light rail train at uw station


Collaboration is a central activity of academic research, and UW faculty travel for networking, researching, learning and reporting. Until sustainable aviation fuels are widely deployed there are no meaningful low-emissions alternatives to jet travel. However, the COVID-19 crisis has kickstarted rapid and successful deployment of videoconferencing technologies that UW staff and faculty can leverage by being aggressive adopters and by taking initiative to organize events online. Simultaneously, we will establish a bank of high-quality GHG offsets that travelers may use when there is no viable alternative to air travel.

Target actions for FY2021


UW Sustainability has compiled a list of resources for travelers interested in alternatives to air travel, especially for shorter range trips. We have also created a list of spaces across the University of Washington with videoconferencing technology.

Target metrics

One of the actions for fiscal year 2021 is to develop a system for measuring online attendance (avoided air travel) in addition to actual air travel. When those numbers are available, they will be posted here.

Previously, a keystone team of graduate students researched the UW’s professional air travel, which accounts for about 11% of the university’s total emissions. That work was followed by a capstone team of students who focused on developing and communicating the recommendations. Learn more about these efforts at the link below.

Guiding principles of this target