Mountain bike on Dartmoor

If you have any queries or would like further information about the objectives of the University Travel Plan then please contact the sustainability team on

For daily commuting, 60% of staff and 81% of non-halls students travel sustainably to University by bike, foot or public transport (taken from 2019 survey).

 Our commitment

The way we travel for business and for commuting, as well as with our fleet has environmental impacts that we are committed to reducing. 
Our fleet vehicles carbon emissions currently come under scope 1, which we have targeted to reach net-zero by 2025, including by switching to electric where possible. Our business travel and commuting comes under our scope 3 carbon targets for 2030–50. 
We are committed to encouraging lower carbon modes of transport where we can and have many schemes to support staff and students to travel sustainably.

We will:

  • Promote use of the travel hierarchy, based on travel carbon impact, to prioritise transport.
  • Work to reduce the need for business travel through video conferencing and other smarter working practices.
  • Encourage staff and student commuting by walking, cycling, and public transport.
  • Support wider city incentives and plans on sustainable travel, including for pool e-bikes and electric cars.
  • Switch our fleet vehicles to electric as and when viable opportunities arise.
  • Promote incentives to reduce the proportion of single occupancy car drivers for staff and students not living in University accommodation.
  • Monitor and review business travel annually.
  • Reduce average business travel to below 0.12 kgCO2e per mile by 2030.
  • To halve student and staff commuting emissions compared to a 2016–17 baseline of 641 KgCO2e per staff member, and 199 KgCO2e per student by 2027. 

Our performance:

  • In 2021–22, 59% of staff and 87% of students travelled sustainably to campus by walking, cycling or public transport.
  • In 2021–22 average KgCO2e per staff member for commuting decreased by 43% from 2018–19 and student commuting decreased by 68%. However the figures for this academic year were still heavily influenced from the impact of COVID-19 on travel habits.
  • Total kgCO2e for business travel in 2022–23 was 1,501, an 198% decrease from pre-COVID levels in 2018–19.
  • Since 2019 we installed 12 EV chargers; six for electric fleet vehicles, and six 22kw electric vehicle charge points in four of our main sites for staff, student and visitor use.

Get involved in green travel

We aim to promote green travel with policies to reflect the sustainable transport hierarchy, based on the carbon emissions of travel shown on the Transport Carbon Graph.
We want to support staff and students to progress up the sustainable transport hierarchy, and have measures in place and in the planning to support this. 
Here are some of the ways you can get involved:
Travel Carbon Graph

Digital communication

We provide the means for staff and students to attend conferences and meetings virtually, and have software to facilitate remote team working. 

Walking and wheeling 

Our city centre campus is open to the public, and pedestrians have priority. The University uses AccessAble to enable the public to find accessible routes at the University. 
One of the ways we encourage walking is by having minimal parking on our main campus, and limited vehicle access, which creates a better pedestrian environment.


To support cycle commuting we offer over 580 bicycle parking spaces across our sites, and we have showers available for active commuters as shown on our sustainability map. We offer the cycle to work scheme for access to new bikes and equipment for staff as well as providing lockers for rent. We also have a staff Bicycle User Group (BUG), which is run by volunteers to promote and campaign for cycling facilities on behalf of the staff. We run regular campaigns on campus for both staff and students, including bike doctor workshops.
We also support staff in travelling by bicycle for business, and offer a mileage rate to compensate staff who do so.
As part of Connect Plymouth, detailed below, we are working towards having hirable e-bikes on our Plymouth sites as part of a wider city transport initiative. 
Bicycles on campus

Public transport

We want to encourage the use of public transport, by making it easy to find ticket options on our internal pages along with route finding, and by supporting business travel expenses via public transport. You can also find detail on public transport services and route planning in the city on the Plymouth Council website.

Electric vehicles

In 2019 we installed six 22kw electric vehicle charge points in four of our sites for staff, student and visitor use, aiming to support the transition to electric vehicles for staff and students. Further EV charging points for staff, students and fleet vehicles are planned as demand increases.  
You can find out how to use our chargers on our staff and student sharepoint page.
We are also working on introducing a salary sacrifice scheme for staff to acquire electric vehicles.

Car share

We promote the platform, powered by Liftshare, for staff and students where you can connect with other commuters. 

Business travel

Our travel and subsistence policy can be found on the procurement sharepoint site. The latest update incorporated greater emphasis on sustainable travel modes, and encourages staff to travel via lower carbon methods. 

Connect Plymouth

We have been working closely with Plymouth City Council on their Connect Plymouth project, designed to offer a variety of transport modes and provide connectivity to public transport networks, reducing private car use.  
From October 2022 we took part in a pilot for e-bikes on our main campus, with researchers involved to monitor data from transport habits to air pollution.  
Now we host three e-bike hubs, and we will have two electric pool cars on our main campus when the scheme fully launches.
RLB Beryl Bikes

Discover more

Sustainability is embedded not just in operations across the University but also in our course provision, education methods and research.

Dartmoor expedition

Sustainability courses and programmes
Plymouth offers a range of sustainability themed courses and programmes across many disciplines.

Sustainability education

Sustainability education
Discover how the Centre for Sustainable Futures works to embed sustainability across our faculties.

Aerial view from high altitude of little planet earth with small village houses and distant green cultivated agricultural fields with growing crops on bright summer evening

Sustainability research
Our Sustainable Earth Institute is about advancing research, knowledge and innovation for a more sustainable Earth.