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Open Call for Conference Carbon Calculators

Some of you may not be aware of the efforts ACM’s SIGPLAN have done in the area of conferences and climate change. If not, you should check out their Resources Page and most importantly know that, because of SIGPLAN’s work, the ACM now supports conference registrants making a Carbon Offset contribution at time of registration.

SIGPLAN has now developed a CO2 Footprint Calculator for all ACM conferences to take advantage of. The calculator makes certain assumptions regarding travel (for instance that everyone flies), but users can upload conference registration data, and the calculator will estimate the CO2e cost of air travel for those sufficiently far away. Please see SIGPLAN’s blog on the calculator, the analyses it provides, and the hard choices conference decision-makers are faced with.

SIGPLAN is now organizing a cross-SIG data gathering and analysis exercise to quantify and publicize the carbon footprints of our conferences, especially the footprint due to travel. Eventually, they would like to see this kind of measurement become a regular part of the process of organizing ACM conferences. To get the ball rolling in the short term, they need people from a few other SIGs that are willing to commit some time to carrying out a similar exercise — gathering and anonymizing registration data, adapting and running our scripts, synthesizing and writing up the results, and working with us to help streamline and automate the process. I jumped on the chance to be a part of this initiative and identify someone (or a few someones) from the SIGCHI community to support this work.

As SIGCHI has 24 conference, this is a large task for us to provide this analysis to our conferences. But I am looking for someone who cares deeply for sustainability/climate change issues, has an appropriate skill set to do the analysis, and, most importantly in any volunteer position, has the time over the next six months to devote to this project.

If you fit this description, please write me at with a few bits of information regarding your interest/appropriateness.

Helena Mentis, SIGCHI President