Quantifying Scope 3 Emissions Associated with Employee Travel at Boston University

Travel offsets and reduction programs key to Boston University reaching its net-zero goal

By Lucia Vilallonga, Olivia Henning (College of Arts & Sciences); Jacqueline Ashmore (ISE)

January 2021

As part of its Climate Action Plan, Boston University has committed to the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2040. Employee air travel can account for a large proportion of a university’s Scope 3 emissions, which include emissions from travel by community members to and from campus, waste disposal, purchasing supplies, and dining services.

Boston University Campus Climate Lab research conducted in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability) suggests that employees expect to continue traveling as much as before the pandemic once restrictions are lifted, leading to the recommendation that both offsets and reduction programs will play important roles in BU reaching its net-zero emissions goal.

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