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Sustainable business travel policy

Sustainable travel within Europe: always take the train for journeys up to nine hours
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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, an updated 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.

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.

New map and decision tree

To make it as easy as possible for everyone, a new train travel map and a decision tree have been created. The map displays at a glance which most-visited 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.

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:09 March 2023 4.59 p.m.
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