Business Travel

Business Travel is one of the specific actions outlined in Cornell’s Climate Action Plan...

Business Travel infographic
On a per-mile basis, the greenhouse gases from flying are 1.5 times as much as driving

This initiative seeks to reduce energy and associated emissions required for University-related transportation. This action involves making changes to our means of travel and choosing less carbon-intensive modes of transportation for business trips as well as saving energy through means such as teleconferencing and other tools. As we move forward with our efforts we are exploring the feasibility of adding direct bus connections to Washington D.C. along with other high frequency Cornell business destinations. We are also continuing to gather data on how we might enhance our business travel sustainability initiatives in varying departments across our campus.

Cornell is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner and encourages low impact travel whenever possible. Here’s how you can help us meet our goal of net zero carbon emissions:

  • AVOID: If the business purpose can be accomplished without your physical presence, consider avoiding the trip altogether and use virtual meeting technology such as WebEx (https://cornell.webex.com). Depending on your job function, you can also discuss telecommuting options with your supervisor to reduce daily commute.
  • REDUCE: Plan your travel strategically to avoid unnecessary additional mileage. Consolidate meetings and errands to save money, time and emissions.
  • REPLACE: Consider utilizing a more fuel efficient or low impact mode of transportation (i.e. bus or carpool versus single occupant vehicle)
  • OFFSET: Consider Offsetting the carbon emissions resulting in your travel. High impact carbon offsets can be purchased locally through the Finger Lakes Climate Fund (www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org) in just a few minutes! Donations are used for grants to fund energy efficiency projects that would not otherwise be possible in low to moderate income households in the Finger Lakes region. These grants help pay for insulation, air sealing, energy efficient heating equipment, and other upgrades to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The FLCF is also investigating other cost-effective local carbon offset projects such as solar hot water, solar photovoltaic, biomass heating, and other renewable energy projects. Speak with your director about how offsets can be purchased for business travel.