Sustainability was one of our main objectives during the congress. Hospitals contribute a great amount to the health of human society, however, they also play a huge role in polluting our planet. Therefore, ISCOMS raised awareness of the impact hospitals have. In the following, we outline how this was done.
Maria Koijck is a Dutch spatial artist, who wants to increase people’s awareness of surgery waste. In 2019 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her breast had to be removed. From the waste that was produced during the operation, she made a piece of art that was shown in the lunch area throughout the congress (see video).
To reduce waste during the congress, we asked all our participants to bring their own water bottles and bags. There was no physical congress bag. However, there was a stand with free sustainable gadgets and there was a possibility to get an ISCOMS bag when you bought merchandise.
Next to this, the book of abstracts (BoA) was online, and also all the poster presentations had to be given on LCD screens to save paper.
Furthermore, the congress was 100% vegetarian, which saved more than 1800 kilos of CO2! Next, we strongly advised our European participants to come by train (see the train map of Europe made by the Green Office of the University of Groningen). If you traveled by plane, you could compensate for your flight by investing in sustainable solar energy, see www.flygrn.com.
In short: travel by train and bring your own water bottle and bag!