University air travel now to be reduced

Work travel, and above all air travel, is a significant environmental concern at the University of Borås. The university is connected to the Climate Framework for Higher Education Institutions, which means a commitment that the operations' climate-related emissions must be in line with the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree target by the year 2030. To reach this goal, the university's emissions from work travel by air need to be halved between 2019 and 2030, which corresponds to a reduction of approximately seven percent per year. This is now established in a Vice-Chancellor's decision. The reduction must take place at the organisational level and not at the individual level.

The university has also committed to work to achieve the goals for "Climate 2030 – Västra Götaland in transition," a gathering of forces for western Swedish actors to act for an attractive and sustainable future.

During the pandemic, in 2020–2021, the university reduced its work travel to a fraction of what it was in 2019. But now the trend is for travel, and above all air travel for work trips, to increase again. Among other things, postponed trips have been made for commitments in ongoing projects and collaborations.

Well-developed digital options

During the pandemic, travel was replaced with digital alternatives, which are well developed at the university. According to the Vice-Chancellor's decision, these forms of meetings must be prioritised over travel.

There is a risk that the university's goals for reduced climate-impacting emissions from travel will collide with the goals for internationalisation and increased collaboration. This means that the university must actively and based on strategic priorities determine which trips are essential to carry out and how these are done (with prioritisation of train travel) as well as which trips, meetings, and events can be replaced by digital alternatives.

Open dialogue in the university before the decision

The issue of the importance of the university’s reducing emissions has been widely discussed at the university, most recently in March when all employees were invited to a digital meeting on climate topics.

Read more

The decision in its entirety is available from the Registrar's Office: Reduced emission of greenhouse gases from work travel, Reg. no. 305-23c (in Swedish only)

Watch inspirational videos where employees tell how they work with sustainability (in Swedish)

Read more about the university's rules for work travel

Read more about travel-free meetings (in Swedish)

At the university-wide meeting in March, a guest lecture was given based on the report Academic Flying and the Means of Communication, which deals with research on academic flying mobility.

Read the report Academic Flying and the Means of Communication

Read more about "Climate 2030 – Västra Götaland in transition" (in Swedish)