2 mai 23

Sustainability starts with changing the mobility mindset

During the Smart Mobility Institute (SMI) on 27 April in Munich, experts in corporate mobility discussed the latest trends, how to engage employees actively, and shared best practices. Here are the key takeaways. 

Kai Andrejewski, CFO of premium mobility service provider Sixt, outlined the increasing importance of external pressures in the context of ESG (Environmental and Social Governance):

  • The need for compliance with non-financial reporting, and thus greater transparency.
  • B2B customers requiring ESG ratings, and thus partnering with sustainable suppliers who comply with supply chain laws, offer CO2 neutral services, and are certified (e.g. SBTi, Ecovadis, ISO).
  • Investors in the capital markets seek sustainable investments, thus fulfilling their green portfolio ratios and achieving sustainability goals.

The orange team embedded these finance trends in their sustainability programme by focusing on four critical points: CO2 neutrality, electric and shared mobility, and smart charging. Andrejewski explained the necessity of a holistic approach to becoming more sustainable. He focused on zero tailpipe emissions and carefully selected providers, making an integrated effort to reduce GHG emissions throughout the entire value chain. 

Sustainability, flexibility, and affordability are critical for the future of mobility

“The future of sustainability begins with mobility,” says the UN’s World Economic Forum. The car will still play a significant role in the future but it will no longer be as crucial as today.” According to the “Mobility Futures” study by the British market research company Kantar, 51% of mobility in large cities worldwide is still by car. In 2030, this figure is expected to be 46% - but increasingly with shared, electric and autonomous vehicles.

Kristof Hecht, Sr. Executive Manager Global Innovations & Solutions at Sixt, asked the participants about the challenges after 2030. With one mind, the participants commented: “Sustainability, flexibility, and affordability”. Unanimously, it was concluded that these hurdles can be best approached with long-term thinking, proper insight, supportive legislation, and correct mindset change.

Figure 1: the corporate mobility challenges after 2030

A change process 

Transforming corporate mobility is a change management process that is happening over time. 

“Pilot projects and a variety of mobility options are a great approach to implementing change.” Michael Pohl, Sr. HR Benefit Program Manager at Microsoft commented. 

Pohl transitioned Microsoft’s Mobility Plan into an effective employee-oriented solution with two additional options: 1) a smaller company car plus a mobility budget and 2) a subscription model instead of the company car or cash. The subscription model is popular within Microsoft. After 18 months of trial, over 80% of the pilot participants would recommend this solution to other colleagues. 

Engage the employee and surf the wave of change yourself

According to a poll organised by Dr. OEC Hans-Peter Kleebinder, Director of Studies Smart Mobility Management at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland: Electrification (34%), Flexibility (30%), and Mobility as a Service (27%) will define new corporate mobility. But how can you make employees embrace these new forms, as there is a gap between mobility needs seen through the eyes of the employee and the employer? The participants looked at how to bridge the gap and successfully engage the employee, knowing:

  • People typically hold on to what they have and know already.
  • People don’t have good insight into the cost of doing nothing.
  • People typically compare their new situation with their personal baseline, and thus the ‘gain’ is different for everybody.
  • The gain should be at least twice as good as the pain of change.

A deep-dive discussion among the participants revealed the following tips:

  • Demystify the unknown about alternative and sustainable mobility.
  • Understand the reaction by asking questions rather than telling people what to do.
  • Execute small pilot projects across a broad representation of the company.
  • Empower people by offering them a menu of options to choose from.
  • Highlight the gap between their actual versus the desired behaviour. 
  • Surf the waves of change yourself. 

The catalyst of change in corporate mobility

The SMI’s closing panel was represented by some of Europe’s best catalysts of corporate mobility. Here are their best practices:

According to various sources, SAP has the biggest company car fleet in Germany, with 17,000 cars. Steffen Krautwasser, Head of the Global Car Fleet, stated everything will stay the same if you are not offering alternative solutions. As of April, the multinational software company provides a mobility budget as an alternative. Krautwasser added willingness to change, team spirit, communication, and pilots as crucial success factors.

Deutsche Telekom’s strategy to shift from cars to sustainable mobility inspires many of us and is based on three pillars:

  1. Diversification of the mobility portfolio.
  2. Digital services.
  3. MaaS as an ecosystem.

Andreas Knaack, Head of Marketing, highlighted the importance of engaging employees with creative ideas. He gave the example of reduced-price tickets for public transport and providing free bicycle check-ups and get-togethers on the world’s ‘car-free day’ in September.

Franz Fehlner, Head of International Fleet Management Chauffeur Services at Allianz and the Smart Mobility Award winner in 2021 created and implemented a standardised mobility policy across several countries, including company cars, bicycles, and trains. Bring road & rail together, commented Fehlner. Work as a team, try a change in small pilots and for as many employees as possible, and be transparent in your communication of what will change and benefit the employees.

We thank premium mobility provider Sixt for making this Smart Mobility Institute session possible.

By Saskia Harreman

Images: Shutterstock