What is sustainable transport?

It is estimated that every year various forms of transport consume 20%-25% of the world’s energy resources which in turn significantly contribute to the ever-increasing levels of greenhouse gases. The global need to cut carbon emissions impels the need for introducing sustainable transport systems.
Sustainable Transport, also known as Green transport, is any form of transport that does not rely on
dwindling natural resources. Instead, it consumes renewable energy and is known to
have a lesser negative effect on the environment.

The power of a joint vision by employers and employees

“It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.” – Dalai Lama

This makes it necessary to action reformative measures in our immediate environment to effect the
change on a broader scale.

While the government can aim to reorganize public transport to include the use of innovative low-
impact, cost-effective, and user-friendly transportation solutions, it is necessary for employers and
employees to tune their mindsets to sustainable transport options in their daily commute.

Shifting the daily commute from cars to sustainable transport modes like walking/jogging and
bicycling needs a more seamless integration with the infrastructure at the workplace.

Secondly, encouraging car-pooling in private vehicles or shared rides is a viable option. Use of sign
up boards in cafeterias or message boards on the intranet for common employee access and
planning will go a long way in inculcating a culture of shared responsibility.

Thirdly, availing efficient company transport. With a better routing and planning system, the
employee transport will be more welcoming if it promises safety, shorter travel time and
the convenience of pick and drop points.

While incremental investments like the adoption of renewable biofuels for fleets and supply chains,
adding EV charging stations, and sourcing from more sustainable suppliers are indispensable, it is
imperative to encourage and influence employees to make smarter choices.

This will require organizations to create a sustainable goal with regard to employee transportation and a task force to implement and sustain this culture. Innovative ideas like an active month in the best-suited season, a walking challenge with a step tracker, or competition between departments will be embraced with optimism and drive positive thought process in this direction. Further providing employees with the flexibility of schedule will help organization transport in avoiding the rush hour traffic.

All initiatives must be replicable, scalable, and have a clear community focus.

Complex but viable

While companies are often restricted in their budgets to make these visions a reality, it is necessary
that sustainability becomes a part of the corporate strategy in the long term to impact the environmental footprint as opposed to a short-term plan. Hence, by finding ways to green the
supply chains, incrementally adopt new transportation technologies, or simply encourage smart
employee choices, it has become imperative to contribute to the creation of sustainable cities and

The global mandate

Several local governments are accelerating change through policy initiatives such as integrated
transport, congestion charges, low emission zones, sustainable procurement, and lifecycle
costing, as well as opening data up to companies and academics. These city-level policies can
drive markets in more sustainable directions. For instance, in London, all newly licensed taxis are
required to be zero-emission capable from this year. In Manila, the Asian Development Bank is
aiming to roll out 100,000 e-trikes to replace current fossil fuel versions, which is not just good for
the environment and health, but increases take-home pay for drivers by around 15%. In Hangzhou,
China, multi-story “vending machines” for ultra-compact electric cars are being installed, with a 75
mile range, costing approximately $3 an hour. This is in addition to the battery-swapping facilities
for around 500 electric taxis.

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