Green meetings are based on a sustainability framework which balances environmental, economic and social impacts. COMPLEX NETWORKS is working towards having a limited impact on the environment and climate and delivering value to the community. Although hosting an entirely sustainable meeting does take work, it’s worth the effort, and implementing some environmentally friendly practices can make a positive impact and generates sustainable solutions. These guidelines are provided for attendees, committees and contractors to the Conference and aim to educate and inspire continued mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. These guidelines will be continually evaluated as technologies and mitigation options continue to change.

COMPLEX NETWORKS defines environmental impacts as both the direct impacts it has on the environment through emissions, natural resource use and waste generation, and the indirect impacts that occur through its supply chain and partnerships.

Key environmental objectives for COMPLEX NETWORKS include:

  • To use Energy & Water more efficiently
  • To reduce the amount of waste produced and increase the quantity of waste re-used and recycled
  • To reduce the environmental impacts of travel
  • To reduce the environmental impacts of purchasing
  • To increase environmental awareness and drive behavior change

The icons of relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in the sections below illustrate how the COMPLEX NETWORKS sustainability strategy contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


COMPLEX NETWORKS action areas include:


The Venue



  • We selected a venue that can be reached conveniently by public transport. The venue, the hotels and social events are all located in the city center and you can walk between them all.
  • It complies with zoning requirements and laws related to protected and sensitive areas and to heritage considerations.
  • Sites, buildings and activities are accessible to persons with physical disabilities and other special needs, as appropriate to the nature of the operation.
  • Clear and accurate information is provided on the level of accessibility.
  • Accessibility is certified or checked with relevant experts/user bodies.
  • The venue is engaged in the ISO 20121 Certification process
  • The staff is involved with sustainable event planning and management in the venue.

Energy management

Reduce Energy  Use




    • Total energy used is monitored and managed.
    • The target average temperature for all indoor areas of the venue will be 21 degrees Celsius.
    • Equipment and practices are used that minimize energy use.
    • Staff are given guidance on minimizing energy use.

    Water management

    Make smart water choices




      • Total water used in the venue is monitored and managed.
      • Goals for reducing water consumption are in place.
      • Equipment and practices are used that minimize water consumption.
      • Staff and guests are given guidance on minimizing water use.

      Food and drinking water

      Make Smart Food Choices


      • A balance between aspects related to the environmental (e.g. the provision of “climate-friendly” food) and the economic dimension of sustainability (i.e. catering prices appropriate), while ensuring adequate availability and diversity of food.
      • We give preference to local suppliers.
      • We privilege pro-sustainable suppliers.
      • We use foods that are seasonal and transported in ways that are environmentally sound.
      • We offer vegan/vegetarian dishes and serve tap water in carafes.
      • We use reusable crockery, cutlery and glasses.
      • We offer organic products and fairtrade hot drinks such as coffee, tea and juices.
      • We do not use products from heated greenhouses or foods transported by air.
      • As a general rule, we serve vegan and vegetarian food.
      • If meat and/or fish must be served, the choice of those products is based on environmental considerations.
      • We make servers aware of the need to restock the buffet only when necessary.
      • We promote local production.
      • This CO2 calculator  allows attendees to compare the carbon footprint of various ingredients and exemplary menus in a playful way.
      • Water dispensers available throughout the conference venue may be used with reusable bottles that will be distributed to all registered participants free of charge at the Registration Desk.
      • Tap water stations will be available throughout the venue. Bring your own bottles and fill them up with tap water.
      • We provide tap water in carafes at lunch.
      • We refill the carafes with fresh water regularly and remove the (glass) carafes and wash them at appropriate intervals.
      • We use returnable bottles when serving other cold drinks.

      Waste Management & Recycling

      Reduce waste and recycle


      • The amount of solid waste disposed is monitored and managed.
      • Every effort should be made to avoid the generation of waste in the first place.
      • All unavoidable waste will be strictly separated at source, to enable the highest possible quality of recycling.
      • Participants are asked to actively participate in the waste management initiative and support waste avoidance and waste separation as much as possible.
      • Posters explaining how to properly sort waste are throughout the conference venue. Pictograms provide orientation on which bin should be used.
      • Inform all suppliers and operating companies about the separation system. It is important to get the cleaning companies involved in this.
      • Require suppliers to take back packaging.
      • Please leave leftover food on the table after finishing your meal. Catering staff will separate unavoidable food waste which will be turned into biofuel and biogas.
      • Please follow the waste separation instructions at the venue and at your accommodations when available.


      Support Sustainable Accommodation


      • Focus on sustainability criteria when using booking portals to look for hotels.
      • If possible, choose a hotel that operates in an environmentally responsible manner (e.g. sustainable energy management and reuse of towels and linens).
      • Measures for the mobility, procurement of products and services, catering, waste management, water use and accessibility action areas are also relevant to choose your hotel.
      • Check our recommended hotels in Menton. The hotels are chosen that have effective and comprehensive environmentally-friendly policies and operations.

