Leiden University, with its 60 locations in Leiden and The Hague, more than 6,500 members of staff, 27,000 students and a large number of visitors, is a dynamic community. Every day thousands of movements take place from, to and between the different University buildings.
Students go from their room to lectures, or to the library, or they travel abroad to study. Staff commute from home to work and from their workplace they make business trips by bicycle, car, public transport or plane. Besides these movements, the University also transports items between the different locations. All these forms of transport contribute to over one-third of the total of the University's CO2 emissions.
Environmentally friendly travel
There are a number of regulations for staff that encourage the use of bicycles and public transport. In addition, most University premises are easily accessible by public transport and bicycle, which makes environmentally friendly travel an easy option. The University also maintains good contacts with local municipalities and housing corporations to makew sure that future accommodation for students and PhD candidates is at easily accessible locations.
In total, the University's CO2 footprint shows that 23 per cent of the CO2 emissions are due to commuting between home and work and home and study location.
Home to work commuting
Leiden University carried out a study in 2014 of how staff travel to and from the University. More than half of all staff members come to work by bicycle. A quarter of staff members use public transport. Staff at Leiden University use environmentally friendly means of travel relatively more than other universities.
The University has made its relocation regulations more environmentally friendly: it is now easier for employees to apply for a relocation allowance if they move closer to their work. They can also benefit from tax concessions to purchase a new bicycle.
Home to study commuting
Students at Leiden University use relatively environmentally friendly means of transport. More than 90 per cent travel by bicycle or public transport. Most University locations are in the centre of the city and are easily accessible by public transport. In Leiden, all the University's premises are within 15 minutes walking distance of Leiden Central station. The municipality and the province are planning to improve transport connections to and from the Science Park, where the Science Campus is also located. In The Hague, all the University's buildings are in the city centre, within 10 minutes walking distance of The Hague Central Station. The new Wijnhaven complex is next door to the station.
Staff at Leiden University go on business trips to meetings and conferences in the Netherlands and abroad. Business travel accounts for 14 per cent of the total CO2 emissions of the University. Almost all of these emissions come from air travel.
The University has 12 company vehicles - cars and large and small delivery vans - for transporting goods between University locations. Company vehicles account for less than 1 per cent of the University's total CO2 emissions. The University also has a number of bicycles available for staff to use for appointments elsewhere in the city.
There are various provisions at Leiden University for working at a distance, for example a remote workplace, online data-sharing and the digital University Library catalogue. There are also facilities for electronic meetings. Most staff use Skype for this, which is installed as a standard programme on all work computers. The University can also arrange webcams and headsets.
Home to work commuting
Leiden University is working on improving the regulations to make the use of bicycles and public transport more attractive. The regulation on the fiscal benefits of purchasing a bicycle has been improved, as has the relocation regulation. The University is also investing in provisions for electric transport: Dual charging stations have been installed in the car parks at Sylvius, Gorlaeus and the Maliebaan.
Home to study commuting
Leiden University believes it is important for students to be able to reach University premises easily by bicycle and public transport. Most of the University's locations are in the centre of the city and are already easily accessible. The Science Campus is an exception. The municipality and the province are planning to improve the public transport connections to and from the Science Park, where the Science Campus is located. The University is also looking at the possibilities for good and environmentally friendly access to the Science Campus. In 2006, discussions were held on this topic with the municipality
The largest proportion of the CO2 emissions for business travel comes from air travel. Attention is therefore focused primarily on reducing or compensating for these emissions. For short trips the University stipulates the use of public transport. The CO2 emissions for air travel will be compensated for, which will reduce the CO2 footprint by around 13 per cent. Besides these measures, Leiden University is also exploring the opportunities for distance working. Business travel will always be necessary for Leiden as a prominent international research university to maintain contacts at home and internationally. Responsible and environmentally sustainable travel is one of the guiding principles here. The situation was examined in 2006 to determine which destinations people travel to frequently, and what form of transport they use.
The company vehicles account for less than 1 per cent of the total CO2 emissions. Leiden University is therefore not actively implementing any policies to reduce these emissions. As company vehicles contribute to the image of the University, when new vehicles are purchased, these will be environmentally friendly models. Delivery vans are among the 'Top 10 low-energy and clean delivery vans' according to the Dutch automobile association and cars have at least energy class A for petrol-driven cars and class B for diesel cars.
Dual charging stations for electric vehicles have been installed at the Sylvius, Gorlaeus and Maliebaan car parks.. Discussions have also been held with the municipality about sustainability at our Science Campus. We will make a study of the use of the train rather than plane for short trips during 2016: what destinations did people travel to and what means of transport did they use?