In accordance with the reform relating to the new civil service law, c responsible for voluntary sustainable development missions have been appointed within the CRI. These project managers will be responsible for proposing and leading actions aimed at reducing the Centre’s carbon footprint and promoting sustainable development.

The Centre’s 2022 and 2023 carbon footprint is available below

Concerning sustainable development in research, the two expenditure items in research where the carbon footprint is particularly high are air travel and the purchase of computers.

For a little over a decade, more and more members of the academic community have questioned the environmental impact of their research activities, whether individually, or on the scale of a research program or an institution….

Highly emitting practices: airplane flights and computer equipment

The conclusion is unanimous and the concern shared. However, the practices and habits of the world of research are high emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), whether in terms of air travel, experimental devices, buildings and infrastructure, computer equipment and its renewal, receptions at congresses, etc. To observe this, let’s focus on two sources of emissions: air travel and computer equipment.

Outside the world of research and on a global scale, GHG emissions related to air travel are the result of a minority of individuals (11% of the world population took a plane in 2018, 4% for an international flight), which partly explains why they represent only 2% of global emissions. In the world of research, where they are usual, flights are the first source of emissions.

Indeed, business trips are now a constituent part of research activity: conferences abroad, fieldwork or observations in distant countries, research stays, teaching , participation in juries or international research programs. Faster than the train, sometimes cheaper, and allowing access to distant destinations, the plane is often the preferred means of transport for these trips….

Computer hardware is another major area of greenhouse gas emissions and research pollution more generally. It certainly remains a secondary item compared to air travel, the operation of buildings, or particularly heavy scientific equipment in certain disciplines. Nevertheless, the case of computer science is interesting in that it concerns all disciplines and can be apprehended relatively reliably through an individual questionnaire. Finally, it is an area where actions to reduce emissions can potentially be implemented by playing on the rate of renewal of equipment, without necessarily affecting the core of research activities.

Interview with Gilles Bloch of November 17, 2022

7 tips to reduce waste at work

Zero waste in the office – The guide

Keyword glossary

  • Bilan carbone du CRI


    Source: Inserm energy sobriety and exemplarity plan 

    1. Lower the maximum heating temperature to 19°C. drop to 16°C at night and to 8°C when the building is closed for more than 3 days. These provisions do not apply to specific rooms whose use requires a certain level of temperature.

    2. Reduce heating from 19°C to 18°C and work staggered hours on days with high voltage on the electrical system when the EcoWatt signal is red.

    3. Postpone the start and end of the heating period by 15 days, when possible and when the outside temperature allows it.

    4. Reduce ventilation to the new minimum required and limit air conditioning to rooms where the indoor temperature exceeds 26°C, except for rooms whose use requires a certain level of temperature.

    5. Reduce or even stop the use of domestic hot water in offices and outside uses for which hot water is essential (laundry rooms, pet shops, etc.) when conditions permit.

    6. Cut unnecessary displays and lighting, whether indoors or outdoors (equipment on standby outside working hours, advertisements, lighting on building facades, lights in rooms you leave, etc.).

    7. Switch off the lights at certain times or in unoccupied rooms, reduce the light intensity, switch to LED lighting with automated control (allows between 40 and 80% energy savings from the first months of use).

    8. Encourage carpooling and alternative modes of transport (cycling, public transport, walking).

    9. Take the train rather than the plane for professional journeys of less than 4 hours in accordance with mission note n°DAF/SA/2022 – 005 of February 4, 2022 and take the train or public transport rather than the car when possible.


    10. Optimize the filling of yellow bins. This saves on the bio-waste disposal budget while reducing the amount of yellow bins to be used (that’s less plastic to produce and burn).

    11. There is a collection of certain waste in the basement: batteries, electrical or computer equipment, glass, cardboard, printer ink cartridges, boxes of cones.

  • An investigation into the impact of the world of research on global warming:

    Worried but polluters: a survey of French research staff in the face of climate change



    For several decades, researchers have highlighted the role played by human activities in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and their effects on climate change. climatic. While the academic community is working more than ever on these themes, researchers from several countries have for some years been questioning the environmental impact of their own professional activities. These initiatives were first carried out by scientists specializing in climate and the environment, emphasizing the apparent paradox or even the hypocrisy of polluting as part of their research, while enjoining citizens to change their behavior. In fact, several works have shown that the greenhouse gas emissions of scientists were higher than those of the average population, in particular because of the frequent use of the plane…..

  • Books selection to go further:

    “The Endless World” Comics by Jancovici and Blain, Edition DARGAUD “How Everything Can Fall Apart” by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens
    (Small manual of collapsology for the use of present generations), Edition Terre
    “Humanity in peril. Let’s tack, all! » by Fred Vargas, Edition I Read


    “Another end of the world is possible (Living the collapse and not just surviving it)” by Pablo Servigne, Raphël Stevens and Gauthier Chapelle, Editions du Seuil

    “Climate, crises: The transformation plan for the French economy” Collectif The Shift Project, Edition Odile Jacob

Référents du CRI

Référents d’équipe