The University of California recognizes the challenges of climate change and has made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including from mobile sources such as business related air travel.

Business related air travel at UCLA continues to grow, increasing by almost 50% in the last decade, reaching almost 90,000,000 miles flown in 2016. Therefore, UCLA will conduct a 3-Year Pilot Air Travel Mitigation Fund program using funds collected from both domestic ($9) and international ($25) round-trip flight itineraries. Funds will be awarded annually to local on-campus projects resulting in lasting, measurable carbon reduction in order to mitigate air travel emissions. Please see the Air Travel Mitigation Fund Program Guidelines and the FAQ below for more information.

 

What is the Air Travel Mitigation Fund (ATMF)?
The Air Travel  Mitigation Fund (ATMF) is a pilot program set up to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from UCLA business related air travel. Because flying is frequently a necessary part of pursuing the University’s mission, oftentimes with few or no sustainable travel options otherwise available, this program has been created in order to mitigate the University’s overall air travel carbon footprint by funding on-campus projects which result in lasting greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

Beginning in 2018, a Carbon Mitigation Fee will be assessed to each business related round trip flight. This will occur at the point of reimbursement for the trip, and the fee will be assessed to the traveler’s department. Sequentially, this means that: travel will be booked, travel will occur, reimbursement for that travel will be requested, and during that reimbursement step, the fee will be assessed.

How much are the Carbon Mitigation Fees?
The Carbon Mitigation Fees are $9 for Domestic Round Trip Flights and $25 for International Round Trip Flights. Each itinerary that is reimbursed will be billed—meaning that, if there are multiple legs or stops on the trip, the entire itinerary is billed one fee. If any of the legs or stops involves an international location, the international fee is assessed. If all legs or stops are domestic U.S. locations, the domestic fee is assessed.

What is defined as Business Related Air Travel?
All travel for University business with the exceptions of Study Abroad travel, Athletics charter flights, and grant funded travel.

How will ATMF funds be used?
The funds will be used to invest in on-campus projects that provide measureable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, most likely energy efficient and/or renewable energy projects through 2025 or through the carbon neutrality target date for Scope 3.

Can campus entities apply for Air Travel Mitigation Funding?
Yes, the ATMF Fund will award funding to Schools or Divisions at the close of each full year of the pilot, based on projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An application to collect the necessary project information will be available on the ATMF web page. All Schools and Divisions are able to apply for funding. Applications must be supported by their School or Division’s senior leadership. For questions regarding the application, please direct inquiries to sustainability@ucla.edu.

How will ATMF projects be selected?
A Project Review Committee will provide recommendations to the Executive Sustainability Committee for final funding approval.
How does UCLA calculate its air travel greenhouse gas emissions?
By collecting travel reservation data and Express travel reimbursement system data each quarter, augmented by semi-annual surveys to estimate the emissions not captured via the travel reservation system at UCLA. The Campus Carbon Calculator is used to calculate final emissions.

What is the Campus Carbon Calculator?
The Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC) is a tool to help organizations determine how many metric tons of greenhouse gas they are contributing to global climate change, and how they can manage their emissions better. The CCC was originally developed by the former non-profit Clean Air – Cool Planet and the Sustainability Institute at UNH in 2001 and released to the public in 2004. Today, thousands of institutions in the U.S. and abroad use the Calculator to track their institutional greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 90% of the U.S. colleges and universities that publicly report their emissions.

Who were the collaborators behind the ATMF program creation?
The Events & Transportation Department, in collaboration with Corporate Finance Services, developed the ATMF program. Once operational, program management was handed over to the Sustainability Office, who will administer the program over its three-year pilot period. Initial baseline work was contributed by a Presidio Graduate School team, and the UCOP Office of Sustainability provided early consultation, along with consultation from the UCLA Sustainability Committee and the Council of Deans.

How are the funds going to be extracted?
Each business-related roundtrip flight is associated with a reimbursement for the flight expense. During the reimbursement process, the appropriate Carbon Mitigation Fee (domestic or international) will be assessed to an FAU associated with the person who traveled. The fee is charged to the department, not to an individual traveler.

Who manages the program and funds?
The Sustainability Office has oversight responsibility for the ATMF Fund and its application process.

Are there any exemptions to the fee?
Yes, grant funded travel is currently exempt from the fee due to prohibitions against using certain grant funds for administrative taxes or fees. Study abroad program related flying is not included, nor are charter flights for the Athletics teams.

What is the duration of the Pilot Program?
Flights submitted for reimbursement starting January 2018 through calendar year 2020 will have a Carbon Mitigation Fee assessed for their travel. In 2020, the pilot will be evaluated and a determination will be made about a permanent program.

Who is paying the fees?
The traveler’s department pays the Carbon Mitigation Fee based on the FAU used to pay for the airfare.