Header image for Sustainability statement

Sustainability statement

IMCC seeks to be both environmentally and socially conscious and responsible in our management decisions. There are social and environmental consequences inherent in the traditional concept of a conference where travel can be inevitable or inaccessible. We are seeking alternatives to the traditional model of a conference and seek to actively discuss potential opportunities at Kiel in 2020. We would welcome suggestions on this topic from the marine conservation community. In lieu of a current feasible alternative and in recognition of the value of conference attendance to the marine conservation community, we are committed to reducing the associated impacts through the following measures:

Remote access

We are exploring options for models for remote access to IMCC6 and future IMCCs. At the moment to stream the full program and provide remote access for people to present talks is cost prohibitive. However, the University of Kiel has facilities to record and stream talks and wel will ensure that this is done for plenary talks and also facilitate questions for remote attendees via an online platform. We are exploring the potential of using these facilities to extend remote access to other elements of the IMCC6 program.

We will hold discussions at IMCC6 to discuss alternatives to the traditional conference model. In advance of this, we welcome any ideas that we might be able to pursue for 2020.

Carbon offset program

Climate change resulting from carbon emissions pose the largest threat to marine and coastal systems and communities. Whilst we acknowledge that offsetting is not a solution to the emissions produced by the travel incurred by delegates to IMCC, we are making a responsibly-selected donation to an activity that might mitigate the effects of the carbon emissions incurred by our delegates.

The IMCC Organizing Committee will donate to Atmosfair, a German-based non governmental organisation (NGO) specializing in carbon dioxide mitigation. The amount will be calculated to cover the carbon footprint of delegate travel and conference operation. This will not be included as an ‘opt in’ for delegates and further donations to this NGO can be made by delegates should they wish.

Catering & waste

We are contracting with organisations that are willing to adhere to the mission of SCB Marine and IMCC to be both socially and environmentally conscious in our decisions. As far as possible, we have engaged local contractors, businesses and products. 

‘Catering light’ 

In a bid to reduce food waste and increase the budget available for travel grants for under-funded delegates, we have opted to reduce the total amount of food provided. A warm ‘light’ lunch will be provided, but will be designed to incur no waste and will therefore be limited. Food will not be provided during the coffee breaks, but there will be the option to purchase items at the adjacent cafeteria. We are currently seeking  options to further manage the food waste that may arise from the conference.

Vegetarian & vegan

The majority of our food will be vegetarian and vegan and locally sourced. 


No single-use plastics will be used at the conference. Therefore, delegates should bring reusable bottles for water, water dispensers will be located throughout the conference venue. We will have ceramic coffee cups, plates and  metal cutlery. Serviettes used for all conference events will be compostable, FSC-labelled, and received the Nordic Ecolabel. Bring your own coffee-to-go cups: Kiel supports the use of reusable coffee cups. Coffee shops, bakeries and the university cafeteria will grant you a discount if you bring your own mug. 


We are asking delegates to reuse an old lanyard! Everyone has one lying around and we hope that people will embrace our aim to bring these back to life for another event or borrow one from a friend. (We will likely have a few spare if you really can’t find one or if this is your first conference).


Appropriate bins will be provided throughout the conference to separate waste which will then be responsibly disposed as required by German legislation.

Conference bag

We will not provide a conference bag for IMCC6. Some limited and responsibly-sourced merchandise will be available for pre-purchase at the conference.


Use the app! A web-based version of the program will be available to print if required.


Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash