Knowledge for better food systems

Research meetings must be more sustainable

This opinion paper calls for organisers of scientific meetings to adhere to 12 principles to minimise the environmental impacts of the meetings, as outlined in the Cercedilla Manifesto. The principles cover food, transport and careful planning of remote meetings so that they are effective for all participants. The paper emphasises that nitrogen pollution is an often-neglected aspect of food sustainability.

The figure below illustrates the principles of the Cercedilla Manifesto.



Scientific meetings should be organized in the spirit of responsible consumption and production, including the prioritisation of plant-based meals for reduced nitrogen loss. The Cercedilla Manifesto indicates how.



Sanz-Cobena, A., Alessandrini, R., Bodirsky, B.L., Springmann, M., Aguilera, E., Amon, B., Bartolini, F., Geupel, M., Grizzetti, B., Kugelberg, S. and Latka, C., 2020. Research meetings must be more sustainable. Nature Food, 1(4), pp.187-189.

Read the full paper here and view the online petition here. See also the Foodsource chapter What can be done to shift eating patterns in healthier, more sustainable directions? The FCRN runs a discussion group on remote working practices: Working Viral - sustainability by necessity.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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