Sustainable Travel

Air travel is one of the fasting growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. In Canada, greenhouse gas emissions from air travel increased by almost 44 per cent between 2010 and 2017, with Canadian airlines carrying over 7.6 million passengers per month in 2017!

Understanding that the number of air trips taken is only going to continue increasing, some citizens have pledged to fly less or stop flying entirely in order to drastically reduce their carbon footprint.

While traveling is often perceived as a crucial part of the job for researchers, an April 2019 study out of the University of British Columbia has found that air travel has limited influence on professional success.

Learn more about the communities who have already pledged to stop flying at noflyclimatesci.org and by following #flyingless. Get in touch with aileen.rivers [at] mcgill.ca (Ali Rivers), McGill’s Climate Officer, with any questions or to work on a plan to reduce air travel within your department/unit

At McGill

McGill has committed to attaining carbon neutrality by 2040. As of 2017, however, about 14 per cent of McGill’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from University-financed air travel. Achieving carbon neutrality relies on the engagement and commitment of our entire community – especially when it comes to activities with a high degree of individual choice, like air travel.

While some trips by air are unavoidable, more members of our community are choosing not to fly when they can. As a McGill community member, you also have some extra options open to you, such as videoconferencing capabilities on campus and a discount on VIA Rail tickets. Learn more about sustainable transportation here and by checking out the Sustainable Travel and Mobility Guide.  

#BecauseIDidntFly

So what can you do? Choose not to fly!

If you’re traveling for work to a location that you could reasonably travel to by car, train or bus – or if you’ve decided not to travel at all, instead participating remotely or combining several trips into one – let us know! We would like to collect stories of our community members choosing to reduce their carbon footprint by not flying.

There are two ways you can get involved:

  1. Share your savings: Fill out this form with information about your trip and we will calculate your greenhouse gas emission savings from not flying.
  2. Share your journey: We would love to know what you were able to do on your trip because of your decision not to fly. If you’re posting about your trip on social media, feel free to use #BecauseIDidntFly.
    • Going somewhere especially breathtaking? kelsey.litwin [at] mcgill.ca (subject: %23BecauseIDidntFly) (Let us know) and we can help you produce a video about your trip and the added benefits of not flying.