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Greener travel for MI's employees

Academic work involves international collaboration. This sometimes means that one has to fly, but perhaps not always?

Checklist for travel planning

According to the UiO climate accounts for 2018, flights make up about 20% of UiO's CO2 emissions. Each employee at UiO emits the same amount of CO2 by work related flights as the total emission each person can have if we are to reach the two-degree goal.

Airplanes are the means of transport with the highest CO2 emissions per passenger
kilometer. Trains have the smallest amount of emissions.

The Department of Mathematics encourages all employees to check the following points when planning travel:

  1. Is the journey actually necessary? Email and Skype make it easy to collaborate without traveling.
  2. Can the journey be replaced by video conferencing? More information about video conferencing at MI.
  3. Can you use other means of transport than a plane? If the price of train/bus is approximately equal to the flight price, environmentally friendly transport is recommended (whenever reasonable time-wise). Remember to include the airport express train both here in Oslo and at your destination when comparing prices. Further information about booking train and bus tickets.
  4. Can several short trips be merged?
  5. Can you combine two (or more) activities? Perhaps a sensor can also hold a seminar, or maybe you and your partner in the same conference.
  6. Can you skip the plane one way? Taking the train one way almost halves the COemission of your trip.
  7. Can you avoid flying in sensors/opponents? Or perhaps fly in one sensor/opponent, while the other one can participate via video conference? Perhaps you can prioritise a short travel for one of the opponents?
  8. Avoid having internal meetings/seminars in places where you have to fly to get to.

Remember that this checklist also applies to invitations of guests/sensors/lecturers that have to travel to get to UiO.

Choose public transportation locally whenever possible. It is the most environmentally friendly choice and often the most reasonably priced one. If public transportation is not available, while in Oslo use for example UiOs electric car pool for related local travel. Choose electric vehicles whenever possible.

MI is conducting a survey of employee travel habits. These results will form the basis for the institute's target for reduction of flights in 2020.

Cutting flights matters!

Climate calculators allow you to calculate the environmental impact of particular journeys you are considering. Try them out!

Example: Plane vs. train Oslo-Stockholm

We often forget the extra time and money spent in connection to air travel.


Example: Round trip Oslo-Stockholm approx. three months ahead. 
Plane to Stockholm: 2120,- Train to Stockholm: 455,-

Airport Express train Oslo S-OSL (round trip) 400,- (20 min)

Plane OSL-Arlanda t/r 1200,- (1 hour fly time plus check in at least 1.5 hours before departure)

Airport express train Arlanda Express (round trip)  520,- (20 min)

Total 2120,-

Time spent including walking between the train stations and airport, waiting for the flight plus a little extra slack is about 4 hours.

Train Oslo S-Stockholm C with SJ (round trip) 455,- (5.5 timer)

Total 455,-

Time spent is between 5.5 and 6 hours. 

Note that there are no switches, so you can the entire journey to read or rest.

The price example above is for 2nd class tickets that cannot be rebooked or refunded (similar to the most affordable plane tickets shown left).

One can upgrade to 1st class tickets that are fully refundable. The price of this is 1280,-.


Note that prices vary a lot. The numbers above were checked via Finn Reise and SJ the 27/05-2019 for a round trip from 20-22 august 2019. 


Keep in mind that fewer journeys means more peace and quiet.

Published Aug. 6, 2019 2:06 PM - Last modified Aug. 29, 2019 10:14 AM