A Greener Forum

20220828 134233 EFA22 Alpbach in Motion EFA Andrei Pungovschi

10 Aug, 2023


This year’s event in Alpbach will take the Forum’s aspirations to limit its carbon footprint a step further with a comprehensive mobility concept, green meeting standards, and food service that is less harmful for environment and climate.

Serving science has always been fundamental to the European Forum Alpbach (EFA). In the light of the climate crisis – one of the major challenges for humanity – the Forum is committed to actively pursue the scientific solutions at hand. Read on to learn about this year’s endeavours to become green(er).

Mobility: Logistics are always a crucial factor for CO2 -emissions. To help reduce the travel-footprint of our participants, we closely collaborate with the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). Together we make sure that public transport is available at most times and to all EFA venues and participants’ housing: The frequency of busses and shuttles in the region will be higher than usual and aligned with train arrivals and departures in Wörgl. Participants are encouraged to avoid flights and choose taking the train instead of their car. In addition, ÖBB offers discounts on foreign and national travel with the TAN code NN8FYD. Download our TIMETABLE to see how to travel comfortably and fast between the long-distance railway stations, your accommodation, and the village of Alpbach.

Meals: Nutrition and the food systems behind it are crucial to the human impact on planet earth. We know that our excessive consumption of animal products – especially meat – is detrimental to a climate-compatible agriculture. Extensive farming is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters worldwide. Therefore, a sustainable diet is a fairly simple everyday contribution of each and every one to the global fight against a collapsing climate. This is why in 2023, EFA will offer vegetarian and vegan catering options: A mostly plant-based and entirely meat-free gastronomy is part of our efforts at EFA23. We also try to mainly use products from local and regional producers and limit food waste on site. Taste the snacks from the food truck on site and caterings at the social events hosted by EFA. All participants and partner organisations are invited to eat greener at the Forum. For example, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and the Austrian Patent Office joined the initiative. Here’s to inspiring discussions at Alpbach’s lunch- and dinner tables!

Green Meeting: Through committing to the guidelines of the Austrian Eco Label, the European Forum Alpbach is considered a “Green Meeting”. The measures entail a waste management system with strict separation of waste, no possibility of placing printed materials at the sessions, the transition to electronic information via download-links, a reduced amount of give-aways, re-use of materials and the use of eco-labels, organic supplies and fair trade seals. The Congress Centrum Alpbach (CCA) is a Green Building with high energy efficiency and carries the “Austrian Eco Label” for Green Meetings. The building is easily accessible by public transport and within walking distance of plenty of accommodations in the village. It is equipped with a geothermally fed heat pump and sources electricity entirely from regional green suppliers – including its own integrated photovoltaic panels. The architecture allows for maximum use of daylight in its foyers and rooms through large glass fronts.

Footprint: Having started in June 2023, the EFA is currently evaluating its carbon footprint over the course of a year. Together with Pioneers, a thorough problem analysis in different fields of action is carried out. This will be followed by an action plan to substantially and increasingly reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint in the future. The outcomes of this process will be implemented by 2024’s EFA event. The project is made possible through an “Öko-Scheck” grant of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

The described measures of EFA23 put its thematic track “Rallying for Climate Action” in concrete terms.