Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources
Green Travel

University of Pennsylvania Air Travel Sustainability


Penn is committed to campus-wide environmental sustainability initiatives.  Air travel is a large contributor to Penn’s total carbon footprint. Faculty, staff, and students can play a role in helping the University reduce environmental impact by considering more sustainable travel options.

As you plan your travel, please consider:

Is Travel a Necessary?

Can meeting goals be achieved in a virtual setting?

  • Consult your Local Support Providers (LSP) or Technology Team at Penn for information on virtual meeting platforms supported by your department.

Plan Travel Responsibly

Consider your destination and what is the most sustainable modes of transportation.

  • Utilize non-air transportation such as rail, car travel, or bus service for short trips.  For example, from Philadelphia to locations along the I-95 corridor, consider Amtrak.
  • Schedule trips back-to-back.  If feasibly, you will save time and resources not returning home in-between business trips.
  • Pack light. Heavy luggage requires more energy.  Packing light is more sustainable but can also save you time (no waiting at baggage claim), stress (no worry about losing your bags), and money (no overweight luggage fees).


Consider the Lowest or Least Carbon Emission

Concur allows travelers to shop wisely for the most sustainable air travel options. Within the booking tool, travelers can:

  • Sort flight search results by the least carbon emissions.
  • View the calculated surface carbon emissions for each flight segment.
  • Choose nonstop flights – a plane's carbon emissions come from takeoffs and landings, and more fuel is required for trips that include stops.
  • Cost of travel remains a critical decision point


Learn more about Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan