In 2022, total air travel at GIUZ increased significantly compared to the Covid-19 travel ban period, but remained lower than pre-Covid years. Flight distances and emissions were just below the UZH target. The most frequent reasons for air travels were (1) conferences and workshops and (2) field trips and excursions. Guests represented the largest air travel share by function, followed by professors and PhD candidates. All GIUZ thematic areas remained below the UZH target, except for Human Geography, which (per capita) overshot by almost twice the flight distance target, mainly due to workshops with invited guests.
The topic of airmiles reduction was discussed frequently within GIUZ, on research group level, at MAV, InVers and during the Fly Less workshop organised by the Airmiles group. In 2023, the GIUZ Airmiles group will continue the monitoring of air travels and will finalise a GIUZ Airmiles Reduction Strategy to be implemented by InVers, to successfully reach the UZH Airmiles reduction target whilst taking wellbeing and research goals into account.
In 2021, air travel at GIUZ remained very low due to post Covid-19 travel bans. Flight distances and emissions were therefore well below the UZH target. The GIUZ Airmiles group reached out to colleagues at the department, the faculty, the UZH and the public to raise awareness of air travel in academia and air miles monitoring at GIUZ in particular. In March 2022, the airmiles group presented the first draft of the “GIUZ Airmiles Reduction Strategy” at the Institutes’ assembly (InVers). In December, they organise the workshop “Fly less?!” for all GIUZ staff and students. At this workshop staff and students can exchange about best-practices and discuss future plans and measures regarding low flying academia.
Unsurprisingly, there was a massive decrease in air travel at the Department of Geography in 2020 due to lockdowns and travel bans. To reach the reduction goal of 25% by 2025, the Air Miles Monitoring working group currently elaborates concrete recommendations and prioritises incentives.
Air miles monitoring at GIUZ builds on a UZH pilot project carried out in 2018. Following the GIUZ group leader retreat on sustainability in June 2019, the working group developed a concept for air miles monitoring and corresponding reduction goals.
Air travels for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 were collected through the department’s reimbursement system by the secretariats. These three years build the reference period for monitoring and setting the reduction goals.