Meet CLIO — Penn’s Air Travel Offset Program

photo of airplane approaching sunset
November 15, 2021

Did you know that air travel alone typically makes up approximately 10% of Penn’s main campus carbon footprint? This travel emits nearly 20,000 metric tons of CO2 per year — enough to power more than 2,000 homes for one year.

To address Penn’s air travel carbon footprint, an Air Travel Working Group, comprised of Penn Sustainability, Procurement Services, The Netter Center, Travel Services, faculty, and staff, have been examining optimal solutions for achieving carbon neutrality for air travel at Penn. One of their actions has been to establish a Travel Sustainability Fund that will invest in best-fit sustainability projects to fully offset the carbon impacts of the University’s air travel. The Travel Sustainability Fund is supported by a Climate Impact Offset charge (CLIO), which is applied to air travel, whether booked or expensed through Concur.

Starting July 1, 2021, a nominal fee has been integrated into travel booking costs to generate funding to offset Penn’s airfare carbon emissions through purchased offsets, which will in the future prioritize positive local impacts. The CLIO is subject to change as offset markets shift and other avenues for offsetting are explored. 

On the Penn Travel and Expense Management website, there is more information about how the University is making strides to reduce the environmental impact of Penn’s air travel and offers useful tips for how you can make choices to reduce the impact of your business travel practices.