I’m Ruth, Senior Sustainability Policy Advisor. I only joined in June, so am still very much finding my feet, trying to understand how people work, who does what and how I can best go about my core role of delivering the Sustainability Strategy and making Sussex one of the most sustainable universities.
One of things I am collaborating on is Business Travel, developing a new Business Travel Policy for the University.
Coming from a local authority, I was genuinely staggered by the amount of international travel going on by university staff, mainly academics travelling the world to further their research and learning to achieve amazing things.
There is no doubt the results this work delivers, but if we want to achieve our ambitions and truly make a shift to reduce our impact on the planet, we can’t ignore the consequences of all the travel we do. We need to work out how we can still do what we need to, but reduce our impact.
Even with my limited knowledge of the University, I already understand this is a very emotive topic, and we need to find a solution that is pragmatic, respects diversity needs and won’t just be ignored when we launch it!
To help find a way through, we have formed a working group with a range of representatives from across the University. We have only met once, but already it was clear they are the right people for the job. There is a diverse range of views and perspectives, and everyone is keen to contribute.
One thing I am sure of, this won’t be an easy fix. We know other universities are grappling with the same challenges, and no one has found the golden bullet……yet.
We are only just kicking off this piece of work. Perhaps it can be us that comes up with the solution others look to and aspire to achieve?
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