Frontiers community engagement update – summer 2023 

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We take a moment to reflect on the information, resources, and actions taken over the past several months towards promoting longer, more prosperous lives on a healthier planet. 

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Women in Science 

Serving as a platform for woman researchers to share their experiences, our Women in Science blog continued to highlight the unique efforts and inspiring stories of these researchers across disciplines. The team behind Women in Science carried out insightful conversations, learning more about the meaningful work these women are doing to contribute the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Each blog post also captures the individual’s unique journey, complete with their biggest learnings, greatest challenges, and helpful advice for future generations. Over the past several months, readers have explored climate change through an economic lens (SDG 13), stabilization and peaceful policymaking (SDG 16), marine science and gender equality in the fisheries sector (SDG 14), and environmental philosophy and alternative hedonism (SDG 12). 

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Frontiers’ Volunteers 

Volunteering opportunities can come in many forms. Groups may come together to support a certain cause, while individuals can select an experience to lend their tailored skillset to. Frontiers’ volunteering platform Alaya makes it easy for all Frontons to find the right match and get involved in their local communities. This was the same takeaway production specialist Amy Tighe offered in the most recent Frontiers’ Volunteers blog post. In the piece, Amy shares more about her experience volunteering at The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP) in London, including learning more about some local London lore. She also gives a motivational piece of advice for others looking to get involved. 

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Frontiers Sustainability Network 

This month, the Frontiers Sustainability Network hosted the latest installment of its Sustainability Speaker Series: Sustainability’s on the Menu. Guest speaker Fanny Olsthoorn, senior sustainability specialist at FELFEL, spoke with Frontons about sustainable food systems. FELFEL is an employee catering and office coffee solution based in Switzerland. The company works with local chefs in Switzerland to create restaurant-quality meals available in offices across the country via their unique smart fridges, offering an alternative to traditional canteens. One such smart fridge can be found at Frontiers’ headquarters in Lausanne. With regionally sourced ingredients and all-around support from daily deliveries to recycling, FELFEL places sustainability at the core of what it does. So much so, that the company has pledged to be Net Zero by 2026

During the event, participants were quizzed on their understanding of the carbon emissions associated with various food products. This activity aimed to raise awareness about the environmental impact of our favorite everyday foods and the alarming amount of food waste. According to the United Nations, it is estimated that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are from food that is not consumed. Fanny went on to share about how these emissions can be reduced, highlighting the measurable steps FELFEL is taking such as reducing food waste, donating excess food, and turning remaining food waste into biogas. She also shared useful tips for how participants can apply these and similar steps in their daily lives to reduce carbon emissions. 

Inspired by the advice Fanny shared and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, the Sustainability Network has organized a ‘Sustainability on the Menu’ challenge. For the next month, Frontons who participate can select from a “menu” of different initiatives to sink their teeth into as a way to reduce their carbon emissions. Examples of initiatives include limiting the use of single-use plastics; reducing consumption of high carbon-emitting foods such as meat or dairy; selecting locally produced, seasonal produce; and repurposing food waste. 

“We wanted to build on the momentum we have of hosting challenges related to the topics the speakers present on to continue to give Frontons an opportunity to apply what they learn in their own lives. This most recent event aligned with World Environment Day and what better way to make a change and lower our carbon footprints while nurturing our bodies than through sustainable food systems. The Frontons in our Lausanne office get the added bonus of being able to enjoy the options FELFEL provides, now with a better understanding of the process behind their favorite meals,” says Sustainability Network launch team member Hannah Kulmatycki

Frontiers is a signatory of the United Nations Publishers COMPACT. This interview has been published in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.   

About Frontiers     

Frontiers is the 3rd most-cited and 6th largest research publisher. We publish groundbreaking discoveries by the world’s top experts. Scientists empower society and our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open. We place the researcher at the center of everything we do and enable the research community to develop the solutions we need to live healthy lives on a healthy planet. Featuring custom-built technology, artificial intelligence, and rigorous quality standards, our research articles have been viewed more than 2.5 billion times, reflecting the power of research that is open for all.    

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