Our mission is to train scientists. This blog is a platform for us to share updates on our annual programme, tips and tricks for scientists, new e-learning opportunities, and sometimes just something to make you smile.
Deutsche Bahn Event Ticket: Combining Convenience and Sustainability
For many years now, we have been very active in becoming more and more sustainable and “green”. In 2021, EMBL launched its first Sustainability Strategy and since then, multiple departments and teams across the organisation have been working on necessary plans to achieve EMBL’s sustainability objectives.
To name some of those objectives: saving electricity and water by reducing office heating or turning off the hot water in several locations, reducing waste and recycling more, and procuring sustainable materials (office materials as well as lab supplies). In addition, we also rolled out the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) across all of EMBL.
One big challenge: organising sustainable events
One of the main topics for the External Training department is of course organising sustainable events. Many aspects have been tackled already for example moving away from printing abstract books for conferences and thus saving paper, energy and other resources. Abstract books can now be downloaded electronically – and same goes for many other materials, like posters promoting our events as well as various EMBL publications. Whenever something does need to be printed, we are currently looking for alternative sources for paper, for example made out of sweetcorn or grass instead of wood.
The biggest impact on the environment by far has always been the transportation. Attendees travel to our meetings in Heidelberg from all over the word thus in most cases having to take an aeroplane. Since we are offering all of our events now in hybrid format, participants can choose to join virtually, therefore not having to travel and reducing both the environmental impact and the cost! For those flying in – most of them are landing at Frankfurt International Airport. We have now educated and encouraged speakers, trainers, and attendees to get group shuttle busses to Heidelberg instead of arranging for individual pick-ups. This has been widely accepted and is being practiced now by many groups. We have also received positive feedback on this initiative and people are usually happy to share a ride!
New in 2023: Event ticket for all our events for travelling with Deutsche Bahn!
Our latest coup is signing up for a cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, the main train company in Germany to get reduced train tickets for attendees of our events. This so-called “Event ticket” is valid for ALL of our events in 2023. It is valid for train travels within Germany when participating in an EMBL event such as a Conference, Course, Symposium or EMBO Workshops and EMBO Practical Course. Upon providing proof of the event attendance, it is possible to purchase a train ticket at a reduced price, which should hopefully encourage participants from within Germany to take the train instead flying or driving. We are looking forward to seeing the impact of this initiative and hope to see many of you arriving by train!
Are you choosing to go green while travelling? Will you be visiting us by train or a shared ride? Or maybe you are cycling up to get to EMBL? Take pictures on the way and tag @EMBLEvents to share your experience!