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
Green Flag Certified
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ducky.eco are rooting for them!
See articles about the Travel Pledge here:
More success stories
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FEE Norway and Green Flag ran the Alcoa-Klimamesterskap 2019. In two weeks pupils at 7 high schools in Agder and Nordland reduced Co2e-emissions equivalent to a passenger flight flying 3 times around the earth.
A kindergarten took first place in Norway’s first unofficial Climate Championship. On the 30th of August, thousands of people around Norway shouted for political action for the climate. For ten companies this wasn’t enough, and followed with a two-week Championship.
More than 100 pupils at Firda VGS participated in a Climate Challenge. Because the pilot was so successful, the school will now join 10 other schools in Sogn & Fjordane County to compete in the first National Climate Championship in January 2020.
More than 6 000 students in Telemark and Trøndelag show how powerful individual actions can be when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Their savings would be equivalent to 40% of Norway’s total annual carbon emissions!
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