In 2020, professional air travel at the UW decreased more than 60% as a result of the mandatory stay at home orders and public health crisis. While some work of the university was negatively impacted, we quickly developed new skills for working and gathering virtually and experienced benefits such as increased participation, and reduced costs.

Our goals are to build on what we learned to minimize unnecessary travel and to continue to pursue strategies for offsetting emissions from travel that is core to our mission.

Status updates

Target actions for 2024

View actions for past fiscal years

Sustainability plan guiding principles

  •  Ensure students achieve sustainability literacy
  •  Choose our research conscientiously
  •  Keep equity and inclusion at the center
  •  Use resources responsibly
  •  Decarbonize

The ad hoc committee will continue to work on drafting a policy for air travel reduction, with a goal to have a draft ready for consideration and discussion by the university in the winter. In the upcoming year, the working group will facilitate focus groups with staff and faculty to better understand perceptions of air travel from our UW community. These focus groups are critical to help inform the draft policy.