Frequently asked questions on sustainable mobility & transportation
Mobility management in companies is a systematic approach to coordinate and optimize the transportation needs of an organization’s employees, contractors, and other personnel. However, sustainability goals are as important as the given mobility needs. Safe, efficient and sustainable transportation and mobility options should simultaneously reduce potential negative impacts. Therefore, the prevention of air pollution and carbon emissions are frequent goals of corporate mobility management.
Transport emissions play a crucial role in combating climate change: With global transport demand expected to double or triple by 2050, it is crucial to rapidly and significantly decarbonize transport, in particular road transport, which is responsible for the lion’s share of emissions.
Transport decarbonization is up high in the regulatory landscape, with many governments setting phase-out targets for internal combustion engine vehicles, introducing carbon prices or taxes, promoting alternative fuels and infrastructure, and introducing access restrictions (in particular in cities). In particular, the EU Green Deal’s Fit-for-55 package aims to put a price on transport emissions and foster alternative fuels, efficiency, and infrastructure investments. Thus, knowing the regulatory landscape, having a clear strategy for fleet decarbonization, supporting employees in their sustainable travel behavior, and collaborating on innovative sustainable logistics solutions reduce costs and ensure your license to operate.
Electricity will play a major role in net-zero transport emissions by becoming the dominant fuel in the future. Battery-electric cars are here to stay given their higher efficiency and lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, increased ranges and charging capacities, and TCO parity in many markets. However, green electricity and intelligent fleet management are crucial to realize their full sustainability potential and avoid rebound effects. Also, battery and fuel-cell electric trucks are expected to rapidly increase their market shares in the next years.
Nonetheless, a sustainable, equitable, accessible and fair transport system of the future will not simply mean shifting all vehicles from gas or diesel to alternative fuels but will see public transport, shared mobility, active travel, virtual mobility, and other sustainable modes play a more important role in the mobility mix.
A corporate mobility concept with a broad mix of infrastructure, communication and awareness-raising measures as well as other incentives can support a shift to more sustainable modes for employee commute and business travel. This not only reduces transport emissions but also has financial benefits (in the face of rising fuel prices) and positive health and well-being effects for employees. For instance, subsidized transit passes or (electric) bikes, improved car sharing, ride sharing or carpool solutions, better bike infrastructure (secure bike racks, bike repair stations), greener travel policies (car policy, parking space management, travel policy) or storytelling and gamification approaches are just some of many possible measures.
Sustainable mobility management pays off in multiple ways both in the short and long term. For instance, immediate fuel savings lead to a lower total cost of ownership of a sustainable fleet, and reduced carbon tax exposure or less space for parking lots has economic benefits. Moreover, it can also bring financial benefits for employees, thus fostering employee satisfaction and retention.
Transport emissions should be calculated according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and/or relevant national or sector-specific standards. Generally speaking, emissions are calculated from fuel (diesel, gas, electricity…) or activity data (passenger or tonne kilometers), with the respective emission factors by fuel type or transport mode. Data availability, consistency and quality are major challenges, e.g., about business trips or client travel data or transport data from third-party logistics providers.
An employee mobility survey is a central tool in sustainable mobility management projects to measure transport activity and calculate transport emissions from the daily commute. However, to engage employees and develop an effective set of mobility measures, we recommend also using it to learn more about travel behavior (motives, quality of trips/infrastructure), to find out what is needed for a shift to sustainable modes, and to ask people for their ideas and feedback. High survey response rates of usually 60-80% prove that mobility is of huge importance to many employees.