The carbon footprint of an event is the total increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused as a result of the event. The same can be defined for any activity, including your professional or personal activity. To bring it down to a number, carbon footprints are usually measured in some mass of equivalent carbon dioxide (e.g., 1 ton of CO2e). Of course, this indicator is only relevant to the climate crisis, and should not obscure the many other environmental issues that we currently face.
We are happy to announce that the TCS4F manifesto has just been signed by over 100 researchers!
In the month since it was put online, the manifesto has been covered:
Of course, the environment crisis isn't the main problem on anyone's radar right now, but the pandemic is in fact a good opportunity to adapt our practices and think about how they will have to evolve in the future. So please consider spreading the word, mentioning the manifesto to your colleagues and collaborators, and advertising your signature of the manifesto with our badges! There are certainly more than 100 climate-conscious researchers in theoretical computer science on Earth, so we hope to see more signatures in TCS4F's second month of existence!
The question of sustainability in computer science research is also being investigated by other communities. This is a pointer to the initiatives that we are aware of.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. If your conference would like to reduce its carbon footprint, in particular if it has committed to the TCS4F manifesto, then you need to estimate how much CO2 was released in the atmosphere by holding the conference. This is a critical step to understand your environmental impact, seeing how it evolves from one year to the next, and understanding how it varies depending on location. It also allows organisers, if they wish, to buy carbon offsets to compensate the environmental cost of the event.