Sustainable travel

Sustainable travel

Within our Campus Management Climate Action policy our commitment is to 'Maintain behavioural changes that have reduced the amount of carbon and direct emissions produced from commuting, business and operational travel. Promote and incentivize travel choices informed by carbon reduction and health and wellbeing as documented within the SHU Travel Plan'. 

Our Measures and Targets

2018/19 Scope 1 Baseline footprint

  • 30.052 kg CO2e (Scope 1 – fleet)
  • 4,349,589 kg CO2e (Scope 2 – business travel and commuting)
  • Target to have a fully electrified fleet by 2024 and halve scope 3 emissions by 2030

Scope 1 travel is the fuel used by the University’s leased vans and vehicles used across the estate, this has decreased through the years as more electric vans have been added to the fleet and plans are in place to fully electrify the fleet by 2024 on a cyclical replacement programme.

Scope 3 travel is much wider. The staff commute and business travel are areas that have been monitored for years through the ISO 14001 / 50001 systems, however the University has little information on student travel, which, when accounting for overseas students, is potentially a large element of the University’s scope 3 carbon footprint. The long-term target is to halve the University’s scope 3 emissions by 2030, and be net zero in scope 3 by 2050, however, to achieve this, the University first needs to know how large the footprint is.

During the 2022 year, the University engaged with travel consultants to map the remainder of the University’s scope 3 travel carbon footprint and develop a travel plan to meet the long-term targets and encourage active travel through communications, initiatives, infrastructure and the accelerated campus plan. 


Actions to complete in the 2023/24 year are:

  • Finalise and publish a SHU-wide travel plan, and use this to set clear direction for sustainable travel across the University, including establishing an action plan to achieve scope 3 reductions
  • Continue electrification of vehicle fleet as projected in Climate Action Strategy (42.68% reduction in CO2e compared to 2018/19 baseline)
  • Complete full baseline for scope 3 travel including student travel through distribution of staff and student travel surveys

In this section