Responsibility & Sustainability
The Lindau Meetings’ Contributions
By fostering exchange and offering a platform for scientific advancements and solutions for global issues, the Lindau Meetings aim to contribute to an open and inclusive scientific community, societal progress and environmental sustainability.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings build bridges across generations, disciplines and continents. But as with every event and activity, the organisation and realisation of the meetings come with certain negative impacts on the environment. The Council and the Foundation constantly work on improving their own impacts in various ways, as well as on enabling others to do the same.
Compensation for Carbon Emissions
Since 2018, the Lindau Meetings have supported the nearby Degermoos and other marshland renaturation projects to offset carbon emissions caused by the meetings and their participants’ air travel. While recent developments towards more remote and digitalised work have led to reduced CO2 emissions due to travel and resource use, it is our conviction that physically meeting each other is an important part of what makes the Lindau Meetings so inspiring and precious. Offsetting unavoidable future emissions through compensation projects will therefore remain a cornerstone of our commitment to reduce negative environmental impacts.
Therefore, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have decided in 2021 to invest 7,500 € per year in marshland restoration. Using the “Klimaschutzprogramm Bayern 2050” environmental protection grant scheme, this amount is increased every year to 75,000 €. While it is not possible to calculate this precisely, estimates are that the Lindau Meetings thereby overcompensate by about 50% the emissions calculated for a single meeting. The next major project to be realised with these funds is implemented in Degermoos, and it will take several years be to be completed.
Holistic Approach to Environmental Sustainability
Many more single measures contribute to the goal of reducing unwanted impacts on nature. The introduction of IT cloud services recently superseded the use of more energy-intense hard-drives, minimizing indirect emissions and reducing the organisation’s footprint within its possibilities. This is especially relevant as more digitalised work also means increased energy consumption. Reuse, longevity and sustainability of materials and products are a fundamental aspect in the daily work at the council. Furthermore, the Lindau Meetings compensate all CO2 emissions caused by print products through certification.
Another aspect is sustanaible nutrition: at Lindau Meetings, ingredients are organic and regional whenever possible. By sustaining and even increasing this offer at future meetings, we hope to encourage more and more people to consider lower-impact dietary options. A holistic and far-reaching approach to environmental sustainability will remain fundamental for the Lindau Meetings in the future – also, and especially, in a with-/post-Covid-19 world. All these aspects are communicated to our service providers and relevant for the signing of contracts.
Diversity – IDEA Initiative
Responsibility also implies diversity. In this respect the Lindau Meetings could hardly be more international: every year, Nobel Laureates and young scientists from every corner of the world come to Lindau. This diversity is inherent to the meetings, much like the equal and respectful exchange between generations, cultures and individuals. The Lindau Meetings, as well as the people they connect each year – online as much as physically –, stand for an open, just, equitable and inclusive way of living and conducting science together. Gender balance, the support and visibility of woman in science, the regard of special needs of participants and prayer rooms for different religions are a matter of course.
We are constantly working on ensuring these standards and improving the well-being and access of all participants – in close exchange with our community. Following an open letter by a group of Lindau Alumni of the 69th Meeting in 2019, their IDEA initiative (inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility – see also the Lindau blog) is in most parts being implemented into existing concepts for future meetings. In doing so, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings continuously assume their responsibility towards their community, its individuals and society as a whole.
Mission Education and Lindau Initiatives
To spread the ideas from Lindau, the Mission Education and several initiatives from Lindau have been established over the years. Allowing as many people as possible to participate in Lindau’s objectives is manifested in the Lindau Mediatheque – an easily accessible resource on scientific subjects for the general public, especially for students and teachers.