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The Sustainable Conferencing Initiative

Posted by , on 23 July 2021

Hello all! I am Viktoria, the Sustainable Conferencing Officer of The Company of Biologists. I am here to quickly answer some questions about our Sustainable Conferencing Initiative. 

What is the aim of the Initiative? 

As biologists become increasingly aware of their environmental and social impact, questions about the environmental sustainability and social responsibility of our events have become more prominent. The Company of Biologists launched the Sustainable Conferencing Initiative in October 2020 to provide guidance and support on the sustainability of events. Furthermore, acknowledging the changes that the pandemic has brought on virtual communications, we are also here to offer insights into technologies that can be used for virtual and hybrid events. Our main aim is to facilitate the discussion of sustainability issues and innovative technologies in our community. 

How will you share information? 

We have our own website! You can visit sustainability.biologists and browse through our different pages. There is a Blog page where our team publishes pieces of information based on the questions coming from our community, and a Resources page that lists useful links regarding sustainability and innovative technologies. Also, in June our Forum became live. Its purpose is to offer a space to our community where ideas, best practices and questions can be shared, and we can all learn from and help each other. 

Is there another form of support available? 

Sustainable Conferencing Grants are available to fund innovative ideas that enable biologists to collaborate productively while minimising their impact on the environment. We accept applications from organisers of meetings, workshops, conferences, seminars, training events, and a wide range of activities in the fields covered by our journals. The events can be in-person, virtual or hybrid. Moreover, applicants for Scientific Meeting Grants may be awarded an additional £1,000 if they can demonstrate efforts have been made to reduce the environmental footprint of their event. 

How can anyone join the discussion? 

Visit our site to explore the information we share. If you register for an account, you will automatically gain access to our Forum where you can ask questions, offer advice, and engage with the community on sustainability and new technologies issues. You can also join our mailing list to receive our newsletters (we promise no spam emails). 

Furthermore, you can find us on Twitter as @COB_Sustainable  Come join us there and share ideas or questions by using our hashtag #Sustainable_Conferencing. Of course, you can always contact us via email at

We are looking forward to connecting with our community and starting the discussion! 

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