27 February 2020

Less air travel is to ensure a greener university


In future, employees and managers from the University of Copenhagen must think green when they travel. Climate-friendly transportation and virtual meetings are to reduce air travelling.

The University of Copenhagen is introducing a new travel policy. This means that UCPH employees must choose the most climate-friendly mode of transport, such as bus, train or car rather than flying – as long as it can be done with limited additional costs in terms of time and money. So researchers should think twice before getting on a plane.

By focusing on climate-friendly transportation and virtual meetings, UCPH will limit the amount of air travel. Graphics: University of Copenhagen/Pxhere

The climate is the paramount theme these days. And at UCPH, we must show the way.

Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht

Many employees at the University travel, totalling some 42,000 flights per year with each employee flying almost five times a year on average. According to the latest reviews of the University’s total climate footprint, air travel accounts for 7-10 percent of the total climate footprint.

- We’re very keen to limit climate changes and we intend to reduce our total CO2 footprint even more. We simply need to raise the bar in relation to the green transition. Transport and air travel are key elements in this respect, says Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht.

Since 2006, the University of Copenhagen has reduced its CO2 emissions from energy consumption and transport by around 60 percent per employee and student and is now working to set ambitious new targets and launch initiatives to reduce emissions even further.

Going forward, UCPH staff must choose the most climate-friendly mode of transport, for example taking the train rather than flying. Photo: Pxhere

Skype instead of flying

The University’s new travel policy does not impose a ban on air travelling, but sets out recommendations and suggestions for how to change travel habits.

It is a matter of choice of transportation and providing alternatives to air travel. For example meetings and video conferences via digital platforms like Skype.

- The climate is the paramount theme these days. And at UCPH, we must show the way. That’s why we need to choose green, climate-friendly transportation when travelling," says Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht. And we need to provide better options for virtual participation in all kinds of international conferences and meetings, Bente Merete Stallknecht says.