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The ICR recognises the importance of fostering innovation to face global sustainability issues and we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of trials and reducing the carbon footprint of our research.

We are part of the ICR’s Sustainability Advisory Steering Group, helping lead the development and implementation of the ICR’s sustainability strategy. We also contribute to the ICR’s ActNow sustainability working group which works across the ICR to help deliver initiatives and projects aligned with our sustainability strategy.

We belong to the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition’s (SHC) Low Carbon Clinical Trials Working Group which aims to quantify the carbon footprint associated with clinical trials and develop methods for reducing it without detriment to research quality.

As part of this group we work with other UKCRC Clinical Trials Units, leading the project management of an NIHR funded project - Development and prototype testing of a method to quantify the carbon footprint of current clinical trials to inform future lower carbon clinical trial design.

On completion the project will have calculated the footprint of 10-15 trials from across the CTU Network and will publish the methodology and an emission factor library for dissemination and future use. We also plan to work towards a de-centralised approach to clinical trials by, for example, employing remote and e-consent practices to reduce unnecessary patient travel and remote monitoring techniques to reduce ICR-CTSU team visits to participating sites.

Clinical trials