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Meetings and travels

Image: Malin Grönborg

Meetings are an important element of Umeå University’s operations and create added value for the university itself and its regional, national and international partners. Our ambition is to reduce climate impact from travels and develop the formats for sustainable meetings.

Umeå University’s geographic location often leads to a need to travel by air. During the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly the entire amount (>99.5 per cent) of carbon dioxide generated by the university's business travel, emerged from air travel. It is a challenge to satisfy the needs for and value of meeting others without creating high emissions of gases that affect the climate.

The university’s environmental policy describes that the university must always work towards creating opportunities for travel-free meetings and that all necessary travels are primarily to be made through public transport, and as safe, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. During the pandemic, business travel has decreased remarkably and online tools for web meetings have been improved. Lessons can be learnt from this in the university’s endeavours to continue to improve the forms for and the increased use of sustainable meetings.

Commuting also has an important impact on the environment and climate, which is why the university, together with relevant stakeholders, should work to improve and develop the opportunities for sustainable travel to and from the workplace.

Follow-up of the targeted goals

Action plan for climate and sustainability contains the university's strategic goals and overall activities for the period 2021-2023. The results of follow-ups for the two targeted goals within the focus area of ​​meetings and travels, are reported here.

Goal 11. Climate impact from travels must decrease

As indicators for this goal, we have chosen "Carbon dioxide equivalents from business trips" and "Carbon dioxide equivalents per annual employee". Here's how we are doing:

  • Year 2019: 4 107 tons, 1 164 kg per annual employee
  • Year 2020: 620 tons, 172 kg per annual employee
  • Year 2021: 389 ton, 104 kg per annual employee
  • Year 2022: 4 475 tons, 1 167 kg per annual employee
  • Year 2023: 3771 tons, 961 kg per annual employee

Goal 12. The use of web meetings must increase

Here, we have set "Number of meeting hours carried out digitally" as the indicator. 

  • Year 2018: 155 000 hours
  • Year 2021: 5 000 000 hours
  • Year 2022: 2 900 000 hours
  • Year 2023: 1 770 000 hours 

Read about our activities within this area

Here are examples of activities in the key area of ​​Meetings and travels that have been carried out in recent years.

Sustainable development goals

Through activities in the key area Meetings and travels, the university contributes to sustainable development goals no. 11: Sustainable cities and communities, and no. 13: Climate action.
Latest update: 2024-02-12