Changes to the University of Groningen’s travel policy mean that employees are no longer allowed to fly for business if their destination can either be reached by train within six hours or is less than 500 kilometres away.
Translation by Hans de Preter
According to the Universiteitskrant, the RUG wants to reduce the number of business trips its employees take by plane. Every year on average, the university has around 5,500 flights for staff to meetings, conferences or symposia abroad, which amounts to roughly 32 million kilometres of travel.
But nearly 70 percent of the employees have a destination within Europe, and only a limited number of employees remain below the 500 kilometer limit. If a destination is less than 500 kilometres away, the university’s new travel policy calls for them to find other means of transportation to reach their destination.
Employees who travel more than 500 kilometers are still allowed to fly, but the university policy still encourages them to consider other options, including not travelling at all and simply using Skype or video conferencing.
The university is in the top 10 (in seventh place) in the GreenMetric Ranking, a ranking of the 700 most sustainable universities worldwide, for the first time this year. Wageningen University& Research, another Dutch university, tops the list.