ETH Zurich in Switzerland has committed to a reduction of 11% of their flight emissions per capita from 2019 to 2025 compared to the average for the years 2016-2018. This cut in emissions is based on the effective reduction of flight emissions by ETH members; it neither includes compensation nor the efficiency gains of the airlines due to technological progress. If these efficiency gains of airlines were not subtracted, ETH Zurich’s targeted reduction of emissions would amount to about 22%.
The air travel project “Stay grounded, keep connected” was launched in spring 2017 and is a result of a participatory process. It will be subject to an interim evaluation three years after its start, in 2022.
Concrete measures to reduce air travel include (examples):
- awareness raising in research and teaching
- expansion of videoconferencing and virtual conferences (infrastructure, training)
- sustainable travel planning (e.g. bundling and combining of travels, preference of train rides over flights for journeys of less than 6-8 hours, incentives for taking train rides, disincentives for business flights, promotion of events and excursions in Europe)
- new monitoring and evaluation system of flight emissions (since 2019)
Some departments have also decided to introduce their own internal CO₂ tax (Carbon Tax) as a steering tax. The revenue will be used for teaching, research or the promotion of young talent for projects focusing on CO₂ reduction.
Links and resources:
- Find the latest developments of the air travel reduction project “Stay grounded, keep connected” of the ETH Zürich here.
- The newest version of the reduction targets and measures for academic air travel reduction at the ETH Zürich can be found here.
- Factsheet about the project
- Collection of possible measures to reduce academic air travel
Links in German:
- Air travel project website of the ETH Zurich
- Factsheet about the air travel project
- Reduction goals and measures of the ETH Zurich
- Definitions to measure flight emissions at the ETH Zurich
- Report about a online conference by ETH Zurich
- Comparison of travel times and carbon emissions for journeys from Zurich to European cities by train and by flights