Un homme en tenue d'affaires à côté d'une voiture d'entreprise qu'il vient d'utiliser pour un déplacement professionnel

Business travel by car: impact and alternatives

Business travel by car is an unavoidable reality for many companies, but its ecological impact cannot be underestimated.

Personal and company vehicles used for business travel are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are a few crucial facts:

  • CO2 emissions Cars are responsible for a significant proportion of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the transport sector, exacerbating climate change.
  • Air pollution Air pollution: Vehicles emit harmful air pollutants, such as fine particles and nitrogen oxides, which have harmful effects on human health.
  • Use of resources Car manufacturing and maintenance consume natural resources, contributing to environmental degradation.

This is why business travel is now regulated and is the subject of awareness-raising campaigns at the heart of companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.

The Mobility Plan in France (formerly known as the Plan de Déplacement d’Entreprise, or Company Travel Plan) covers a range of measures designed to optimize business travel and raise employee awareness to reduce environmental impact.

Since January 2018, Article 51 of the French Energy Transition Act has made it mandatory for companies with more than 100 employees located in territories covered by a Plan de Déplacements Urbains (PDU), while remaining voluntary for other companies.

At a time when sustainability and social responsibility are at the forefront, optimizing employee mobility and business-related travel is an excellent way for companies to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. This will enable them to save money on their vehicle fleet, raise employee awareness of environmental issues and improve employee satisfaction.

Beyond its ecological benefits, setting up a mobility plan meets the needs of human resources The benefits are many: reduced employee stress, increased productivity, social bonding, improved corporate image in the eyes of employees (attractiveness, brand image, etc.).

What are the alternatives to business travel by car?

Let’s take a look at some of the alternative modes of transport available to companies and employees that can reduce or eliminate the individual use of cars for business travel:

Public transport

Public transport is a well-known option for reducing the carbon footprint of business travel.

The benefits of this mode of travel include reduced CO2 emissions per passenger, less traffic congestion, and the ability to work or relax during the journey. However, their accessibility and punctuality can vary from region to region.

Multimodal transport

Multimodal transport involves combining several modes of transport for a single journey, offering flexibility and reduced overall environmental impact.

For example, you could use a bike to get to a train station, then take a train, and finally use a car-sharing service to reach your final destination.

Car sharing

Car sharing is becoming increasingly popular for business travel, allowing employees to rent a car only when needed.

Benefits include lower CO2 emissions than owning individual cars, savings on maintenance, insurance and parking costs, and greater flexibility in vehicle choice.

Electric and hybrid vehicles offer greater environmental benefits than combustion-powered cars. Companies have a wide choice of mobility professionals offering this type of service.

Car-sharing for the company fleet

For companies with a fleet of vehicles, car sharing is car-sharing is a promising solution.

Employees can reserve a company vehicle when needed, reducing the need to own a personal car.

The benefits include maximized utilization of the company fleet, cost savings and a significant contribution to reduction in CO2 emissions.

Comparing alternatives

To assess the popularity, feasibility and effectiveness of alternative modes of travel to car-based business trips, let’s look at a few criteria:

  • Popular Public transport is well known, car-sharing is in vogue for its flexibility, multimodal transport is gaining in popularity, and corporate fleet car-sharing is gaining in popularity corporate fleet car-sharing is growing but less widespread.
  • Feasibility Feasibility depends on location, infrastructure and company policies. Public transport is often widely available, car-sharing is possible in many cities, multimodal transport requires planning, while corporate fleet car-sharing depends on the will of the company.
  • Environmental efficiency All these alternatives reduce the carbon footprint compared with the private car, but company car-sharing can be particularly effective, as it reduces the number of vehicles on the road.

 

Criteria / Alternatives Public transport Car sharing Multimodal transport Company fleet car-sharing
Popularity High In vogue Gain in popularity Growing, less widespread
Feasibility Often available Possible in many cities Requires planning Depends on the company’s will
Environmental efficiency Reduces carbon footprint Reduces carbon footprint Reduces footprint

carbon

Particularly efficient

 

Conclusion

Business travel by car has a significant impact on the ecological transition.

However, promising alternatives exist to reduce this impact, ranging from public transport to more recent solutions such as car-sharing and company fleet car-sharing.

The choice of solution will depend on many factors, but it’s crucial to consider these alternatives to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Companies can play a key role in encouraging these more environmentally-friendly practices for their employees, thus contributing to the fight against climate change and to green mobility.

In this context, a car-sharing solution solution like the one proposed by Openfleet contributes to two objectives: decarbonizing a company’s car fleet, and offering a greener alternative to company and personal car travel.