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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA‑UAB)

ICTA-UAB commits to a responsible and sustainable travel strategy  

23 Feb 2022
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The ICTA-UAB has designed a responsible travel strategy with the aim of helping researchers at the centre, as well as researchers from the rest of the UAB, to reduce the environmental impact of their research-related travels.  

Responsible travel strategy

The proposal responds to the global climate emergency, which the UAB acknowledged in May 2019 through an institutional declaration, and the urgent need to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5ºC below pre-industrial levels in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. This ambitious objective requires drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  

To this end, ICTA-UAB has decided to join the efforts that the UAB has been making for several years to reduce its contribution to GHGs through an action plan aimed at both daily commuting and scientific travel by its researchers. In this sense, ICTA-UAB has presented a guide of good practices that its members will adopt choose for low environmental impact options in their scientific travel, in the development of their projects, and other work activities that also involve mobility. 

To promote responsible daily mobility, the guide encourages prioritising public transport, carpooling or using more fuel-efficient vehicles such as electric cars or motorbikes, and to adopt active and healthy forms of transport such as cycling or walking. To encourage responsible travel, researchers will assess their journeys from the point of view of environmental impact in relation to other aspects such as economic cost, duration or personal circumstances. Aware that the institution's funding sources, and travel policies can be a constraint to their objectives, they aim to raise awareness and mobilise the university community on the need to reduce the carbon footprint of their research work as much as possible.  

Some of the proposed actions include prioritising telematic meetings over face-to-face meetings, events and virtual tools, reducing the number of attendees in a group at the same event, using public transport instead of private transport for short journeys, and using air travel only to cover distances of more than 1,000 kilometres with direct flights. With the development of this guide, ICTA-UAB aims to contribute to a plural discussion among the university and scientific community about the importance of developing systems for monitoring carbon emissions related to teaching and research activities, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of any policy or measure adopted to mitigate climate change in our universities or research centres.  

The UAB, with Sustainable Development Goals

  • Climate action