Sustainability and future accelerators, challenge or opportunity?

by Roberto Losito (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


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This summer of extreme meteorological events in many regions of the world has raised more and more attention to the impact of human activities on the planet, and urges us, as responsible scientific community, to minimise the impact of our possible future accelerator projects. Comparing the value that those project will bring to society with respect to the resources that we will use shall have to become a standard way of thinking and designing our future facilities. To put things in context, the United Nations have defined, though a collaborative process involving, among alia, also CERN, an “agenda 2030”,  through the establishment of 17 so-called “Sustainable Development Goals”, that constitute a guideline to all countries of objectives to be fulfilled by 2030. CERN is fully committed to those goals, as respecting them will, to quote UN definition, “ensure that progress and prosperity occur in harmony with Nature”.
Rather than being a burden to development as some fear, the SDGs must be seen as an opportunity: a new way of thinking will bring new ideas, and become the source of significant savings when taking into account the full lifecycle of a large infrastructure.
CERN is working in this direction since years already, for instance keeping under careful control the use of electricity, and is committed to leverage its technologies for both the benefit of society and to reduce the impact of future projects.
In this talk I will briefly introduce the context and the several initiatives and panels at CERN approaching the SDGs from different perspectives, and provide some insight of the panel for Sustainable Accelerators, recently established to seize the opportunity to harmonise the approach of projects and activities with respect to sustainability, and promote a new culture of adopting sustainability as one of the main parameters for the design of new accelerators.

Coffee served at 10:30am.

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