Guiding Principles of Sustainable Business Travel

Guiding Principles of Sustainable Business Travel

Dear Colleagues,

As set out in the Aberdeen 2040 strategy, we are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions before 2040 (Commitment 19). 

Business travel (both domestic and international) currently underpins a cross-section of University activities, including education, research and student recruitment.  However, the environmental impact of travel, particularly in relation to carbon emissions, has resulted in us taking a fresh look at how we conduct these essential elements of our core business. 

This work has been taken forward by the Sustainable Business Travel Working Group, and on behalf of my colleagues on the Group, I would like to thank everyone across the University who took the time to participate in the consultation process (including the focus groups and online survey) as we developed our Sustainable Business Travel Report & Recommendations.

This work has now culminated in the launch of our institutional:

They are designed to reflect the University’s expectation that all colleagues will now routinely consider sustainable business travel options and reach decisions on whether (and how) to travel within the framework and ethos underpinning the 4 Guiding Principles and the Travel Hierarchy. 

Further information about the Guiding Principles, Travel Hierarchy and how they will be implemented is available online at the Sustainable Business Travel website. The recent revisions to the Expenses & Benefits Policy also took this new framework into account. 

In developing this framework, we recognised the importance of (i) balancing the need to travel for business purposes with the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, (ii) the context of the geographical challenges associated with travelling to and from the North East of Scotland, (iii) ensuring that there is equity in the approach adopted across all grades and categories of staff, and (iv) taking equality & diversity considerations and individual staff circumstances (including caring responsibilities) into account.

I urge you to familiarise yourself with the Guiding Principles & Travel Hierarchy and use them whenever you consider travelling on University business.

Best wishes,

Gary Macfarlane

Chair of Sustainable Business Travel Working Group

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