EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

My earth in 180 minutes: A transition support system for reducing the carbon footprint in Academia. Experimental design for evaluating its impact on academic practices

Claudia Teran-Escobar1, Nicolas Becu2, Nicolas Champollion1, Nicolas Gratiot1, Benoit Hingray1, Géremy Panthou1, and Isabelle Ruin1
Claudia Teran-Escobar et al.
  • 1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, G-INP, IGE, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 2CNRS — UMR 7266 LIENSs, La Rochelle, France

Some practices embedded in academic culture (international conferences, scientific instruments...) are  important sources of greenhouse gases (e.g., van Ewijk & Hoekman, 2021). Although the scientific community have started to propose ways to reduce the impact of international conferences (e.g., Warner et al., 2022), collective efforts should be pursued to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire academic world. Serious games have been used in the encourage climate change attenuation practices (Fernández Galeote et al., 2021). Nevertheless, to our knowledge, the deployed evaluations have only measured the changes on knowledge and not on actual practices.

My Earth in 180 Minutes (ME180, is a collaborative role-playing game aiming at raising awareness, stimulating interactions in groups and constructing scenarios of professional carbon footprint reductions with multiple stakeholders. The game sessions place staff (researchers, technical and administrative staff, etc.) in a situation of social interaction in which each person plays two characters (inspired from real life observations) of a research team needing to reduce its carbon footprint by 50%. The game allows to build scenarios to reproduce as much as possible the complexity of interactions and the level of inequality existing within academic world. With 85 games played between November 2020 and June 2021, My Earth in 180 Minutes collaborative workshop has shown robust results, in particular Academia’s capacity to reduce its own carbon footprint and propose concrete alternatives: video communication, mutualization and reduction of professional activities (Gratiot et al., 2022).

This communication will describe the methods designed to a) evaluate the effectiveness of the serious game “My Earth in 180 Minutes” in academic practices and b) investigate the factors (e.g., career status, family engagements) that enable or constrain changes in academic practices.

The protocol for a future study is described. Participants working in French research centres (N = 970) will be recruited and randomly split in two groups: a) a group who will participate to the ME180 workshop, or b) control group using another approach for discussing about Academic carbon footprint. Participants will complete online surveys about their professional practices (air travelling, commuting ...) and about the psychological, institutional and, sociodemographic factors related to these practices (intention towards reducing professional air travelling, number of children). The surveys will be repeated six times over the 2 years of the study: before the experiment, one, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after the beginning of the study. Data will be analysed by using mixed linear methods.

We expect that carbon footprint reduction and related practices would be more important in the ME180 group. Mediation and moderation analysis will be used to identify psychological, institutional and, sociodemographic factors (career status, intention to change practices) that may facilitate or block the transition of professional practices.

The previous deployments of “My earth in 180 minutes” help in identifying Academic transition paths (Gratiot et al., in revision). The present study will allow to assess the effects of ME180 in Academic carbon footprint reduction to provide insights about the obstacles and levers of carbon footprint reduction in academia.

How to cite: Teran-Escobar, C., Becu, N., Champollion, N., Gratiot, N., Hingray, B., Panthou, G., and Ruin, I.: My earth in 180 minutes: A transition support system for reducing the carbon footprint in Academia. Experimental design for evaluating its impact on academic practices, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7612,, 2023.