symbolic until we actually put the guidelines into practice. Therefore, we physics students at SSC are rolling up our sleeves together with a handful of professors and the D-PHYS communication staff. Our first project is a communication campaign with the immediate aim of making the content of the document known to students and staff as well as the long-term ambition of kicking off a cultural change at our department. Stay tuned for details!
Let’s change our travel behaviour. This step has one of the biggest potentials to limit the greenhouse gas emissions produced by employees and students of ETH Zürich in the near future.
Avoiding the airplane is, however, generally perceived as restricting international network building and making it harder to keep up personal relationships. Thus, the prospects of reduced or more sustainable mobility are often received with a fear of loss of academic quality.
This article aims to reassure that this does not have to be the case. In the first part, we will give you the necessary numbers and figures to understand the importance of a comprehensive mobility strategy in the development of a sustainable university. Then, we will describe the advantages and challenges of low-emission solutions for necessary international meetings. At the end, we provide a short list of tips to support readers who are willing to take action and build a more sustainable and responsible academic career.
What a delicious email. The email@example.com newsletter just arrived in my inbox confirming that from 14. September onwards, we will have the option of using reCircle Tupperware in nearly all* canteens and restaurants on our campus. Even three food trucks are joining the movement! If you buy a takeaway meal, you are no longer forced to use a single-use plastic container destined for the rubbish bin. Instead you can choose to enjoy your meal in a smart-looking purple reBox. Please make that choice.
This step is part of the on-going catering Climate Program and was not easy to achieve: I remember the surprising resistance we faced during Climate Program workshops over a year ago. So again, please make that choice. A choice leading away from our current throw-away society towards a more circular economy.
*Let’s convince RiceUp to join as well! Why don’t you sneak in a “Can I use a reBox, please?” next time you have lunch there. 😉