Sign up for new sustainable travel group

Academics are invited to join a new group exploring more sustainable forms of travel for staff and students.

Global Impact logo. January 2019

The Sustainability Service is seeking people to discuss their travel habits and potential alternatives (or barriers), together with anyone willing to trial new initiatives.

Whilst understanding the University’s global vision and the value created from international research networks, the service wants to explore ways to balance this with the environmental and financial impact of travel.  

The move comes after greenhouse gas emissions allocated to business travel undertaken by staff and students at Leeds were found to have increased by 14% between 2016-17 and 2017-18. Examples include travel undertaken by academics to attend conferences or events, support colleagues meeting with suppliers or students fulfilling course requirements.

The service is keen to cut our emissions figures, which is where the new academic group comes in.

“Air travel is the largest contributor to our emissions, accounting for 93% in the year 2017-2018,” explains Lucy Stuart, Sustainability Project Officer. “Other significant changes have also affected the results. Rail travel, for example, has decreased substantially, while use of private cars, hire cars and taxis by staff and students have all increased.” 

Our aim is to become a University with a reputation for outstanding performance on sustainability. We are committed to making the most of resources and fostering a staff and student body where sustainable travel is the norm in order to reduce our carbon emissions and tackle impacts at a local and global level. 

On behalf of the University, the Sustainability Service recently joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Academic Travel – a global network of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which understands business travel is a sector-wide issue that needs addressing. The group contains 65 HEIs across the UK, Europe and the USA, and aims to provide a platform for collaboration and shared learning on the topic.

Lucy added: “We’re asking for a small amount of commitment from academics to discuss any potential barriers to sustainable travel and hopefully trial some new initiatives.” 

Please contact Lucy Stuart detailing your interest, together with your experience on this topic, by Wednesday 13 February.

Posted in: