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Published:  15 Jan 2024

New study published on uptake of the MSCA Green Charter under Horizon Europe

The main findings show increased awareness of sustainable research and the adoption of green practices in research activities.

A new study published by the European Commission assesses the initial use of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Green Charter.

The study is based on a survey carried out in 2023 covering projects selected under the 2021 calls for proposals for Doctoral Networks, Post-doctoral Fellows, Staff Exchanges and COFUND.

The survey

  • looked at general developments in greening strategies among MSCA participants
  • explored whether the Green Charter can and does help to promote sustainability considerations and measures
  • sought feedback on what kind of support is needed at EU and institutional level to support green and sustainable research practices in MSCA projects

This publication provides an overview of the main findings, along with reflections on future action by the Commission and the MSCA project community.

Mainstreaming sustainability

While less than half of respondents were aware of the MSCA Green Charter or of the European Green Deal, the report finds that a large majority had the intention to include environmental considerations into their projects.

Over 60% of respondents stated that their institutions already have a strategy in place to promote sustainable research and the adoption of green practices in research activities.

When considering the adoption of more sustainable practices, some options were considered more often than others, in particular

  • using teleconferencing and online tools to minimise travel
  • promoting greener travel options
  • raising awareness of sustainability issues
  • trying to reduce energy and water consumption

Respondents expected to receive more guidance and information by host institutions and the Commission on how to adopt more sustainable practices in research and project management.

Requests for more financial support from the Commission for the adoption of sustainable practices come in fourth place behind expected guidance and communication measures.

These results encourage the Commission to redouble efforts in communicating on the Charter and providing user friendly guidance on sustainability in research and project management, among other options to facilitate the adoption of greener practices in MSCA projects.

About the MSCA Green Charter

In 2021, the European Commission introduced a code of good environmental practice for individuals and institutions in receipt of MSCA funding: the MSCA Green Charter.

While the Green Charter is not binding, all MSCA participants are expected to

  • adhere to the Green Charter on a ‘best effort’ basis
  • commit to as many of its provisions as possible when implementing their projects
Tagged in:  Green Charter
Published:  15 Jan 2024