Alternatives to Flying

Know the environmental impact of your travel decisions

GHG emissions from Columbia business and class trips add up, particularly emissions from air travel.

Travel is necessary to advance the University’s core mission. However, affiliates should consider if their travel is necessary or could be avoided or reduced.

What are my alternatives to traveling?

Video conferencing resources at Columbia:

This page provides resources and information about videoconferencing services available to Columbia members.

By leveraging communication technologies, such as videoconferencing, Columbia can better achieve its goals in reducing ground and air travel and greenhouse gas emissions through virtual face-to-face meetings.

  1. Interviews - Video interview with prospective candidates.
  2. Host a conference - book a medium or large space on campus and host a conference people can participate in from their own workstation or from another group setting.
  3. Attend a conference - Participate in a conference from your personal work station
  4. Collaboration between meeting groups - Host a collaborative meeting that connects to another group meeting.
  5. Hybrid Learning - Communicate with one or more remote students or faculty in a classroom environment synchronously with video and content.
Video conferencing in Lerner Hall 302

Lerner Hall, Room 302, Morningside

Use Case: Interviews, Conference Attendance, Collaboration, Interactive Meetings

Available Features: Video and audio communications and content sharing

Available Hardware: Unified Communications Device

Participants: 1-12 in-room, 1-100 virtual

Book via University Events Management: Ph: 212-854-5800 Email: uem@columbia.edu

Video conferencing in Lerner Hall 312

Lerner Hall, Room 312, Morningside

Use Case: Interviews, Conference Attendance, Collaboration, Interactive Meetings

Available Features: Video and audio communications and content sharing

Available Hardware: Unified Communications Device

Participants: 1-6 in-room, 1-100 virtual

Book via University Events Management: Ph: 212-854-5800 Email: uem@columbia.edu

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Lecture Hall, Manhattanville

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Lecture Hall, Manhattanville

Use Case: Live Seminar or Special Event

Available Features: Video and audio communications and content sharing

Available Hardware: Unified Communications Device

Participants: 1-25 in-room, 1-100 virtual

Book this space by contacting the Zuckerman Institute - zuckermaninstitute@columbia.edu

If your department is interested in installing videoconferencing capabilities into an existing conference/classroom/auditorium, contact CUIT’s Classroom and Desktop Technologies Department via classroomtech@columbia.edu to initiate your project request. During the project you will be asked to define your space as academic or administrative and CUIT will work with your department lead to help define your technical requirements, budget and project timeline.

Contact CUIT’s Desktop Support Services to get set up with a camera, and audio so you can attend and participate in a video conference from your personal workstation, phone or laptop.

If I need to travel, what is the most environmentally responsible mode of transportation?

Before you choose to fly, check for feasible travel alternatives to your destination, such as bus or rail. Particularly for destinations within a few hundred miles, the total time spent in transit is comparable, but the carbon intensity is much lower.  

Use the graph below to help inform your decision. Listed are some common destinations for Columbia travelers, alongside the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact from choosing to fly versus other travel modes.

*Calculated using https://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx?tab=3
**Including 60 minutes check-in time for flights.
***Assumes a single occupancy car.

Want to know the GHG impact by travel mode for other destinations?

Use Map My Emissions, a website developed by Columbia students. Map My Emissions was created to help individuals understand the environmental impacts of their transportation decisions. It allows users to compare the GHG emissions associated with various modes of transport.