Night train to Oslo? Bike to work? Or on foot home from a football match?

Success Story | NTNU Travel Pledge 2019

Industry: Public university

Campus: Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesundy

Number of employees: 7401

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Some took things further than others when NTNU started their one year Ducky Campaign this spring, to motivate their employees to travel less and more environmentally-friendly.

NTNU’s Kasper Thorvaldsen walked home from a football match with an injury to save the planet from unnecessary carbon emissions.

“I’m very competitive,” says Kasper and smiles.

We’re very happy with how the campaign has worked for us. It’s helped us start really valuable discussions and awareness around the impact of our travel habits on the emissions and carbon footprint of the university. This was a major goal of the campaign.
Christian Solli
Environmental Advisor, NTNU

Flew 1760 times around the earth

In 2018, NTNU employees flew a total of 1760 times around the earth.

NTNU spends more than 300 MNOK on transport annually on work-related travel. Their goal is to cut the number of flights with 50% by 2030.

“It’s the international travels that cause the biggest footprint. If we’re going to focus on our largest emissions, then traveling is an activity we have to look at,” says environmental consultant Christian Solli at NTNU.

The University of Oslo’s recent climate accounting shows that one third of the emissions come from transport, and 20 percent come from flights. The figures are roughly the same at the University of Bergen and NTNU.

Created discussions

In spring, NTNU kicked off their campaign The Travel Pledge. It started with a survey mapping out the travel habits of NTNU employees, followed by a four-week Ducky Challenge with faculties competing against each other.

“We are pleased with how the campaign has worked. The campaign generated discussions and awareness of our travel habits and how these affect NTNU’s CO2e footprint,” says Solli, who describes the campaign as a success.

Thirteen percent of employees participated. 1062 employees completed the survey, 531 joined the transport championship.

It has helped make me aware of myself and my travel habits, both in terms of transport to and from work and in my spare time.
Marit Reitan
Dean Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, NTNU



15 209

Climate actions logged

25 925

Kg CO2e saved

In the transport championship, the teams competed to save the most CO2e in 4 weeks.

Flying too much

Cutting carbon emissions is a hot topic at universities and colleges because academics fly too much. Calls for halving emissions from flights have received hundreds of signatures. At the University of Bergen, the largest workers union has advocated that the university stop unnecessary seminars and field trips abroad.

Great initiative

NTNU’s Marit Reitan believes that the Travel Pledge was a great initiative:

“It has helped make me aware of myself and my travel habits, both in terms of transport to and from work and in my spare time. I also think it has contributed to valuable discussions around the lunch table.”

Want to develop climate-friendly travel habits

The Travel Pledge Campaign will end with NTNU-ers getting the opportunity to sign a personal travel pledge. But this is just the beginning of the long-term work to change the academias travel habits. Because like NTNU – the University in Oslo and Bergen has comprehensive and long-term plans to cut emissions. Regulations and restrictions for travel is a central part of these plans everywhere.

“Our goal is to develop climate-friendly travel habits,” says environmental consultant Christian Solli at NTNU.

Flights pollute more than expected

Now, in 2020, the Ministry of Education will conduct a national competition between universities and colleges to get them to cut their carbon emissions. The goal is for academia to become the greenest sector of all. And are rooting for them!

See articles about the Travel Pledge here:

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