Research is one of those activities that works hard to build a sustainable world but doing so it consumes a significant quantity of energy and material. Aside transportation, about another third of the world energy consumption is used in industry, i.e. production of goods. Slowing down production it is associated with reduced economic growth, a paradigm that should be changed if we aim to a sustainable being. This concept was recently treated by the European Environment Agency in the press “Narrative for change – growing without economic growth” .
Research is often carried out with state-of-art equipment that, by its own definition, is considered obsolete in few years and substituted with new equipment (even though the old one might be still functioning). This is valid not only for high-tech analytical machines but also for the everyday user electronics, i.e. laptops, screens, etc.
This way of operating research is not sustainable, researchers should find a different way to operate that consume/burn less and recycle/reuse more.
The following self-commitment aims to increase repair/reuse of research equipment. Lab leaders (the ones that most have the decisional power to administrate old and new equipment), are encouraged to adhere. The form below has no legal binding, you simply add one more counts to the “committers” counter that is displayed in the page. If you want you can give the consent to publish your name in the public list of committers. A private list with all the adhesion is kept by the sustainability group.
The self-commitment: buying of new equipment to replace an old one will be done only when repair of the old one is economically significantly unfavorable or the old equipment is significantly obsolete respect to a new one. Reuse of old equipment should always be taken in consideration, for example instead of buyin a new laptop for a new employer an older computer, if functional, should be offered.