Emissions Information Can Prompt Travelers to Purchase Greener Flights

This policy brief summarizes findings and policy implications from a study in which researchers at the University of California, Davis, surveyed over 450 UC Davis faculty, researchers, and staff, and asked them to choose among hypothetical flight options for domestic and international university-related business trips. The hypothetical flight options were developed using actual data on UC Davis employee air travel and available flights. The survey prominently presented emissions estimates for different flight alternatives alongside price, with the lowest-emissions option labeled “greenest flight”. Researchers then estimated the effect that changing the current UC Davis flight-search interface to prominently display emissions, label the greenest flight choice, and present an alternative departure airport could have on the emissions and costs of business-related air travel.