AYA supports climate statement

Soon to come: AYA Guide for Sustainable Meetings

We, as members of the Amsterdam Young Academy, are worried about the threat of a changing climate to the world we live in. We warmly support the actions that have been taken to demand stronger actions from governments worldwide to combat climate change and are proud of the young people that stand up for their future. Based on current scientific consensus, we share the concern that current measures taken nationally and internationally to mitigate climate change are insufficient, putting the future of young generations at risk. AYA therefore supports the consensus statement initiated by Scientists4Future NL.

It is the mission of AYA to be a bridge between science and society in the city of Amsterdam. We will explore how scientists from different disciplines can collaborate to reduce the negative impact of climate change and promote a healthy relationship with our ecosystem. We intend to engage in our role ‘to inform everyone in society about the basic principles of climate change and to raise awareness of its impacts’. We believe that actions will need to be taken on many levels both locally, nationally and globally, as well as through individuals, governments and companies. AYA will therefore participate in promoting and implementing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to a future climate.

AYA Guide for Sustainable Meetings

An example of how AYA is actively contributing to all of the above, is the AYA Guide for Sustainable Meetings. The project is funded by the AYA grants programme and will be led by AYA member Umberto Olcese. Scientific meeting are an integral part of academic activities, yet have also bear significant ecological footprint. In this project we will develop a guide to organize sustainable meetings, with the goal of reaching the lowest possible footprint that is compatible with achieving the objectives of a proper scientific meeting (for instance sharing knowledge, networking, etc.). The guide will be targeted towards the UvA and VU, but will also be applicable elsewhere. A workshop organized by the Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center will serve as a test case to develop low-footprint options for components of a scientific meeting such as catering and printing. Next, we will develop a full guide, in which we will quantify the reduction in impact that can be achieved by the solutions we will develop, what their financial impact is, and to what extent they affect the quality of a meeting (based on a questionnaire that we will ask participants to fill). Our goal is that the guide will become widely applied at the UvA and VU, and possible beyond!