Being as sustainable and climate friendly as possible, ensuring the carbon neutrality, or even negativity, is one of the goals of the ECRS 2024. For this purpose, a Green Strategy Advisory Board has been established.

The green strategy essentially includes:

  1. measures to avoid and minimise local emissions of climate-altering gases and waste production, wherever possible;
  2. based on a Carbon Footprint study on actual data, offset unavoidable CO2 emissions, particularly those caused by participants’ travel, by investing in carbon offset projects.

Preventive measures to avoid and minimise local CO2 emissions

  • The venue, Città della Scienza, is a recently renovated centre committed to environmental sustainability and equipped with low consumption systems. They will provide data on energy consumption, and the percentage of renewable sources will be considered (it is ~ 1/3 at the national grid).
  • Since the venue is a few kilometres from the centre, where many of the attendees will presumably reside, a local transport plan has been prepared to minimize emissions. The use of the subway will be encouraged by a free shuttle connection between the nearest stop (Bagnoli-Agnano Terme) and the venue, moreover a collective bus service (15 € round trip per day) will be set up from/to downtown area less served by public transport, to avoid any use of taxi. Vehicles will comply with Euro 6 standards. Please note that many accommodation options are also available in Bagnoli, just a short walk from the free shuttle stop, however some use of the subway is inevitable.
  • Catering will be based on the Food for Good project, managed by the food bank network “Banco Alimentare” and the Fair Event organization “Equoevento”, by prioritizing organic and locally sourced products, using compostable materials and glass instead of disposable plastic, redistributing food surplus to local charity organisations following applicable hygiene regulations and in compliance with Italy’s Good Samaritan law (Law 155/2003).
  • ECRS 2024 will also prioritize renewable energy sources and eco-friendly merchandise in the conference kit (conference abstracts will be distributed only digitally).
  • Travel guidelines to minimise environmental impacts are provided.
  • A list of eco labelled accommodations is provided.
  • To encourage participants to adopt sustainable behaviours, a symbolic prize for the most environmentally sustainable participants (divided in categories, e.g., local, national, European, overseas) will be awarded.

Carbon footprint study

The Carbon Footprint study allow the calculation of the unavoidable CO2 release. Carbon Footprint will be based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol,, the most widely used standard for greenhouse gas accounting. The GHG Protocol distinguishes between three areas of greenhouse gas accounting, known as Scopes 1, 2 and 3. Scope 1 emissions are the direct emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuels in a company’s own plants and buildings or using vehicles. Scope 2 emissions include indirect energy-related emissions caused by the supply of electricity and district heating or cooling elsewhere, such as in a power plant. All other emissions are known as Scope 3 emissions. These include all indirect emissions caused by the activities of third parties, such as business travel, waste generation or food consumption. Only Scope 2 and 3 emissions would be included in the calculation of the ECRS Carbon Footprint, since no Scope 1 emissions can be related to these types of events. In particular, for Scope 2, electricity, heating and cooling in conference halls, lounges and other areas will be taken into account, while for Scope 3, travel, public transport, catering, accommodation, waste, additional items (e.g., t-shirts, conference badges, lanyards) will be included.
The greenhouse gases being measured will be, in addition to carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). A preliminary calculation will be possible after the deadline for abstract submission (31 January 2024), when an approximate number of participants will be available with the countries of origin and the means of transport they will presumably use, allowing us to hypothesize the CO2eq emissions due to transports, accommodations, meals, etc. To give a practical example in Scope 3, the emissions for travel to and from Naples could be calculated using the average distance from the country of residence of all participants considering the means of transport used by each participant. In the case of ECRS 2024 Carbon Footprint, where appropriate, CO2 emission factors specifically for the Italian context will be applied (e.g. the Italian CO2 emission related to electricity generation was 253 gCO2/kWh in 2020).

Offsetting of the CO2 emissions

While we will do everything possible to reduce emissions, we will adopt solutions to offset the unavoidable ones. Based on the ICRS 2022 experience in Bremen, where approximately 1.42 unavoidable tons CO2eq/person were generated, we have made a preliminary calculation. As a precaution, we considered 1.5 tons CO2eq/person and 800 in person participants (including volunteers and staff), obtaining approximately unavoidable 1’200 tons CO2eq. Considering the latest carbon prices for nature-based offset on the voluntary carbon market (VCM) is about 1 €/ton (, we will have to allocate 1,200 € for carbon offsetting. To the purpose, as a preventive measure, we included to the registration fees for onsite participants 10 € (+VAT) to be specifically allocated to offsetting CO2eq emissions. Based on at least 600 pay participants, we should have 6,000 € allocated for this action, i.e. a sufficient margin to secure an overall neutral event by investing in carbon offsetting projects.
Among the different types of carbon offsetting projects, our choice is certified blue carbon projects, like the protection and restoration of mangroves and coastal swamp forests in Borneo, Indonesia, one of those chosen for ICRS 2022. Although less common and more expensive, these projects can be very effective (e.g., mangroves store 10x more carbon than terrestrial forests) and may provide multiple benefits like protecting coastlines from storms, sea-levels rise and shoreline erosion, regulating water quality and providing habitat for fish, ensuring food security and livelihoods for local communities. As neutrality is achieved, the remaining funds will be allocated to further initiatives like environmental education, ocean literacy, separate marine waste collection, and marine citizen science, recognizing the role of these actions as essential for circular blue economy and sustainable development. Among the many possibilities on the market, our green strategy advisory board is selecting a portfolio of certified blue carbon offsetting projects, based on their effectiveness and reliability, to be then chosen by the scientific committee once the extent of the unavoidable CO2 release and the available budget are known.


  • A preliminary study assessing the Carbon Footprint, to be presented at the end of the ECRS 2024 based on previous experience, local features and expected participation;
  • A final technical report assessing the carbon footprint of the ECRS 2024, based actual conference and participants data, included a travel survey, will be released within 6 months of the conference.