Explanation of Environmental Purchasing Policy

Travel, whether by car, bus, airplane, or boat, or train produces carbon emissions, thereby contributing to climate change.  The Travel section of the NYU Environmental Purchasing Policy covers the commodity clusters of Group Travel, Scholar Travel, Boat Charter, and Car Service, and suggests only that purchasers strive to include public transit and/or carpooling into short or long-distance travel.  In this section of the Environmental Purchasing Guide, you will find some additional suggestions for reducing your environmental impact while traveling.

Waste-Reducing Alternatives to Travel

Teleconferencing: Often, NYU faculty and staff travel long distances to attend meetings or give presentations.  Using teleconferencing or webinars instead is a cost-effective and convenient way to substantially reduce environmental impact.  You can find more information on teleconferencing at

Mass transit: When feasible, utilizing mass transit for long or short distance travel instead of chartering buses or car services is environmentally preferable and often cost-effective.

What to Consider when Traveling

Method of transportation: Not all methods of transportation have the same environmental impact – air travel produces far more carbon dioxide emissions than motor vehicle transportation, and motor vehicle transportation considerably more than train travel.  For long distance travel, trains can be an excellent alternative to planes, and for short distance travel they are preferable to buses, wherever available.

Carbon offset credits: When air travel is absolutely necessary, purchasers should consider buying carbon offset credits for their travel from a service like

Type and size of vehicle: When hiring a car service or chartering a bus, look for companies that have low-emission vehicles.  Also, make sure that you ask for a vehicle that meets your needs exactly – don’t request a bus that seats thirty when you only expect twenty.  The smaller the vehicle, the more efficient it tends to be.

Possible Vendors

The following vendors offer environmentally preferable Car Service in the New York area.  This is not a comprehensive list, and the Sustainability Task Force has not formally evaluated the vendors listed. However, based on thoughtful research, we believe that the following vendors are a good starting point for purchasers in search of sustainable products and services.

For a list of green car and limo services in other cities, visit this website.

Additional Resources and Information

Environmentally Friendly Traveling: A site created by a British non-profit offering information on environmentally friendly travel.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions of vendors for inclusion in future versions of the Environmental Purchasing Guide, please leave a comment in the box below.


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