Academic travel

Air travel makes up around a third of our carbon footprint. We have therefore made it a priority to reduce our travel-related emissions.
Map of Europe © iStock omersukrugoksu

Meeting peers at international events is an essential element of the research process, giving scientists and engineers an opportunity to share their ideas, build professional networks and boost their visibility. Aware that we must change our travel habits in response to the climate crisis, we have introduced measures that aim to cut our travel-related emissions by at least 30% by 2030. Our goal is to encourage students and faculty members to reduce their air travel, especially when it comes to medium- and long-haul flights. We are therefore promoting the use of public transport and upgrading our videoconferencing systems, as well as improving our travel planning services in order to help our community make more sustainable travel plans.

Prior to any trip, we ask our community members to carefully asses the costs and benefits of their travel from a professional, personal, environmental and financial point of view. We also ask you to consider whether it would be possible to replace the trip with a videoconference.

Travel policy

Our new travel policy aims to reduce our travel-related emissions while also continuing to provide our community with high-quality services.

Planning your trip

All the information you need to plan an EPFL-related trip, whether in Switzerland or abroad.

The environmental impact of air travel

At EPFL, business travel makes up more than a third of our carbon emissions, which is roughly the same percentage as our energy-related emissions.

Types of trips

Our business travel policy (PDF, 337 KB, in French only) lays out our guidelines for business trips. It applies to all scientific, administrative and technical staff (including PhD students) who must travel as part of their paid professional duties at EPFL. These guidelines also apply to travel by visitors and external staff appointed by EPFL.

Our student travel policy (PDF, 393 KB) lays out our guidelines for student trips. It applies to students enrolled in Bachelor’s, Master’s and continuing education programs at EPFL, and to travel carried out for student associations recognized by our School.

Students in the Swiss European Mobility Programme who go on exchange during their third year are entitled to a 60% discount on the purchase of an international transport ticket.

See the rules and regulations (PDF, 722 KB, in French only)

Bachelor’s and Master’s students who need to travel to an EPFL satellite campus for a student project are entitled to a full reimbursement of their travel costs.

See the rules and regulations (PDF, 253 KB, in French only)