by Carly Foubert, CFICE Communications RA

Flying contributes greatly to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. Climate scientists propose that emissions need to be radically cut by 90% by 2050. This would involve change in all aspects of society and our lives. recently released a petition calling on universities and professional associations to be leaders on this issue as they typically embrace sustainable practices.

The petition calls on institutions and associations to include flying in their environmental impact measurement and therefore to make the necessary changes to reduce the amount of flying required.

Interestingly, CFICE has found through their evaluation of Phase I that face-to-face interactions and in-person meetings could have the potential to foster better partner relations. Magda Goemans, Research Assistant with the Evaluation and Analysis working group and one of the individuals doing a close analysis of the Phase I evaluation data, said that although the evaluation didn’t touch on flying specifically, several participants had made comments regarding the importance of in-person meetings to strengthen relationships and build trust between members. As a nationwide project it’s important that everyone involved feels that his or her needs are being met and that their voice is heard.

When asked how CFICE might be able to integrate the petition’s recommendations into its operations, Magda provided some suggestions. “I think participants in the CFICE project could follow the goals set out in the petition by reducing non-essential travel, reducing the amount of members that attend conferences, and alternating teleconference with in-person meeting opportunities,” said Magda. “In other words, activities similar to those already being undertaken by CFICE.”

If you are interested in signing the petition you can find a link to it here.