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Global Academic without the Global Footprint

Connectivity is a key part of academic endeavour, whether for meetings with global partners, undertaking field research or speaking at conferences. However, achieving this connectivity by physically travelling has a significant impact on the climate.

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Map of flights taken by UCL staff in 2018-19

The map shows the destinations of more than 22,500 flights taken by UCL staff in the last academic year. Each red dot is a different destination and the size of the dot indicates the number of flights to that destination. 

Despite the high concentration of dots in Europe, the impact of long-distance flights is the most significant, with 87% of UCL’s travel emissions coming from these journeys.

An interactive version of this map will be made available soon where you will be able to see flights for your department or faculty.

Academic Travel

So what can you do?  

To help to support sustainable travel choices UCL’s Travel Expenses Policy has been updated to ask you to “select the most carbon-efficient way of reaching your destination, even if this may not necessarily be the cheapest”. The climate impact of travel is also an area that funding bodies are starting to reflect on.  For example, the Wellcome Trust have recently updated their Travel Policy to address their concerns. 

The guidance pages below offer advice and top tips for reducing your travel impact.

Virtual Connectivity

Virtual Connectivity

Avoid travelling by utilising our virtual connectivity resources such as video conferencing.

Low carbon Travel

Low Carbon Travel Options

Travel can be unavoidable, use these resources to minimise your climate impact.

Season Ticket

Rail Travel

View our resources to help you travel by train in the UK and abroad.

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Offset Your travel

When travel is unavoidable you can offset your emissions here.

Photograph of Bikes

Create a Sustainable Travel Policy

UCL Chemical Engineering announces Sustainability Travel Policy to be Carbon Neutral by July 21/22. View their policy here.