How to succesfully manage mobility in a company?
“Companies cannot achieve sustainable mobility all by themselves”, emphasises Ana Struna Bregar, Executive Director of CER Partnership for a Sustainable Economy, which organized the event “Managing Mobility in Companies” on 12 April at the Crystal Palace, as a part of the European project SmartMOVE: Smart Solutions for Sustainable Mobility. “Achieving clean, smart, safe, resilient and efficient mobility requires the collaboration of different stakeholders, from the state to local communities, different organisations and businesses to employees,” she added, very well summarising one of the key highlights of the event.
Barbara Hafner, Marketing & PR Director at Knauf Insulation and Mihaela Hafner, Head of Sustainability at IKEA Slovenia, as representatives of companies striving to reduce employee commuting with their own cars, pointed out that their work would be much easier if the government invested more in raising awareness among individuals about the benefits of sustainable mobility. “Only a combination of diverse mobility offer and individual awareness can successfully lead to decarbonisation,” believes Miha Mermal, Executive Director for Marketing and Sustainable Development at BTC, which has already implemented numerous sustainable mobility measures in the area that have contributed to smoother and calmer traffic in the zone but have not significantly reduced vehicle use among visitors or employees. They hope that BTC will become an area of functional micro-mobility.
According to Milena Černilogar Radež from the Ministry of the Environment, Climate, and Energy, the ministry also wishes for various sustainable transport forms to be integrated into a unified and functioning system. She ensured that the government is highly responsive to the business community’s voice and that it has already allocated significant funds in various funds not only for municipalities, but also for companies for mobility management. The strategy is being prepared to define the conrete co-financed measures. They also realize that improving public transportation is crucial for increasing its use. For the state to take action with appropriate funding, however, an open database is essential to make a thorough analysis of passenger transport. A change in legislation is already propesed to oblige companies to share relevant data. Matic Sopotnik from the Department of Economic Activities and Transport of the Municipality of Ljubljana shed further light on mobility management from the city’s perspective. He said that on the way to achieving climate neutrality by 2030, Ljubljana will implement a number of measures, including infrastructure improvements to support sustainable mobility, and is expected to focus on reducing the use of internal combustion engine vehicles, in line with EU guidelines.
»The government should encourage the development of innovative forms of mobility,” stressed Marko Guček, CEO of GoOpti. As part of the SmartMOVE project they introduced a new mode of transportation to work. A pilot test of the flexible shared transfer by van from home directly to work is currently underway and the customers are extremely pleased, says Guček. They were satisfied to find that almost three-quarters of passengers had previously commuted to work alone by car and most of them would happily continue commuting by the new means of transport.
Based on a thorough analysis of the project, which will be carried out by the »Jožef Stefan« Institute, they will be able to communicate precise findings and calculations on emission savings. It is already clear that financial support from the state will be needed to make this modality affordable for users in the long run. Therefore he specifically called for a smart regulation of legislation in the area of public transport so that it allows alternative forms to complement the bus and train as the two main pillars of the JPP.
“To comprehensively manage mobility in the region, it is necessary to offer employees a lot of good sustainable choices and to provide the appropriate infrastructure for them,” explained Klemen Gostič
from the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region, which is the lead partner of the European SmartMOVE project. For this reason, the project has also involved UKC as the largest employer in the country, the BTC area and IKEA Slovenia and Studio Moderna and will deliver mobility plans for each as a tool for changing employee travel habits. “A package of tailor-made measures, which are a key part of a mobility plan, can help a company change its employees’ travel habits, reduce the number of cars in its car park and, in the long term, even dedicate parking space to other activities,” said Klemen Milovanovič of LUZ, d. d. Aidan Cerar from IPoP – Institute for Spatial Policy emphasised the role of leadership and communication in implementing sustainable mobility measures adding: “There is always a proportion of employees who do not have to drive to work, but still drive themselves to work every day. With some communication, an employer can quickly understand what these employees need to get to work differently. Often, measures to facilitate cycling, encourage carpooling or use public transport are ultimately cheaper than providing lots of parking spaces. At the same time, this improves employee satisfaction, as it shows that those who are least satisfied are those who are stuck in traffic jams every day.” Encouraging examples of best practices in changing employees’ travel habits in international companies were presented by Urška Skrt, who leads the mobility area at the WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva.
Miro Smrekar, Secretary General of the Slovenian Employers’ Association summarized the fundamental finding of the event by saying that “without dialogue between the state, local communities, and employers, we will not come up with frameworks that are stimulative for everyone,” and called for systemic acceleration.