Australasian Universities Air Travel
Consortium

Previously known as NZUATC

The AUATC is a group of academics within New Zealand and Australian universities. It was founded in November 2020 by Dr. Sal Lampkin from Massey University, to address current high carbon university mobility practices.

For example, long-haul economy air travel was Massey University’s biggest single source (22.6%) of carbon emissions in 2019.

On current projections, the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement is incompatible with conventional aviation continuing past 2050. Air travel forms a large proportion of the carbon footprint of many universities at a time when universities around the world have set emission reduction goals, including net zero targets. Frequent long-distance flying, however, is a well-established part of academic research and network building.

The AUATC was formed as a collective voice to coordinate and advise on academic flying policies and practices.

AUATC Members

New Zealand | Aotearoa

University of Auckland | Waipapa Taumata Rau
Prof. Quentin Atkinson
Prof. Gillian Lewis

University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Prof. Jan Evans-Freeman
Prof. Bronwyn Hayward

Lincoln University | Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki
Dr. Sylvia Nissen
Prof. Anita Wreford

Massey University | Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa
Dist. Prof. Robert McLachlan
Dr. Brendan Moyle

Australia

Australian National University
Dr. Kim Blackmore

Griffith University
Prof. Susanne Becken (Chair)
Prof. Tim Ryley

University of Melbourne
A/Prof. Ben Neville

Monash University
Dr. Kendra Wasiluk

University of Tasmania
Dr. Leanne Morrison
Dr. Carmen Primo Perez


Past members

  • Prof. Lynda Johnston (University of Waikato)
  • Dr Sal Lampkin (Massey University) (Founder)
  • Prof. Shaun Hendy (University of Auckland)
  • Dr. Lin Roberts (Lincoln University)
  • Dr. David Hall (AUT)
  • Prof. James Higham (Otago University)
  • Hsueh-Yu Tseng (Otago University)
  • Dr. Simon McCallum (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Dr. Carla Pascoe Leahy (University of Tasmania)

Terms of Reference

(To be reviewed April 2025)

To develop the network of academics from Australasian universities addressing high carbon tertiary sector mobility practices.

  • To monitor air travel-related research and trends and to combine it with the expertise within member institutions.
  • To advance networks, relationship building and coordinated collective action with key system elements, regionally and internationally.
  • To explore opportunities to embed virtual substitution in tertiary sector practices, including sharing lessons from attending and/or running conferences.

To provide science-based air travel advice and recommendations to key system elements, regionally and internationally.

  • To raise the profile and visibility of current Australasian university air travel practices and identify opportunities to effect emissions reductions.
  • To work with member institution sustainability offices to provide academic perspectives on mitigation measures, social justice and equity of access.
  • To research current tertiary sector travel practices collaboratively, including responses to the impacts of COVID-19.

Click here for previous Terms of Reference.

Meeting Minutes

2023 meeting dates:
– Wednesday 1 Feb
– Wednesday 5 April
– Wednesday 7 June
– Wednesday 2 August
– Wednesday 4 October
– Wednesday 6 December

2024 meeting dates:
– Wednesday 7 Feb
– Wednesday 10 April
– Wednesday 12 June
– Wednesday 14 August

AUATC Work


Managing Aotearoa New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 1-21. Callister, P. & McLachlan R,I. (2023)
Decarbonising Aotearoa New Zealand’s Aviation Sector: hard to abate, but even harder to govern. Policy Quarterly, 19(2). 9-18. Callister, P., & McLachlan, R. (2023).
Implications of preferential access to land and clean energy for Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Becken, S, Mackey, B, Lee, D.S. (2023)
An evaluation of measures to reduce corporate air travel emissions: A Griffith University case study, Ryley, T., Caldera, S., Whittlesea, E. & Spasojevic, B.
Understanding the Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Reducing Air Miles, Barclay, N.H.M, School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, University of Canterbury MSc Thesis (2023)
Shifting from academic air travel to sustainable research exchange: Examining networking efficacy during virtual conferences, Wenger, A. Department of Environmental Science TdLab, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (2023)

