Environmental policy

Scope of this policy

The Society of Research Software Engineering has a significant ability to influence its members and Research Software Engineering (RSE) in research intensive environments. This policy sets out our commitment to using that influence to positively shape the impact of our immediate operations as a Society as well as the indirect footprint of RSE activities at large.

Minimising our environmental footprint

We will promote responsibility for the environment throughout the RSE movement and communicate and implement this policy at all levels. We will:

  • Reduce the use of energy, water and other resources where possible. This will include encouraging public transport options to Society events. 
  • Minimise waste, where applicable, by reduction, re-use and recycling methods.
  • Comply with all relevant environmental legislation/regulation across all our events and activities.

Regarding the resource intensive nature of certain RSE endeavours

As a Society we recognise the energy intensive nature of a lot of the work we encourage. High Performance Computing (HPC) and High Throughput Computing (HTC) applications are a clear example of this [1]. While we are committed to supporting such research, we will actively promote an attitude within our community that is mindful of the environmental costs associated with the resources that we have at our disposal. We will promote an attitude whereby computational resources are used in a considered and sparing way. As a Society we will also seek to improve the efficient use of energy intensive computing through supporting training programmes throughout our community – these might include tuition that enables RSEs to write more efficient parallel code.

Financial matters

We are committed to not prioritising funding needs and matters of gaining financial influence or independence over sustainability requirements and environmental considerations.

The Society commits to providing appropriate resources to meet the commitments of this policy.


[1] Lannelongue L, Grealey J, Bateman A, Inouye M (2021) Ten simple rules to make your computing more environmentally sustainable. PLoS Comput Biol 17(9): e1009324. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009324