Travel Policy

While the University recognises that some travel is necessary for learning, teaching, and research, this policy aims to reduce the environmental impact of travel. The policy was developed after extensive consultation and a pilot rollout in five departments.  

It includes  

  • encouraging virtual alternatives to travel 
  • encouraging a shift from flights to rail 
  • eliminating 20% of flights by 2024/25 
  • charging a flight levy on University business travel 

Money raised through the flight levy is allocated to the Oxford Sustainability Fund to finance the implementation of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy. We will use offsetting from 2034 onwards to offset the University’s residual carbon emissions and biodiversity impact and achieve the strategy’s 2035 targets. This approach of prioritising reducing emissions to minimise offsetting is in line with the Oxford Offsetting Principles

Below you will find a summary of the policy. The full policy can be downloaded from this page.


1 August 2022 


Reduce the environmental impact of travel 

Travel on University business 

Travel necessary for meeting the University’s business needs, paid for or reimbursed by the University for staff, students or visitors. Travel that is funded by research grants must also adhere to any additional travel requirements of funders. 


  • meetings, conferences, working elsewhere 
  • student field trips 
  • research fieldwork 
  • placements
  • Interviews


  • international students travelling to/from the University 
  • domestic students travelling between home/the University 
  • staff travelling between home/normal place of work 
  • staff relocation flights 

Travel not permitted

  • No domestic flights 
  • No flights to Paris and Brussels (use Eurostar) 
  • No first-class flights 

Except for reasonable adjustments and exceptions 

Reasonable adjustments and exceptions 

  • Disability 
  • Protected characteristics 
  • Impracticality 
  • Emergency 

Flight levy 

£30 tco2e for all flights 

Checklist for departments 


  • Inform department staff of Travel Policy 
  • Provide a separate cost centre for recharging of flight levy by Estates Finance 
  • Agree on department process to approve travel as necessary 
  • Agree on additional approval process to approve premium economy and business-class flights 
  • Departments to agree on travel that will be prioritised by 31 January 2023 

Travel hierarchy 

Follow the travel hierarchy of avoid travel, reduce travel, travel without flying, fly when there are no alternatives.

Travel safety 

Guidance provided on health, visas, insurance and risk assessments 

Value for money  

Optimum balance between cost, quality, risk and environmental sustainability 

Preferred travel supplier 

Use of Key Travel strongly recommended 

Flight reduction target 

35% reduction by 2035 against 2018/19 baseline; interim targets 

  • a 20% reduction by 2024/25 
  • a further 10% reduction by 2030/31 
  • a further 5% reduction by 2034/35.    

Travel Policy

Review our policy



Contact us

Sustainable Travel team

+44 (0)1865 6 14814

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