      Local Transportation

      Promote Public and Clean Transportation


      Travel To Menton & Offsetting Of Greenhouse Gas Emission

      Promote Climate Neutral Travel


      • To calculate your personal life’s emissions, you can use the simple calculator available here.
      • You can make your travel climate neutral using UNFCC Climate Neutral Now initiative
      • You can also Compute your travel Carbone Emission and compensate with Global Forest Fund.
      • We encourage those offsetting their unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions to communicate their Twitter handle to COMPLEX NETWORKS staff at the Registration Desk and have their picture taken for a thank you message on social media

      Paper Use

      Conserving Resources


      • Avoid printouts or, if they are unavoidable, make sure that paper and printing materials is 100% recycled and certified by an eco-label. The use of color paper should be kept to a minimum.
      • To reduce paper consumption COMPLEX NETWORKS will:
        • Use digital event management systems.
        • Send documents electronically.
        • Make use of the conference website.
        • Display the agenda and notices on screen during the conference.
        • Use QR codes to distribute program.
      • Set out a few paper brochures for people to look at and include QR codes in them.

      Conference Swag & Giveaways

      Use environmentally sound swag and give- aways


      • We try to minimize conference swag and giveaways.
      • When necessary, we select environmentally sound swag and giveaways that have been produced in a socially responsible way;
      • We ask exhibitors to choose swag and giveaways that have been awarded the Blue Angel environmental label or the EU Ecolabel, or that fulfill their criteria. If there are no environmental labels for the products to be procured, we research the relevant environmental criteria elsewhere.
      • We choose bags made of environmentally compatible materials; meaningful use of them after the event should be possible.
      • If food items are purchased for gifts, we choose seasonal, organic products that are transported in an environmentally sound way, or that are fairtrade
      • Opt for retractable ballpoint pens or pencils made of cardboard or paper.
      • As an alternative, we choose unpainted pencils or retractable ballpoint pens made of wood.

      Eco-Friendly Purchasing Policy

      Conserving Resources


      • Before purchasing any new product or service, it is important to consider whether it is absolutely crucial to the successful implementation of the event.
      • Check whether the need can also be met by acquiring used products or hiring products.
      • Purchasing policies favor environmentally sustainable suppliers and products, including capital goods, food, beverages and consumables.
      • Preference is given to products and suppliers with environmental certification – notably with respect to wood, paper, fish, other foods, and products from the wild.
      • Purchasing favors reusable, returnable and recycled goods.
      • Purchasing and use of consumable and disposable goods are monitored and managed.

      Dissemination of Information

      Report on your Sustainable Event


      • The sustainability chair handles the organization with due regard for sustainability concerns.
      • She provides expert support on specific questions related to sustainability to attendees and suppliers.
      • She informs staff at the venue about sustainability-related measures and get them involved in implementing those measures.
      • She informs participants about sustainability issues at the event.
      • She determines the effects of measures that were taken in terms of quality and quantity.
      • She communicates the analyzed data.
      • She determines potential improvements for future editions.
      • Sustainability policies and actions are reported in external and internal communication material.
      • Communications contain messages inviting consumer and stakeholder support.
      • An attendee feedback system is in place, together with analysis of the results.
      • Negative feedback and responses made to this are recorded.
      • COMPLEX NETWORKS strongly encourages the electronic dissemination of information.
      • In line with the objectives of the paper-reduction initiative, participants are encouraged to rely on digital versions of official documents which can be downloaded from the WEBSITE
      • To further facilitate access, QR codes for selected official documents will be displayed on poster boards close to the Registration Desk and in the session rooms.
      • The Daily Program for the conference is available in electronic form only. A PDF version will be posted each morning on the WEBSITE
      • To reduce paper usage and wastage at the conference, participants are asked to refrain from distributing any printed material, such as publications and information related to side events and exhibits, other meetings or future conferences. 

      Positive Local Impact

      Establish a Positive Local Impact


      • We try to foster a positive impact by getting the local community involved.
      • Local scientific community is invited to get involved in satellite events.
      • Scientists from the region are involved in the event organization
      • Locally owned businesses are given access to premises for commercial activity
      • When purchasing goods and services, the organization gives priority to local suppliers whenever these are available and of sufficient quality.
      • Remaining goods are donated to the local community.
      • Volunteers are recruited locally if possible.
      • We ensure the venue is accessible (barrier-free) to all peoples, including those of physical disability.
      • We published COMPLEX NETWORKS code of conduct.

      Event Certification



      • The environmental performance of COMPLEX NETWORKS will be certified by an external environmental, REEVE.
      • REEVE provides the overall framework for the sustainable organization of the sessions, covering aspects such as energy and resource efficiency, legal compliance and stakeholder engagement.
      • COMPLEX NETWORKS is in the First level certification process.
      • To evaluate the environmental performance of the conference, key performance indicators such as energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions are measured and reported.

      For more information contact the sustainability chair at