Air Travel is the third largest component of Greenhouse Gas Emissions at CSU (behind electricity and natural gas). In partnership with the City and local utility providers, we are well on our way to meeting our 100% renewable electricity goal by 2030. Steps are also being taken to reduce the use of natural gas on our campuses (including one of the largest geo-exchange systems in the state).
Air travel emissions must be reduced and offset to make progress towards our goal of climate neutrality by 2040. Starting February 1, 2022 an air travel offset program will launch and fund a CSU Emissions Reduction Fund that will be used for direct emission reduction projects at the University.
Starting February 1, 2022, the University will assess a $10 offset fee for domestic air travel trips and $20 for international air travel trips paid for by the University. Fees will be assessed per trip rather than per leg or segment of a trip. With air travel prices fluctuating on a daily basis, these nominal fees fall within the daily price fluctuation range. Please note that sponsored research travel is exempt from this fee due to specifications on how those dollars can be spent. Likewise, air travel paid for with personal funds and not reimbursed by the university is exempt.
Business and Financial Services will run a report each month to track air travel purchases paid for by the University and Facilities Management will collect the fees for a dedicated CSU Emissions Reduction Fund. The front-end process for booking and purchasing air travel will not change.
Tips to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint while Traveling
- Forego flying and meet virtually – this has the biggest carbon reduction impact.
- For shorter distances, travel by means other than flying (charter bus, train, or carpool in CSU fleet vehicle).
- Combine trips – pair a conference with a site visit or complete two meetings in one trip rather than flying back and forth.
- Fly non-stop – taking off and landing uses the most fuel so direct flights are more efficient than lay-overs
- Fly on planes that emit fewer emissions – larger and newer planes are typically more efficient than smaller and older planes.
- Travel in coach – the larger seats and expanded leg room in business and first class equal three times as many emissions as the efficient coach seats.
- Pack light – more weight on the plane means more fuel needed.