Lund University Center for Sustainable Studies

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Lund University Center for Sustainable Studies

With the IPCC calling for rapid societal transformation to reduce carbon emissions, leaders at the Lund University Center for Sustainable Studies sought to quantify how academic travel contributes to the crisis and use the data to develop a new policy for staff and guest researchers. One of the policy developers, Environmental officer Wim Carton, holds that academia has a responsiblity to change and to “demonstrate that a rapid transformation to a low-carbon society is both viable and desirable.”

Beginning in January 2019, LUCSUS initiated a voluntary policy for staff and guest travel that includes the following commitments:

  • Use emissions data to increase awareness, evaluate progress, and raise goals to further reduce carbon emissions.
  • Identify and address barriers to institutional change, and advocate for structural solutions.
  • Monitor individual, work-related emissions and set progressively ambitious goals to reduce them.
  • Prioritize travel-free meetings and collective ground travel whenever possible.
  • Actively give voice to the low-carbon academic flying issue within and outside of LUCSUS.

Other features of the policy include an academic travel decision tree, to help guide choices toward lower carbon alternatives. As it aims toward progressively more ambitious goals, the policy will be reviewed regularly to enhance its effectiveness.