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Sustainable travel within Europe: always take the train for journeys up to nine hours

Quick insight into the policy for business trips with a new train map and decision tree
31 January 2023
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UG staff members travel many kilometres by plane every year. To reduce the CO2 output of this type of travel and to encourage staff members to make sustainable choices, the UG has established a sustainability policy for foreign business trips. The policy was adjusted, as announced, as from 1 January. To make it as easy as possible for everyone, a new train travel map and a decision tree have been created.

What does the new policy entail?

Staff members must travel by train (instead of by plane) for all foreign business trips booked as from 1 January 2023, if:

  • the destination is less than 800 km from Groningen (or another point of departure), and/or
  • the journey time is less than nine hours by train.

The UG would like to encourage staff members to make sustainable choices. When making your decision, you could thus also consider whether making the journey is necessary or whether a video conference or an online meeting would suffice.

New map and decision tree

The map displays at a glance which destinations are reachable within nine hours by train (green), for which you must therefore take the train. Destinations that take over nine hours by train are displayed in yellow. You could still consider taking the train to these destinations. By doing so, you’d be making a sustainable choice and helping the environment!

You can also find extra information on the map, such as what your CO2 emissions would amount to by taking the train or plane to a certain destination. For instance, you’d generate 2 kg of CO2 when travelling to Bordeaux by train, versus 396 kg by plane. In this way, you can immediately see the benefits of making a sustainable choice.

Would you like to receive a printed copy of the map in A3? Then send an email to

Why a new travel policy?

Sixteen percent of the total CO2 footprint of the UG is caused by business trips. Almost 70% of these trips take place within Europe. In 2019, the UG policy for foreign business trips was established. In 2020 and 2021, less travel took place due to the coronavirus pandemic. But now, the number of business trips is on the rise again. To contribute to reducing the University’s CO2 emissions, the new policy was drafted to take effect as from 1 January 2023. In September 2022, the policy for foreign business trips was therefore re-established by the Board of the University.

There are two ways in which the UG would like to reduce the CO2 emissions of foreign business trips. Firstly, staff members are encouraged to make a conscious choice: is the journey necessary? Or would an online meeting or video conference suffice? Secondly, staff members must take (short) journeys within Europe by train instead of by plane.

The decision tree and map were designed in collaboration with Laurine Brugman from Cake Mixstore. The policy for foreign business trips is a part of the University’s overarching strategy surrounding sustainable mobility.

Last modified:02 February 2023 1.59 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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