Alternatives to Travel (draft)

The most environmentally friendly form of travel is generally not travelling at all! Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the knowledge, experience and technology to make remote study and working much easier. Not only that, but substituting travel with technology can also save you time and money!

Do you need to make that trip?

Do you need to make that trip?

Please consider whether email, phone, video-conferencing or other substitute for travel may suffice instead? You can save yourself and your department time and money. 
Flexible working and smart working

Flexible working and smart working

Working from home, or with reduced is now much more commonplace, providing flexibility as we as lowering travel-related carbon emissions. This new way of working looks to be here to stay.
  • Flexible working allows employees to change the days, hours or locations of their working days. This can help to support maintaining your work-life balance, but also improve the sustainability of your journey to work (e.g. working remotely, travelling in periods where public transport is more convenient or the roads are less busy). There are various options for flexible working at the University which of course will be role dependent.  Information from HR can be found here.
  • Smart working is a framework that enables colleagues to have more flexibility in when or where they work, but not through formal or permanent changes.
  • Some great examples of University staff working flexibly are provided here.
Sustainable practices for working from home

Sustainable practices for working from home

Home-working provides a less emissive alternative to vehicular travel to work, but also come with its own environmental considerations. More time at home can result in greater waste production and energy and water usage. However, it also provides the chance to take more control over these actions.
  • Electrical waste has increased in the UK by around 11% from 2019 to 2022. Before buying a new device or discarding an old one, contact your line manager to see whether a pre-used alternative is available or if an old device can be re-used.
  • Changing behaviors mean that the internet now takes up 10% of global energy usage. Blurring your background on Teams, reviewing the necessity of the number of emails you send (including "Thank you" emails) and avoiding running multiple programs or streams at once can all reduce your bandwidth.
  • More time at home gives you more control of your waste! Research local recycling guidance and check you are following it correctly.
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