Managing academic air travel emissions: Towards system-wide practice change, Tseng, S. H., Lee, C., & Higham, J. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment (Dec 2022)
Re-imagining Massey Staff International Air Travel Practices Report, Lampkin, S.R (2022)
What about the coffee break?’ Designing virtual conference spaces for conviviality, Bastian et al (2022)
The impact of COVID-19 on academic aeromobility practices: Hypocrisy or moral quandary? Tseng, S. H., Lee, C., & Higham, J. Mobilities, 1-23 (2022)
Why universities are starting to re-evaluate their academics’ travel, Sal Lampkin and Robert McLachlan, The Conversation (2022)
A path to decolonization? Reducing air travel and resource consumption in higher education, Joseph Nevins, Stephen Allen, Matt Watson, Travel Behaviour and Society 26, 231-239 (2022)
Tseng, S.H.Y., Higham, J., Lee, C. (2022).
Academic Air Travel Cultures: A Framework for Reducing Academic Flying. In: Bjørkdahl, K., Franco Duharte, A.S. (eds) Academic Flying and the Means of Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.
Higham, J., Hopkins, D., Orchiston, C. (2022).
Academic Aeromobility in the Global Periphery. Bjørkdahl, K., Franco Duharte, A.S. (eds) Academic Flying and the Means of Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

2021

The Multi-hub Academic Conference: Global, Inclusive, Culturally Diverse, Creative, Sustainable Parncutt et al (2021)
University air travel and greenhouse gas mitigation: An analysis of higher education climate policies, Anthony Schmidt (Jan 2021)
Changing scientific meetings for the better, Sarabipour, S., Khan, A., Seah, Y.F.S. et al. Nat Hum Behav 5, 296–300 (2021)
“Sustainable aviation fuel is the only way forward if we want to keep flying”, The Guardian 26 Feb 2021, Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan
Rethinking travel in a post-pandemic world, Josie Glausiusz, Nature 589, 155-157 (2021)
The carbon impact of flying to economics conferences: is flying more associated with more citations?, Konstantinos Chalvatzis & Peter L. Ormosi, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 40-67 (2021) 
Flying Less: Reducing Academia’s Carbon Footprint, a blog by Parke Wilde (Tufts) and Joseph Nevins (Vassar)
Hoolohan, C., McLachlan, C., Jones, C., Larkin, A., Birch, C., Mander, S., & Broderick, J. (2021). Responding to the climate emergency: how are UK universities establishing sustainable workplace routines for flying and food?. Climate Policy, 1-15.

2020

Testing the Obligations of Presence in Academia in the COVID-19 Era (from memory its on resource need and capability building), Clare Shelley-Egan, MDPI, 7 August 2020
“An analysis of ways to decarbonize conference travel after COVID-19”, Milan Klower et al., Nature, 15 July 2020
Refining the conference experience for junior scientists in the wake of climate change, Johnson et al., Arxiv, 18 February 2020
High Flying Academics, University of Cambridge Magazine, Craig Brierley, 2020
Higham, J., & Font, X. (2020). Decarbonising academia: confronting our climate hypocrisy. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(1), 1-9.
Whitmarsh, L., Capstick, S., Moore, I., Köhler, J., & Le Quéré, C. (2020). Use of aviation by climate change researchers: Structural influences, personal attitudes, and information provision. Global Environmental Change, 65, 102184.
BAER, H. A. (2019). The elephant in the sky: On how to grapple with our academic flying in the age of climate change. Anthropology Today, 35(4), 21-24.

2019 and earlier

A 2019 symposium on Reducing Academic Flying, with recordings of talks
Carbon Footprint of Academic Air Travel: A Case Study in Switzerland, Joachim Ciers et al., MDPI Sustainability, 24 December 2018
Kim Nicholas’s Overview of research and best practices on Academics Flying Less.
J. E. S. Higham, D. Hopkins & C. Orchiston (2019): The work-sociology of academic aeromobility at remote institutions, Mobilities. DOI.
Hopkins D, Higham J, Orchiston C, Duncan T. Practising academic mobilities: Bodies, networks and institutional rhythms. Geogr J. 2019;00:1–13.
Grant, C. (2018, May). Academic flying, climate change, and ethnomusicology: personal reflections on a professional problem. Ethnomusicology Forum (Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 123-135). Routledge.
Cohen S, Hanna P, Higham J, Hopkins D, Orchiston C. Gender discourses in academic mobility. Gender Work Organ. 2019;1–17.
Glover, A., Strengers, Y., & Lewis, T. (2017). The unsustainability of academic aeromobility in Australian universities. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 13(1), 1-12.
Hales, R., & Caton, K. (2017). Proximity ethics, climate change and the flyer’s dilemma: Ethical negotiations of the hypermobile traveller. Tourist Studies, 17(1), 94-113.

Contact Information

Prof Susanne Becken
Chair AUATC
Griffith University
Australia

+61 438 636697
s.becken@griffith.edu.au

Tennyson’s vision of the future greets travellers arriving at Auckland International Airport. “Locksley Hall” was written in 1835 (not 1860 as stated) when the poet was 25 years old. His vision came true a century or so later, although with some unintended consequences.

The AUATC Logo was designed by Helena McLachlan