Environmental issues, such as the climate crisis, the rapid decrease of biodiversity, and pollution are pressing issues for everyone in the Geoscience community and beyond. Many QGIS users and contributors are geoscientists or geoinformatics specialists. As such, we need to act responsibly and serve as role models. If we act, there is a chance that the members of the general public that are less informed about these issues will also feel the urgency to act and help reduce the impact of human activity on our planet.
QGIS.ORG and the QGIS community are committed to act responsibly regarding their actions and activities where it has any relevant influence on the environment. This includes mainly our server infrastructure and our physical contributor meetings.
The infrastructure provider should run the QGIS.ORG infrastructure with renewable energy. Rented server or cloud resources should be sized according to their expected load. Oversizing of infrastructure resources should be avoided.
Choice of location: when choosing the location for a contributor meeting, the remoteness of the location of the contributor meeting should be factored in. Very remote places where the majority of participants have to fly to should be avoided.
Traveling to the meeting: when feasible, participants should be encouraged to choose more environmentally friendly transport options: preferably trains or buses rather than planes. When choosing transport by car, car pooling should be encouraged. QGIS.ORG has a program allowing contributor meeting participants to ask for travel expenses reimbursement. Efforts to travel with a low-impact means of transportation will be taken into account for travel grant decisions. Conditions for reimbursement of plane tickets :
no reimbursement if alternative train rides with a travel time <= 10 hours exist (12 hours when including a night train connection), even if the train ticket costs more than the airfare.
When the air travel option has to be chosen and the traveller is claiming travel cost reimbursements, the traveller should pay extra for a carbon offset through an accredited carbon offset company. QGIS.ORG will also reimburse this extra cost.
Sample organizations who offer carbon offset: MyClimate, Atmosfair or other comparable organizations.
Remote participation: For participants who cannot attend in person, QGIS.org encourages meeting’s organizers to enable remote participation through scheduled discussions and video conferencing.
Catering: Local organizers should organize the catering in an environmentally friendly way as much as possible. Local food should be preferred over food that requires significant transportation. Reusable tableware, cups and cutlery should be preferred over disposable single-use options as they are generally considered to be more friendly to the environment. Meeting attendees should be encouraged to bring their own drinking bottle and event organisers should be requested to promote using potable water from the water mains system, or if that is not suitable, a ‘drinking fountain’ that can be used to fill up water containers without generating large amounts of plastic waste.
Smoking and e-cigarettes: second-hand intake of nicotine-based products are hazardous to health and create an unpleasant environment for non-consumers when done near them. Be respectful and do not use these products in doorways or other common areas outside where non-smokers gather. Organizers should rather provide a designated smoking area and request that smokers and e-cigarette users refrain from smoking elsewhere.