blauwe lucht en wolken
blauwe lucht en wolken

"We will travel climate-neutral by 2025"

Cognitive Neuroscience and Communication Science win Radboud International Travel Challenge.

Communication Science (Radboud University) and Cognitive Neuroscience (Radboudumc) have the best developed plans to reduce the environmental impact of international travel. This is the outcome of the Radboud International Travel Challenge, a competition between departments of Radboud University and Radboudumc to develop sustainable policies for international business travel.

Professionals in academia and medicine regularly make international trips for their work, for example to visit conferences or participate in international projects. This can be useful or even necessary for maintaining professional knowledge, building an international network or securing grants. But the environmental impact of air travel and the rise of digital collaboration technology means that flying is anything but a given these days. Read more about the cooperation on sustainable travel between Radboud University and Radboudumc on the website.
The Radboud International Travel Challenge challenged departments to draft new policies with this knowledge in mind, balancing the interests of both young and experienced scientists on the one hand and environmental impact on the other. A nice prize was available for the winning departments: a bronze statue of a kiwi (a famous, non-flying bird).

Communication Science

Within Radboud University, Communication Science was the winner. They expressed the concrete ambition to emit less and less CO2 in the coming years and to travel climate-neutral in 2025. The jury said, "This is another plan that consists of a diversity of well-developed measures, such as an ambitious target and quota, as well as budget for organizing hybrid conferences and their own Radboud forest to compensate." 

The award was received during a staff meeting by associate professor Anita Eerland. After the presentation, the ambitious team immediately asked about the sustainability goals in the field of ICT and email traffic. Jury member Marije Klomp was then able to tell that a new campaign will soon start at the university to reduce the environmental impact of this as well - an initiative that already started at the Radboudumc in March.

De opstellers van het voorstel bij Communicatiewetenschap (Anita Eerland, Barbara Müller en Marieke Fransen)

The drafters of the proposal at Communication Science (Anita Eerland, Barbara Müller and Marieke Fransen) with digitally present team members in the background.

Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive Neuroscience (CNS) managed to do this most convincingly within the Radboudumc. According to the jury of the Challenge, CNS provided "a complete and concrete plan, with various measures that when added together can raise awareness and reduce the impact. From clear rules regarding the amount of flights, to monitoring impact and an award."

Researcher Ana Carolina Temporão accepted the award on behalf of CNS during a departmental meeting. She immediately gave a presentation to elaborate on the - now more detailed - plans. For example, CNS is going to ask employees to track their travel behavior around (international) conferences - even if they opt for virtual presence. For the colleagues who travel the most sustainably, the department will make available a prize of 10,000 euros that may be used for their own research.

Ana Carolina Temporão ontvangt de award van jurylid Marije Klomp

Ana Carolina Temporão receives the award from jury member Marije Klomp

The organization of the Challenge has summarized the best ideas on the action page [link] sustainable international travel. Look here for inspiration and practical tips to also permanently reduce your department's environmental impact!