Sustainable UCL


Low Impact Travel

Organisational travel is the 3rd largest source of carbon emissions for the university. In 2019 organisational travel accounted for approximately 11% of UCL’s total carbon emissions. See how we are reducing this.

Reducing the need to travel

We recognise that many of our community work with international partners on diverse topics for research, teaching and student recruitment. Learning from colleagues in other countries is an important aspect of a thriving university, so we have been improving the opportunities to do this without physically travelling. We are consulting with ISD about the best way to provide virtual alternatives such as video-conferencing facilities and video-calling and virtual meeting software. Later this year we hope to host a flagship virtual conference to demonstrate how this can become the new normal for collaborating with colleagues from around the world.

Sustainable travel options

UCL has worked with Clarity to provide prompts to staff booking travel within the UK and to close European destinations. This will notify you that internal flights are not within UCL travel guidelines. And we are working further with Clarity to explore the feasibility of any deals or discounts for common rail routes to make these more attractive. UCL has also updated the expenses policy for travel spend, which now encourages low-carbon travel. The policy states:  “Always try to select the most carbon-efficient way of reaching your destination, even if this may not necessarily be the cheapest."