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An open-source tool to assess the carbon footprint of research

Abstract : Research institutions are bound to contribute to greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction efforts for several reasons. First, part of the scientific community's research deals with climate change issues. Second, scientists contribute to students' education: they must be consistent and role models. Third the literature on the carbon footprint of researchers points to the high level of some individual footprints. In a quest for consistency and role models, scientists, teams of scientists or universities have started to quantify their carbon footprints and debate on reduction options. Indeed, measuring the carbon footprint of research activities requires tools designed to tackle its specific features. In this paper, we present an open-source web application, GES 1point5, developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientists from several research labs in France. GES 1point5 is specifically designed to estimate the carbon footprint of research activities in France. It operates at the scale of research labs, i.e. laboratoires, which are the social structures around which research is organized in France and the smallest decision making entities in the French research system. The application allows French research labs to compute their own carbon footprint along a standardized, open protocol. The data collected in a rapidly growing network of labs will be used as part of the Labos 1point5 project to estimate France's research carbon footprint. At the time of submitting this manuscript, 89 research labs had engaged with GES 1point5 to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions. We expect that an international adoption of GES 1point5 (adapted to fit domestic specifics) could contribute to establishing a global understanding of the drivers of the research carbon footprint worldwide and the levers to decrease it.
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Contributor : Olivier Berné Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:24:42 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 2:22:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 6:12:18 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03113016, version 1
  • ARXIV : 2101.10124


Jérôme Mariette, Odile Blanchard, Olivier Berné, Tamara Ben Ari. An open-source tool to assess the carbon footprint of research. 2021. ⟨hal-03113016⟩



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