New policy for University business travel coming soon


The University has approved a new Travel Policy that will come into effect on 1 August 2022. This policy will replace the travel guidance – whether for conferences, fieldwork, placements or interviews
– that was previously in place and introduce measures that will help the University achieve its 2021 Environmental Sustainability Strategy targets.   

As a global University, international flights are core to Oxford’s business model. In 2018–19, staff flying on University business emitted an estimated 30,000 tonnes of carbon, and international students travelling to Oxford to study produced an estimated
21,000 tonnes more. The new travel policy will work to address this issue. 

After consultation and a pilot rollout in five departments, the policy has been approved by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee. The policy introduces: 

  • a flight reduction target of 20% by 2024–25
  • a requirement to travel by rail to most destinations within the UK, Paris and Brussels, rather than flying, with reasonable adjustments or exceptions when applicable
  • no first class flights and additional authorisation for premium economy and business class flights
  • a flight levy, charged at a rate of £30 per tonne of carbon, which will be paid to the Oxford Sustainability Fund and used to implement its strategy  

The new policy also introduces a travel hierarchy for all business travel as follows: 

  • avoid travel
  • reduce your travel
  • travel without flying
  • fly when there are no alternatives 

More information about the policy and what it means for staff and students can be found on the Staff Gateway Travelling for work pages