A role model for environmentally responsible research
Among the 626 hectares of forests, meadows, agricultural and recreational land under CERN’s stewardship are 211 hectares devoted to fundamental research. This makes CERN an integral part of its environment: a responsibility we take very seriously, both within the spaces we manage and beyond.
Over recent years, CERN has become a byword for excellence in research, and has also established itself as a model for technological developments, training and education, and scientific collaboration across borders. Today, more than ever, science’s flag-bearers need to demonstrate their relevance, their engagement, and their integration into society as a whole. That’s why it is my pleasure to introduce CERN’s first environment report.
At CERN, we strive for excellence in everything we do, from our core mission of designing, building and operating a unique collection of particle accelerators and detectors, to deploying modern policies in areas ranging from human resources to the protection of the environment. CERN takes environmental considerations into account when designing new programmes, and as environmental awareness has risen over recent decades, we have also become increasingly pro-active in identifying societal applications of the technologies we develop, some with potential for environmental protection. The vast superconducting installations needed for the LHC, for example, are a proving ground for technologies that may in the future improve the efficiency of electricity distribution networks. Over recent years, substantial financial and human resources have been invested to minimise the impact of our facilities on the environment and foster technological developments for environmental applications.
In this report, we set out a range of environmental indicators identified as being the most significant at CERN through careful consultation with internal and external stakeholders, along with their current status, and ambitious but realistic goals for each of them. It is our vision for CERN to be a role model for environmentally responsible research. This report is important in that respect, not only in terms of open and transparent reporting, but also as a tool to help us to achieve those goals.
Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General