Carbon Neutral Study Abroad

FairAir - Carbon Neutral Study Abroad

Study abroad and international experiences are fantastic opportunities for students to develop academically, professionally, and personally. However, CIP recognizes that travel associated with study abroad is a contributing factor to climate change.

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How Does Air Travel Impact Climate Change?
These facts come from the David Suzuki Foundation website:

  • One return flight from Montreal to London emits as much carbon emissions as heating a European home for an entire year. 
  • The total carbon impact of a single flight is so high that avoiding just one trip can be equivalent to going (gasoline) car-free for a year. 
  • If the aviation sector were a nation, it would be among the top 10 global emitters.  

Calculate Your Cabon Footprint Here

Check out the PlanetAir's website for useful tips and advice to start reducing your carbon emissions now.

CIP's Commitment to Carbon Neutral Study Abroad and the SDG's

The Centre for International Programs reviewed the study abroad carbon footprint for 2023/24 based on one round-trip flight to each students host university and found the following information:

 281 Travellers (Study abroad participants in 2023/24), 685 metric tons (approximate total carbon emissions due to air travel), 2.44 metric tons (average emissions per traveller), $60.94 (Average carbon offset cost per traveller)

In keeping with SDG #13 Climate Action ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact’, CIP is investing in sustainable solutions that aim to offset carbon emissions. Additionally, CIP is committed to offsetting carbon emissions for all CIP business-related travel and encourages all U of G staff, faculty, and students to reduce their carbon footprint.

Achieving Carbon Neutral Study Abroad by 2025

To reach our goal of carbon neutral study abroad by 2025, CIP is:

  • Collaborating with PlanetAir, a non-profit leader in the fight against climate change. PlanetAir markets carbon credits of the highest quality to counterbalance non-reducible carbon emissions. 
  • Partnering with the University of Guelph Sustainability Office to collaborate on the promotion and educational pieces of this initiative
  • Encouraging students to purchase carbon offsets for their study abroad flights. (Find more information below) CIP will match student carbon offsets up to $500/year.
  • Expanding virtual exchange programs to provide U of G students with intercultural opportunities without needing to get on a plane.
  • Collaborating with 40 of our partner universities on current initiatives and future projects. Find details about the sustainability initiatives, clubs, and more on our program search tool.

Benefits of Offsetting Your Carbon Emissions

Engaging in carbon offsetting fosters environmental awareness, encouraging all of us to take responsibility for our ecological impact and contribute to global sustainability.

Contributing to carbon offset projects aligns with the principles of global citizenship, demonstrating a commitment to addressing climate change on a broader scale and fostering a sense of community engagement and shared responsibility for the planet.

By offsetting their carbon footprint, students directly contribute to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or promote environmental sustainability, creating a tangible positive impact on the environment.

How to Carbon Offset Your Flight

  1. Visit the PlanetAir 'Offset Your Emissions' webpage
  2. Click 'Air Travel Calculator'
  3. Enter your flight details
  4. Click 'Calculate'
  5. Click 'Add to Cart'
  6. Check the box that says 'I have a Promo Code'
  7. Enter the appropriate code (using this promo code will allow CIP to match your contributions, up to $4,000/year)
    • Undergraduate Students: UOG-UGSTUDENT
    • Graduate Students: UOG-GRADSTUDENT
  8. Choose a project that you would like to contribute to
  9. Proceed with the payment instructions

By entering our contest, not only do you get a chance to win a gift card, but by submitting your receipt CIP will be able to match your carbon offset contributions.  

  1. After purchasing your carbon offsets, please enter our contest here.
  2. CIP will randomly select one winner from all entries, dates outlined below.
  3. Winners will be emailed details about their prize pack, which includes a $50 Hospitality gift card and more! 

Important Dates:

Term Deadline to Enter Prize Draw Date
Winter Semester March 31 April 15
Summer Semester July 31 August 15
Fall Semester November 30 December 15

Contest Details and Rules:

  1. One entry allowed per person, per international experience. For example, you would get one entry for participating in and offsetting your summer field school and another entry if you participated in and offset your semester exchange.
  2. Winners will be contacted by email and will have the option to pick up their prize or have it mailed to them.

By using the promo code CIP will be able to track the contributions made by the U of G community and will help us see which group can offset the most carbon over the next year

  • Faculty: UOG-FACULTY
  • Staff: UOG-STAFF
  • Alumni: UOG-ALUMNI


If you have any questions about this initiative or the contest, please email