The University introduces a new air travel target aimed at reducing staff travel emissions

University of ManchesterThe University is making changes aimed at addressing travel emissions, as part of supporting our ambitions to be global leaders in developing sustainable research and teaching practices and as part of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy. 

A target has been set to halve emissions associated with staff air travel, compared to pre-pandemic levels. This will mean a reduction from 18,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018-2019 to 9,250 tonnes. To accelerate progression towards this goal, several changes will be made to influence individual and local decision-making:

  • Everyone is encouraged to consider whether meetings can be successfully carried out online rather than in-person.
  • When travel cannot be replaced by online meetings, there is now a default expectation that UK mainland travel will be by train.
  • For European travel, staff members will be expected to routinely consider using rail and plan their projects and activities to accommodate this where possible.
  • A ‘top-up fund’ to cover additional costs between air and rail travel has been agreed for two years to be used when other local funds are not available.

The University will provide new guidance to advise staff members in supporting our aim to reduce carbon emissions. Academic lead for Carbon, Professor Carly McLachlan, and the Environmental Sustainability team will work with our Schools, Faculties and central teams to support development of local plans for reducing emissions and to share good practice.