Source update – Covid-19 edition
Now that the summer holiday is over, we were hoping the pandemic would be gone as well. Nothing could be further from the truth. For most of us, traveling has come to a screeching halt. Is talking about travelling sustainably still necessary then? Absolutely! The current travel ban presents us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we want to travel differently when we are once again allowed to go to all kinds of destinations to meet. For that purpose, we have again gathered interesting articles for you to read, clips to watch and perspectives to discuss to motivate you and your peers to travel more sustainably. We will update this throughout August, September and October with the latest news and resources.
Online conferences: do or don’t?
In this opinion article, written and signed by academics from different Dutch Universities, the importance of conferences is discussed, as well as the costs thereof. They calculated that one major four-day congress emitted the same amount of CO2 as almost 300 households in a whole year! The authors discuss how digital conferences would have a much lower impact on the environment. Going online would also have the benefit of potentially becoming more inclusive, the authors argue.
In her opinion article, Lorena Villanueva Almanza also discusses online conferences, mainly from the inclusivity perspective. Talking to different participants, she concludes that although the physical barrier may be lowered, now people struggle with setting up a good internet connection.
Later this year, we will publish our own blog in which we weigh all the pro’s and con’s of online conferences. For now, however, online conferences are simply a must as we are still unable to come together physically.
What about traveling sustainably?
For those of us who do still want to or have to travel, good news: ProRail is planning to make Eindhoven an international train-hub. ProRail, which manages major parts of the Dutch train tracks, has recently announced its plans for Eindhoven. These plans include connections to Antwerp and Düsseldorf, making sustainable travel more comfortable and easier.
Prefer to travel by car? Student team TU/ecomotive has revealed Luca, a car largely made from recycled material. Their interview with TU/e magazine Cursor can be found here.
Traveling sustainably is increasing in importance in a growing number of sectors. In an earlier blog, we discussed how different universities approach the subject. Other sectors, however, are also taking steps in the right direction. In the new employment agreement of the Dutch Government officials (Rijksambtenaren), traveling sustainably was included and employees ware urged to opt for the the train instead of plane. More generally, the Dutch Ministries are becoming aware of the impact of their travel behaviour. A recent study shows that the air travel of Ministry employees makes up for over 20 percent of the total CO2 emissions of the Ministries. In comparison: the heating of all Ministry buildings makes up for only 11 percent.