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Working Group Flying Faculties


The global air traffic causes about three percent of all greenhouse gas emissions[i]. These climate-damaging emissions are caused by a very small minority of the world's population and contribute significantly to the personal carbon footprint of this flying population. For example, an economy round-trip flight from Frankfurt to New York emits 2.9 t CO2[ii], while the average CO2 footprint of a German citizen is 11 t for 2017 [iii]. The annual CO2 budget per person to achieve the 2 degree climate target is 2.3 t [iv] per year.

Preliminary calculations show that business travel, and especially air travel, accounts for 10-20% of the university's total emissions.  This rather wide range results from the different ways of calculating the electricity mix.

Since June 2019, the working group Flying Faculties has been working on this topic. The working group was initiated by the student initiative Sustainability Office and comprises of university employees and students. The aim of the pilot project is to evaluate the emissions caused by business trips and to develop a strategy for reducing aircraft emissions and raising awareness among employees. In order to obtain a reasonable database, all business trips of one faculty for the year 2018 were evaluated based on the available travel documentation.


Photo: Ross Palmly, Unsplash