ICT4S 2024
Mon 24 - Fri 28 June 2024 Stockholm, Sweden


The ICT4S conference series has from its beginning in 2013 had an interest in the environmental impact of the conference.

In 2023, the organisers in Rennes were the first to also have a dedicated web page on Sustainability. With this page, we commend their initiative and make an account of the sustainability impacts of the ICT4S 2024 conference, as well as what we have done to reduce that impact.

The ICT4S 2023 conference in Rennes used previous literature to identify the most important areas for sustainability when organising conferences and concluded that they are Transport, Food and catering, Conference material and Digital communication. We have chosen to use the same categories in our account of environmental sustainability of ICT4S 2024.

Below follows an account for each of the main areas under the two headings “Plans” and “Reflection and outcome”


Air transport to Stockholm is expected to be the heaviest environmental impact by far. This is the case for most conferences (Desiere 2016, Jäckle 2022, Orsi 2012) and organising a conference as far away from most major European cities as Stockholm makes this challenging.


We have taken on this challenge in mainly three ways:

- Information and encouragement to take the train to Stockholm.

  • The general chairs have communicated the option to go by train to Stockholm since the announcement of the conference in 2023.
  • There were plans for a “rolling pre-conference train” from Hamburg to Stockholm, but train operators unfortunately showed little interest.
  • Ever since the first ICT4S conference in Zurich 2013, there has been an ongoing discussion about travel modes to conferences.There is a hope that the continuous discussion normalises the train trips, and increases the share of participants choosing other modes of travel than air.

- Hybridization. From early on, the conference has been planning for allowing virtual participation. Thus, in the call for papers, virtual presentations of papers were accepted and the conference program was set up in a way that allows virtual participants to participate.

- Follow-up. Upon registration, participants were asked to state how they intended to travel to Stockholm.

Reflection and outcome

  • Information and encouragement to take the train.
  • The plans to organise a conference train failed. Train operators showed little interest in reserving tickets for a conference since tickets on the night trains between Hamburg to Stockholm are sold out far in advance
  • It is hard to say if the encouragement to travel by train has affected that number.
  • Hybridization.

  • Only a handful papers were submitted for virtual presentation, and only 2 were accepted. Very few papers from non-European countries were submitted and none accepted.
  • Data regarding virtual participation are still to be checked.
  • We were hoping to support a geographical extension of the conference without too high environmental footprint with the hybridization opportunity, and hope to see this experiment continued next year.
  • Travel.
  • The data we collected from registration made it possible to make a calculation of environmental impacts of the travel to the conference, but the work is not done yet.
  • Preliminary data indicate that about 40% of participants arrived by train, 40% by air and 20% came from the Stockholm region and arrived by public transport. There were also a small number of participants coming by electric car. Counting only people from outside of Sweden, slightly less than 60% came by air.
  • There are large differences between countries, not entirely explainable by travel options or travel time. E.g. looking at country with at least 10 participants, 65% of people travelling from France indicate they go by train, but only 10% from the Netherlands and 40% from Germany, despite the two latter countries having generally better train connections. 30% of English travellers come by train.
  • We do not yet have a reference/baseline value so it is hard to say if this is more or less than other conferences, but at least this is a beginning in terms of keeping track of environmental impacts of conference travel. It is also a guess that having less than 50% of the participants come by air is a rather low number for a regional (European) conference.

Food & Catering


The ICT4S 2024 resumes the previous tradition of ICT4S-conferences to serve only vegetarian meals and only organically labelled food. The caterer that will be used has a long-standing engagement in sustainable food, and three of the conferences lunches will follow the WWF-standard “one-planet plate”, https://www.wwf.se/mat-och-jordbruk/one-planet-plate/one-planet-plate-english/#background. The lunches at workshops will also be meat-free, but for the sake of variation do not follow exactly the one-planet-plate concept.

For lunches, tap-water will be served – the quality of the tap-water in Stockholm is very high.

Reflection and outcome

A preliminary reflection is that the major environmental impact is on what type of food and drinks are served. By sticking to tap-water and no meat, considerable savings are expected, but they are still to be quantified and to be placed in context of e.g. comparing them to the environmental impacts of conference travel.

Conference Material


There were plans for keeping the amount of conference material handed out to minimum. In compliance with this, only the following material is distributed:

  • A printed conference program
  • T-shirt and specific badges to student volunteers
  • Writing paper and pens for anyone who needs them
  • One gift (candy) to each participant
  • Name badges and lanyards, but lanyards will be reused from various previous conferences and they will be collected and reused again by another local conference later in the autumn.

Reflection and outcome

The very low degree of materials handed out is expected to give a very small environmental footprint.

Digital Communication

We have not yet made any assessments of the extra environmental impacts coming from the hybridization of the conference.

Getting around during your stay in Stockholm

Walking in Stockholm may be the best way to get around. It takes about 35 minutes to walk from the Central Station to the conference premises at KTH.

Biking in Stockholm is also very popular, but there is currently no officially procured rental bike system – you need to find your own way in the jungle of bike and e-scooter apps.

The public transport system is fine-grained in Stockholm. The underground is efficient and large. There is also an extensive bus service that may give you better views of Stockholm.

The easiest way to buy a ticket to public transport is to use your contactless card. It works on buses, commuter trains and underground with a fixed rate of SEK 42 (€ 3.75) for a single trip (valid for 75 minutes). Tapping the card again within 75 min will not cause any extra charge. There are also other tickets: 7-day ticket: SEK 455 (€ 40); 72-hour ticket: SEK 350 (€ 31) , 24-hour ticket: SEK 175 (€16).

All public transport in Stockholm by bus or rail has the Swedish label “Bra miljöval”. This means for example that they are entirely fossil free.

The boats included in the public transport have a higher environmental footprint, but more than 50% of the fuel is fossil free (this number will reach 100% in 2030). During 2024, there are plans for tests with electric hydrofoil traffic, so ýou might very well see those strange creatures on the waters of Stockholm:https://candela.com/pro-series/

Eating out

All restaurants in Stockholm will have vegetarian options. There are also a number of specialized vegetarian restaurants. Our recommendation is that you reach out to some locals at the conference to get suggestions, or that you use TripAdvisor or some other similar tool for recommendations.

Comparison to previous conferences

We have not been able to make any detailed calculations to compare ICT4S with previous ICT4S conferences or other conferences. However, there are a few things that are different:

  • We think that the share (40%) of participants going by air to the conference is rather low, and that also the share of people from abroad going by air is rather low (<60%).
  • The conference hardly attracts any participants from non-European countries. This might reduce the environmental impact, but it is clear that it is mainly a regional European conference, despite attempts to open it up for others through remote participation.
  • The environmental footprint of the food and the conference material must be seen as reaching minimal levels of what can be achieved.


Desiere, S. (2016). The carbon footprint of academic conferences: Evidence from the 14th EAAE Congress in Slovenia. EuroChoices, 15(2), 56-61.

Jäckle, S. (2022). The Carbon Footprint of Travelling to International Academic Conferences and Options to Minimise It. In Academic Flying and the Means of Communication (pp. 19-52). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Orsi, F. (2012). Cutting the carbon emission of international conferences: is decentralization an option?. Journal of Transport Geography, 24(C), 462-466.