The UNIL Rectorate of the University has issued a new directive to regulate business travels with the aim of reducing environmental impacts.
The UNIL Rectorate has set itself the goal of reducing UNIL’s impacts within the planetary boundaries while fulfilling its social mission. A great deal of work has been carried out to quantify precisely UNIL’s current impact in order to guide the actions that need to be taken.
In particular, it shows that business travels by UNIL personnel alone accounts for 23% of the institution’s greenhouse gas emissions (estimated on 2019 data). It is therefore the largest single source of emissions.
So, even though international exchanges play an important role in the academic life, we must rethink certain travel practices to make sure that the academic world contributes to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The services of the Rectorate and the deaneries have therefore elaborated a directive on business travel in order to establish a frame for reducing its environmental impact.
The main points of this directive are:
These principles are largely inspired by the decisions taken by other universities and represent a first meaningful step. The introduction of the advance request form will make it possible to obtain precise and systematic data on annual flights. This information will allow to adopt additional targeted measures at a later date, in particular to reduce the proportion of intercontinental flights, which have the greatest impact.
The ecological and social transition towards a university that respects the planetary boundaries necessarily implies a major rethink of our current practices, both individually and collectively. With the adoption of this new directive, which is undoubtedly open to improvement, the Direction is inviting the entire academic community to begin this process of reflection.