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Business travel

Our academic strategy for the next 10 years is rooted in our desire to make a difference in the world, and our strategy of Universal Values, Global Change will deliver this. Collaboration with international partners and delivering global impacts from research are key activities at the University of Leeds that help us to deliver the University Strategy and shape a better future.

Certain travel is essential for staff and students to meet these goals, be it for research, innovation or other learning opportunities. However, travel for business and research is one of the principal sources of carbon emissions at the University of Leeds.

As part of the University’s Climate Plan, a key tenet of the University Strategy, we have committed to delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In 2018/2019, business travel by University of Leeds staff was responsible for over 13,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions, making it our second highest source of measured greenhouse gas emissions after the energy used to operate our buildings and estate.

A participatory approach to travel policy

Graphic with the text 'Climate Plan' in large, and the words 'Achieving sustainable travel' above.

We’re striving to be sector-leading, to create a strategy which incentivises sustainable travel. We believe that it will be through collaboration that we will deliver creative and long lasting approaches to reduce our travel emissions.

To support this, The University of Leeds is developing a participatory process to harness the views and expertise of our entire University community. Our staff and students will hear more about this process in due course.

Interim travel guidance

In September 2022, we published interim guidance to help staff and students across the University make informed choices when travelling for business or academic purposes.  We ask that you consider the guidance when booking or planning business or academic travel.

For more information, contact


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on business travel is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Goal 13: Climate action

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.