The climatic events follow one another, the rate of CO2 in the atmosphere does not stop increasing, the hottest years follow one another. It is no longer time to demonstrate, the evidence is there. It is now time to act. Aware that it is everyone's duty to work towards this goal, at the end of 2021 Epicentre committed itself to a process aimed at reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. To achieve its goals, Epicentre is supported by the NGO Climate Action Accelerator which helps organizations identify and implement solutions.
The first step was to calculate Epicentre's carbon footprint. In 2019, reference year, Epicentre's carbon footprint was 3891 tonnes CO2eq. To meet the targets set, Epicentre's footprint needs to be 1,945 tCO2 e in 2030.
The Climate and Environment Roadmap sets out 24 concrete solutions - excluding any recourse to carbon offsets - to achieve this trajectory of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 50% and optimising its waste management by 2030.
These solutions were selected on the basis of their impact in terms of GHG and the environment, the effort required to implement them and their compatibility with Epicentre's activities.
89% of the footprint is due to three sources of emissions:
- Staff travel, which accounts for 56% of the footprint, with 2179 tCO2e, 81% of which is due to air travel. Air travel accounts for 45.3% of the organisation's GHG emissions*.
- Purchasing with 23% (of goods and services)
- And energy with 10% (energy and fugitives).
As a result, Epicentre is committed to reducing the number of kilometres travelled by air, switching to renewable energies for its infrastructure, implementing stringent environmental purchasing criteria, maximising the shift from air freight to sea freight for the supply of its projects, and reducing and recycling its waste, particularly single-use plastics.
The roadmap also includes an assessment of the human, technical and financial resources required to adapt its business model.
Aligning our activity with sustainable principles cannot be limited to reducing travel or buying locally. The way we conduct research can and must be questioned to reduce its environmental impact.
By looking at our activities through this prism, other solutions should emerge that will complement the 24 listed in the roadmap. We must not fall into the trap of judging the impact of a study solely in terms of its environmental footprint, but rather weigh it up against the study’s other benefits.