Voluntary Commitment of the Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science (GSI) to minimize Carbon Footprint
1. The Leitungskollegium acknowledges that:
- Researchers contribute to a particularly high degree of carbon emissions, especially by using air transport to travel to conferences.
- In order to be taken seriously academics need to implement the measures they propose to fight climate change: If academics want others to listen and to engage in activities of climate protection, the academic community and all its members need to be credible actors. Therefore, the GSI should take responsibility in the fight against climate change.
2. The Leitungskollegium therefore concludes that:
- The GSI strives to drastically reduce and minimize its environmental footprint while successfully accomplishing its research activities. In particular, the institute appeals to a strict policy to reduce air travel. To achieve this goal, the Institute relies on the following measures:
i. Reduction of travel to locations that can only be reached by plane
- Air travel shall be avoided, especially to transatlantic conferences and workshops, except if an extraordinary professional interest in attending the meeting prevails.
- A strong priority shall be given to conferences and workshops that can be reached by train.
ii. Priority given to travel by train over travel by plane wherever possible
- When travelling to German and European locations a strong priority should be given to travel by train over travel by plane.
- This shall be the case even if the price of a train ticket is higher than the price of the plane ticket. If the source of funding (e.g. DAAD) does not cover the higher costs of the train ticket the chair commits itself to reimburse the difference.
- Likewise, when inviting guest speakers and visitors air travel shall be avoided and even if the price of a train ticket is higher than the price of the plane ticket, preference will be given to travel by train over travel by plane