Lancaster University - Transforming Tomorrow

17 A Pentland Centre Research & Impact Digest, 2023 Emissions from business travel Greenhouse gas emissions from travel constitute 27% of UK emissions. Centre member Adam Mitchell got on his bike this year to show one way of making an impact on university emissions. How and how often we travel for business has a major impact on our personal and corporate greenhouse gas emissions. In June 2022, Pentland centre member AdamMitchell attended the EFMD Marketing Communications, External and Alumni Relations conference at Nyenrode University, in the Netherlands, travelling in the lowest carbon way possible. A keen cyclist, Adam chose to ride from Lancaster to Hull, take the ferry to Rotterdam, and then cycle to Breukelen – 200 miles of cycling. The return journey would produce 13.4kg CO2 equivalent, compared to 33.9kg for travelling by train, and 196.2kg for flying. The journey highlighted the sustainability of different travel modes, encouraging others to think more sustainably when making travel decisions, rather than just considering the financial costs – which ended up little different from flying. In Breukelen, Adam delivered a session about his journey. Recognising such long cycling journeys are not practical for everyone, he challenged fellow delegates to undertake just one small journey per week using a bike (or walking) instead of using a car. The cumulative impact would soon far exceed his return trip. “Climate change will necessitate all of us adapting what we do, doing things we’re not used to, making decisions that are different today than yesterday,” said Adam, now Head of UK Recruitment at the University of Central Lancashire. “I’d love to see more of us travelling in a more environmentally sound way, whether for business travel or personally, and doing what is realistic for each of us to make a difference, together.” Pentland Centre Director, Professor Jan Bebbington, recently won research funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (along with colleagues from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Lancaster University) to work on a project that aims to develop Trustworthy and Accountable Decision-Support Frameworks for Biodiversity. The project will co-develop new tools to support decisionmaking given scientific complexity across disciplines, uncertainty, importance and urgency. It will focus on the co-benefits between biodiversity and renewable energy in the planning and operation of solar parks, as well as biodiversity and agricultural production in land use decision-making. The project will require in-depth understanding of the decisions needed with respect to biodiversity interactions, the kind of data that might be used to provide an evidence base for these decisions, as well as creating a safe environment (through the development of virtual labs settings) for decision-makers to explore potential outcomes. The aim is to understand how to support transparent and accountable decision-making around biodiversity in organisational contexts. Our hypothesis is that virtual labs coupled with decision-support frameworks will support an understanding of the complex interactions and feedbacks, and inform policy development and organisational decisionmaking approaches. Decision-Making and Biodiversity