New EAUC-Scotland Resources to Support the Sector in Addressing Business Air Travel

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‚ÄčThe package comes at a time when the sector is beginning to acknowledge and address its increasingly high levels of business travel by air. As air travel is a carbon intensive form of travel, reducing flights will contribute to reaching necessary sustainability targets amid the climate crisis.
On March 12th, 2020, EAUC-Scotland is releasing the Travel Better Package to support universities and colleges in addressing business air travel to reduce carbon emissions and the environmental impact from flying. The package has been developed with funding and support from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde.

The Travel Better Package aims to support the reduction of air travel in the FHE sector, specifically amongst academics and staff. It also aims to support reflection on and reconfiguration of the FHE sector's relationship to air travel on an institutional and individual basis. Lastly, it hopes to encourage individuals to travel better, meaning, to be more knowledgeable about sustainable travel, actively choose sustainable travel options and encourage others to do the same, to create opportunities that would reduce air travel and advance sustainable travel. The package is also concerned with improving equity and diversity while reducing air travel in the sector and offers support in doing this.

The package comes at a time when the sector is beginning to acknowledge and address its increasingly high levels of business travel by air. As air travel is a carbon intensive form of travel, reducing flights will contribute to reaching necessary sustainability targets amid the climate crisis.

Dave Gorman, director of the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh has supported the development of the package:

“We were delighted to support the development of the Travel Better Package with our partners at EAUC, Strathclyde University and with the Responsible Universities Group Scotland.

As a sector, we must play our part in tackling the climate emergency! Our travel, whilst of vital importance, must be carried out in a way that reduces our climate emissions, and I am sure this excellent package of advice and support will be of wide interest.”


The Travel Better Package includes

1. A Questions & Answer tool addressing concerns individuals may have about reducing air travel

2. The Travel Better Pledge Template used to inform individual behaviour change, as well as departmental and/or institutional policies, pledges and statements

3. The Air Travel Justification Tool, which is an extension of a decision tree - the tool supports individuals in justifying/reflecting on attending a conference, meeting and/or event that is only accessible through flying

The Travel Better Package also includes a social media campaign comprising of blog posts, interviews with academics who have reduced or eliminated air travel, promotional videos and Fact Friday tweets under the hashtag #travelbetter. EAUC-Scotland will also facilitate a Travel Better Workshop at its AGM and Spring Forum, on the day of the launch.

NOTES:
 
The Travel Better Package was developed between October 2019 and March 2020. The package has undergone consultations with EAUC-Scotland members and has received feedback from individuals working in the sector across the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. A pilot group comprising 17 academics from Canada and the United Kingdom have tested the Air Travel Justification Tool and provided positive feedback. Lastly, staff from the University of Edinburgh Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability and the University of Strathclyde’s Sustainability team have been instrumental in providing support and resources in the development of the package and its social media campaign.

The Travel Better Package can be accessed here, and we would like to encourage as many FHE institutions as possible to use it within their own organisations.

For more information, please contact Sonya Peres at speres@eauc.org.uk.


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