Sustainable development

The University of Liège adopts an environmental policy for international travel


ULiège has adopted a new strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its international travel. Its ambition is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the university community's travel by reducing the number of kilometres travelled by air and by promoting sustainable alternatives.

In 2019, the staff of the University of Liège travelled almost 27 million kilometres by plane to participate in conferences, conduct research, give courses abroad or establish international relations. This travel generated almost 6,000 tonnes of CO2, representing approximately 6% of ULiège's carbon footprint. Some of these emissions cannot be avoided, but the development of alternatives opens up new perspectives.

In order to reduce these emissions and contribute to the Institution's sustainable development objectives, the Board of Directors adopted a four-pronged strategy on 13 October 2021:

  1. Raise the awareness of the university community about the environmental impacts of international travel and the alternatives available. The aim is to enable everyone to make conscious and responsible mobility choices according to the requirements of their activities.
  2. Develop alternatives to international travel. In particular, this means equipping meeting rooms to hold video conferences when participants' travel is not necessary.
  3. Encourage travel by train for short and medium distance journeys. From 1 April 2022, journeys will be made by train by default to destinations less than 6 hours' journey from station to station. For destinations less than 8 hours away by train, a train option will always be offered to the traveller by the Institution's travel agency.
  4. Create an internal support fund for sustainable initiatives, financed by a voluntary contribution from air travellers based on the carbon emissions of their journey. This fund will be allocated as a priority to actions in favour of sustainable mobility and carbon offsetting of emissions.

Many measures to raise awareness and support sustainable mobility also concern students, including the 1,500 students who participate annually in the ERASMUS international exchange programme (IN and OUT).

These measures were proposed by the Scientific Council for Sustainable Development on the basis of a detailed analysis of the University's mobility practices and international experiences. They will soon be the subject of a detailed communication to the faculties and will be added to the many projects that contribute to the sustainable development of ULiège.


Map of the 9440 aeroplane trips made by ULiège staff members in 2019. Marc Binard, ULiège - Geomatics, 2022

ODD 13 : Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
Prendre d’urgence des mesures pour lutter contre les changements climatiques et leurs répercussions Le treizième objectif vise à renforcer la résilience et la capacité d’adaptation des pays face aux aléas et catastrophes climatiques avec un focus sur le renforcement des capacités des pays les moins avancés et des petits États insulaires en développement. Cette ambition se traduit à chaque échelle : via le renforcement de la coopération internationale au travers notamment de l’opérationnalisation du fonds vert ; dans l’élaboration des politiques et planifications nationales, via la sensibilisation des citoyens et la mise en place de systèmes d’alertes rapides

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