12 February 2020

Staff at the City of Ghent are traveling more sustainably

The City of Ghent is working hard to reach climate neutrality by 2050. It is well-known by now that mobility and travel account for a substantial proportion of harmful global emissions. As a result, Ghent has turned its efforts towards a sustainable travel policy.

As of February 2020, the staff of the City of Ghent will travel more sustainably. In other words, municipal staff will travel by train to destinations that are one working day (or less) away from the city. For destinations that require more traveling hours, staff members can choose between taking the (night)train or traveling by plane.

"Ghent wants to become a climate neutral city. That’s why sustainable mobility is so important, also for international traveling. Since we know that air traffic has a huge impact on the climate, we will travel as sustainably as possible from now on," says Bram Van Braeckevelt, Deputy Mayor.

This new decision followed an analysis of the city's international business travels from 2013 until 2018. This study found that only 35 percent of the 740 business trips were done by train, despite the fact that more than half of all trips were to attend meetings in neighbouring countries. The Ghent city staff most often traveled to Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Utrecht, Berlin and Paris.

By traveling more sustainably, Ghent is following the example of the University of Ghent and the Flemish Government who have already implemented sustainable international travel policies.

The year 2020 will act as a pilot year for this policy, which will culminate in an evaluation of its success.

For more information on the policy, contact Joris Wauters at