Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Aviation Consultation: Townhall Meeting (Virtual 2)

An opportunity for all University staff and students to feedback on proposed actions to reduce University business travel emissions.

In September 2019, we launched our new Strategic Plan for the next 10 years - Strategy 2030 – which sets out our vision to make the world a better place. One of the strategic areas of focus is Social & Civic Responsibility, to ensure the University’s actions and activities deliver positive change locally, regionally and globally.

This includes a commitment to “reduce our climate impact”, “tackle climate change” and contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The University’s Climate Strategy – Zero by 2040 – sets out the actions we will take to become a net zero carbon university by 2040 using a whole-institution approach. Our emissions from travel are the third-biggest and fastest growing area in the University’s carbon footprint, behind gas and electricity; flights are responsible for 94% of our travel emissions, and carbon emissions from flights grew by 37% between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

As part of our commitment to reduce our emissions and become carbon neutral by 2040, we must work to understand how travel itself can be reduced, how emissions from travel can be reduced by using less carbon-intensive forms of transport, and how to ‘sequester’ any emissions that cannot be reduced.

This approach is called ‘climate conscious travel’.

This event is an opportunity for you to have your say on the University’s approach to climate conscious travel.

The University has developed a range of proposals that will reduce the carbon emissions created by University travel. They include:

  • Required contributions on all flights, with the funds raised used to sequester carbon (e.g. by planting trees)
  • Flight free travel within mainland Britain
  • Incentives and subsidies to encourage the use of less carbon intensive forms of travel (e.g. subsidised first class rail tickets)
  • More investment in online and virtual collaboration tools to reduce the need for travel
  • Changes to the expenses policy to include consideration for carbon emissions when booking travel
  • More information on the carbon impacts of various travel options to assist individuals in choosing less carbon intensive forms of travel
  • Research into the relationships between our flights and research excellence
  • Directly sequestering remaining carbon

To ensure the University chooses the best options to increase climate conscious travel, we wish to seek your views on each of the options we are proposing.

This town hall meeting will present further details of the proposals by Sandy Tudhope, University Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability.

Following this presentation, there will be time for questions from the audience.

Important Notes:

Due to recent guidance issued by the University regarding COVID-19 and events, this event is being held virtually. Attendees will receive further instructions for accessing the online event within 48hrs of the event.

All Aviation Consultation Townhall sessions will be recorded.

If you have further questions about this event, please contact:

This event is open to University of Edinburgh staff and students only, please ensure you bring your ID card with you.

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Mar 27 2020 14:00 - 15:00

Aviation Consultation: Townhall Meeting (Virtual 2)

Entry is on a first come first served basis. If you are late, we cannot guarantee your place.
This event may be photographed and/or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties.