An airplane flying next to a building
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Air Travel Emissions

As part of Waterloo’s climate action plan, Shift:Neutral, the University committed to explore tools and guidelines that would reduce business travel where possible and improve tracking. To engage the UWaterloo community directly in the effort of tracking and reducing emissions, Finance and the Sustainability Office have collaborated to add a new voluntary field in Concur titled “carbon emissions” that asks Claimants who have booked and purchased their airfare out of pocket to voluntarily calculate and include the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their UW travel. This field will be active in Concur as of January 1, 2024. 

Completion of the carbon emissions field in Concur is voluntary, however, we strongly encourage all Claimants to take a few extra seconds to fill this out and help campus better understand the greenhouse gas impact from our air travel. This calculator takes less than 30 seconds for most simple trips, and for longer complicated trips with many layovers/stops, may take a minute or two at most.  

To complete this field, Claimants should use the emissions calculator developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Claimants will need to input into the calculator the following information:  

  • Departure city 

  • Destination city 

  • Any additional destination cities if it was not a direct flight  

  • Number of passengers  

  • Class of flight (i.e., Economy/Premium)  

  • Whether it was a round trip or one way  

All information collected through the voluntary field will be anonymous, including removing all personally identifying details, and information cannot be tied back to a user or department.  

To learn more about this initiative, visit the Air Travel section of the Sustainability Office’s website. Questions or feedback can be sent to