Airline departures noticeboardAir travel is a significant contributor to global environmental emissions and there is a growing realisation of the impact of travel on the environment.

There is a growth in the number of requests and comments from University staff wishing to offset air travel. It is encouraging that staff are thinking about their individual carbon impact. 

Offsetting air travel is part of the  Property and Facilities Division Sustainability Action Plan 2016-2020 and has been identified as a priority for the UQ community during the development of the UQ Sustainaiblity Strategy 2020-2030.  It can also be a challenge to implement.

UQ is looking to establish a system for offsetting flights which will direct offset funds to a credible and enduring offset program representing the interests of UQ. 

Several changes and developments took place during 2019 including:

  1. Offsetting air travel remains an important action identified during workshops with the UQ community to develop the UQ Sustainability Strategy 2020 – 2030. 
  2. UQ staff are increasingly concerned and demanding air travel off-sets.
  3. Sustainability and Energy are working with other Group of 8 Universities on Scope 3 emissions including standardising reporting for air travel emissions.    
  4. Travel bookings were centralised and a sole provider for all air travel was announced, vastly improving access to accurate data records. 
  5. Data is available for all of 2019 to understand the total air miles and determining the ‘right’ offset program for UQ.  

An air travel emissions offset program for the whole of UQ must be able to achieve national carbon offsetting rules, contribute towards credible and enduring projects and be financially viable in its delivery for UQ. 

P&F, Sustainability Office, during 2020, will be taking these matters into consideration when developing options for an air travel emissions offset program and will communicate the outcomes as the program develops.

For further information and any questions please contact UQ Sustainability sustainability@uq.edu.au