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Article

The Sustainability of Academic Air Mobility in Finnish Universities

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Department of Geosciences and Geography, Earth Change Observation Laboratory (ECHOLAB), Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Gustaf Hällströmin Katu 2, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, P.O. Box 21, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Centre for Consumer Society Research (CCSR), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 40, PL 24, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Delgado
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052948
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
With the simultaneous rise of concern about the climate crisis and the growing internationalization of research institutions, academic mobility poses an “academic paradox”: knowledge of the environmental harm of aviation does not necessarily translate into action. Universities must make changes to their mobility habits if they wish to comply with governmental carbon neutrality targets and lead with example. This research looks at Finland’s 14 universities and identifies the patterns and trends of academic mobility from a series of reports provided by the universities and their travel agencies. Moreover, we mapped the travel destinations to understand the scope of Finnish academic travel. The data revealed that Finnish universities are in different states of sustainability: some acting as clear trendsetters and others lagging. The results show that although the universities are performing well in some areas, as in preferring European destinations over intercontinental ones, there are still areas of improvement related to stopover reduction, the number of 1- and 2-day trips, and alternative transport forms to aviation. There is also a need for the standardization of targets and emission calculators. These key development areas are posed as recommendations through which the universities could easily reduce the carbon footprint of their mobility. View Full-Text
Keywords: corporate sustainability; aviation emissions; research organizations; researcher mobility; wicked problems; sustainable academia corporate sustainability; aviation emissions; research organizations; researcher mobility; wicked problems; sustainable academia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ahonen, V.; Siljander, M.; Pellikka, P.; Johansson, T.; Rask, M. The Sustainability of Academic Air Mobility in Finnish Universities. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2948. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052948

AMA Style

Ahonen V, Siljander M, Pellikka P, Johansson T, Rask M. The Sustainability of Academic Air Mobility in Finnish Universities. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2948. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052948

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ahonen, Veronica, Mika Siljander, Petri Pellikka, Tino Johansson, and Mikko Rask. 2021. "The Sustainability of Academic Air Mobility in Finnish Universities" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2948. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052948

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