• Lucia Burtnik

  • Theme:Transport Policy & Economics
  • Project:Large employers as catalysts for the promotion of low-carbon transport behaviour among employees
  • Supervisor: Lorraine Whitmarsh ,Kostas Iatridis
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo
Photo of Lucia Catalina Burtnik Urueta


Lucia’s background in International Relations and a Master’s Degree in Political Science combines with a broad experience as an entrepreneur committed to social change and sustainable development through innovation.

Intrigued by how groups of individuals make decisions in contexts of high uncertainty and imbalances of power, her earlier research interest was on political decision-making processes having an effect in the adoption of sustainable sources of energy at national level. During this period, she was also involved in a research group in Brasilia University dedicated, among other things, to build capacity among public administration policymakers on how to assess the impact of public policy and projects.

Leveraging the insights on how government works and how to assess impact of projects, Lucia then joined the founding team of Eidos Global, youth-led organisation that evolved into a global social enterprise. Created to deliver educational projects that challenged the pre-conceptions of what a learning experience is, Eidos became a nurturing space where Lucia experienced multiple roles, from business development to project management, while leading a growing team of young people. During this period, she was also involved in several advocacy roles, including delivering a speech to G20 Ministries of Education in 2018, becoming a member of the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 IWG and the Futures of Education initiative at UNESCO. She was also a Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group of Childhood and Youth (UNMGCY) and was invited as a speaker at the United Nations for International Education Day in 2020.

Having spent a decade in the education sector, a growing concern with the climate crisis has led her to put all skills into a new focus: how do we advance the achievement of reducing carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable way of life?

Lucia is now back in academia with new focus on mobility and carrying a fruitful backpack of skills that include team management, learning experience design, ideation facilitation, impact assessment, business strategy and project management. Her current research explores the role of large employers as potential policy mediators for the adoption sustainable transport, and the effect that factors such as trust, and diverse participation can have in the quality of such interventions.


  • I often get cheaper holidays by volunteering or petsitting (from cats to donkeys, anything in between)
  • I once won a televised literature quiz show
  • I am a dancer in a Brazilian Samba group from Bristol
  • I can only do math in Spanish
Large employers as catalysts for the promotion of low-carbon transport behaviour among employees

Organisations that employ large numbers of people (above 250 employees) generate and attract trips that, otherwise, would not be made. Commuting generates 5% of the UK’s year total emissions [1] while business air travel accounted for 154 million Mt CO2 globally in 2019 [2].

Large employers, aware of the impact of transport in the generation of GHG emissions as well as congestion and pollution, have started to implement policies and interventions to promote sustainable modes of transport among their employees. This is a significant opportunity for public/private collaboration to achieve Net Zero by 2050. But organisational policies do not always translate into changes of behaviours. Previous research suggests that people tend to accept policy if they perceive it as effective and fair, or if they feel like they had been part of the decision-making process[3].

Lucia is interested in identifying which factors contribute to making a policy to change the behaviour of employees. To do so I will be looking at which strategies are more effective at promoting low-carbon transport behaviours, and how different stakeholders interact to design and implement such policies. I expect the findings from this research can help policymakers, managers, and employees to generate more efficient and better designed policies.

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