The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office (ESAO) is pleased to finally introduce our ‘Green Mobility’ project – a pilot plan of action to help ESAO align our activities with the University of Reading’s institutional strategy (2020-26).
The strategy states that it is our institutional: “… long-term ambition to be the greenest university in the UK, we will lead by example and commit to genuine carbon neutrality by 2030…”. (https://www.reading.ac.uk/about/strategy.aspx )
We want Study Abroad – both ‘import’ and ‘export’ – to contribute to this long-term commitment.
The initial 24-month project is a flexible plan, aimed at supporting more environmentally friendly study and staff mobility abroad, and international education opportunities at home. It will include:
- Making a financial contribution to offset or inset (to be decided in conjunction with UoR Sustainability) our CO₂ emissions for every outgoing and incoming student mobility managed by ESAO, taking place in 2021/2 and 2022/3.
- Mandating that all Erasmus+ staff mobilities or trips funded by ESAO fully offset the return trip(s) at time of booking with the UoR Travel Management company.
- Raising student awareness about more environmentally friendly ways of travel and the importance of compensating for CO₂ emissions, as a routine part of Study Abroad promotion and preparation.
- Working with our partners to offer something reciprocal, so that our collective actions will help positive actions that might exceed the CO₂ emissions generated.
- Investigating the possibilities for creating climate change and sustainability pathways, sessions, activities and awards, which students studying abroad (incoming and outgoing) can participate in – here, or at our partners.
- Supporting greater engagement with virtual / online international learning opportunities, thereby hopefully increasing the number of students that can have a meaningful international and interactive education experience.
We will work with UoR Sustainability Office and other stakeholders at the University of Reading to review and develop the pilot into a more coherent strategy from January 2023 onwards.
We know that what we are proposing is imperfect, but it is a start. However we will learn as we progress, and will utilise the expertise at the University to improve what we do, in order to do our bit.
If you have any queries about the Green Mobility project, please contact Marcus Dowse (firstname.lastname@example.org) .