People walking through airport terminal with luggage

Reducing academic flying

A symposium on research and action, University of Sheffield, 13th November 2019.

How can we make Universities less dependent on air travel?

Cutting air travel is one of the quickest ways to make a big difference to carbon emissions. But for many professions, including academia, that is not straightforward. Key parts of University business and academic careers have become dependent on cheap and fast international travel.

An international symposium in Sheffield on the 13th of November will bring together leading researchers into academic and business flight, as well as people with experience of initiatives that help to reduce flight dependence. It is co-organised by Stephen Allen (Management) and Matt Watson (Geography). We aim to share insights and expertise, and together identify the pathways forward for research and for action to reduce air travel.

We aim to be able to apply learning from the symposium within the University, in collaboration with the Sustainability Strategy team; and to be part of effecting change in the sector. But academia is also a case for understanding the challenges and opportunities for change in a relatively flight-dependent sector, with potential learning that can be transferred to other sectors where change is most needed.

We will be demonstrating the value of virtual participation to share talks both ways with Scandinavia, North America and Australia, and to enable discussion and collaboration, without producing tonnes of CO2e.

For more information see

Participating Institutions