Anyone who learns to think differently can travel greener. Or not at all
Today's sustainability day A good moment to reflect on the travel behaviour of Strukton employees.
There are already lots of good things to say about it, but there can always be improvements, says CSR manager Hedwig Thorborg.
I'm a great fan of public transport. We didn't have a car at home, so I grew up travelling on public transport and by bike. About twenty years ago, I passed my driving test, but since then I've never driven a car. There are plants growing under the car at home, because my partner usually takes the train too.
We now have a folding bike at home, which I use to get to and from the station. Ideal, I love it. So I think I can safely call myself 'sustainably mobile'.
The subject is gaining in popularity among colleagues too. In 2030, Strukton wants to have reduced its mobility-related CO2 emissions by 50% per Strukton FTE compared with 2016. There are numerous initiatives, such as the electric Strukton bikes which arrived at Utrecht Central station a few weeks ago and which are available for colleagues who would rather cycle to Maarssen than wait for the next train. Strukton also takes part in the annual Low Car Diet. Lease drivers also get an NS Business Card with their lease car. Within our lease scheme, there are also more electric alternatives for the conventional diesel car.
There's still no unified vision for sustainable mobility
Behind the scenes
It all sounds good, but as I wrote, they are still initiatives. There's still no cohesive, unified vision for sustainable mobility. I'm keen to work on that. Fortunately, a lot's going on behind the scenes. Discussions are also taking place at board level. About the electric cars in the lease scheme, for example. Because of their purchase price, they often fall into a higher category making it harder to stimulate their use. This means using different limits, so that we can use them.
Working from home
The key to sustainable mobility is not the lease car scheme but our attitude. If the train journey takes longer than the car journey, most people choose the car. Add the busy train carriages and then try getting people out of their cars. Particularly when they say that they can spend the time in the car usefully by calling people. I'm appealing for a discussion about mobility in the wide sense. How do you organise your working day? At Strukton, it's taken for granted that we spend every working day at our workplace. However, working at home is also an option, if work allows. On other days, we can start work at home and then take the - less busy - train after the rush hour. That train journey may take longer than going by car, but you can work in the train. So you spend your time much more efficiently. (And I'm not a supporter anyway of making calls from the car).
Thinking differently about mobility can be extended to other fronts, for example our services. An example: two client sites, close to each other, which are served from different Strukton offices, meaning that two Strukton buses go there. It’s not rocket science to think up a smarter, more sustainable solution. That will benefit Dutch industry and ourselves. Another example of a different attitude relates to organising meetings with people from different locations. They can all travel to one location, but meeting via video or Skype is an excellent alternative. In terms of quality and technology, it works well, it saves travel time and energy and is much more comfortable.
Strukton can provide personal travel advice for all employees
Personal travel advice
The transport solution which works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else. It depends on where you live, where you work, how many meetings out of the office you have, whether you have a lease car or not and the nature of your work. Working from home is sadly not an option for construction workers. To travel more sustainably, customised transport advice is important. Because someone is only prepared to change their travel pattern if a solution is appropriate to their situation. Strukton can provide personal travel advice for all employees.
As I said, I already travel very sustainably and that will continue. But even I've broken a pattern recently. I always used to travel first class with my NS Business Card, until I saw the invoice and realised how much the journeys cost. I switched my card to second class. Now I travel more cheaply and enjoyably. Because I find the seats in second class much more comfortable than those in first class.