From corporate fleet to corporate mobility: where is it most challenging?
The Smart Mobility Conference 2022 has kicked off. With corporate mobility often a vague and complex concept for those who have to implement it, the trend is clear that the post-covid period has created a window of opportunity that will enable the modal shift to gain momentum. But in some areas solutions will need to be more innovative than in others.
As Steven Schoefs, editor-in-chief of Fleet Europe puts it: “Moving from corporate fleet to corporate mobility is like the chicken and the egg for many companies.”
Because of the multimodality of new mobility, many responsible managers remain behind with more unpredictable needs prior to company cars. But everyone agrees that apart from the goals of fighting congestion, reducing carbon footprint and the possibility of realizing important savings the lockdowns have triggered the uptake, not unimportantly on a mental level.
Shwetha Surender, Director Mobility at Frost & Sullivan points out how people have moved to the outskirts of town during the pandemic helped shape new flexible commuting needs, but sees clear signs that from the mobility innovations in such city areas that corporate MaaS is building up.
Mobility-as-a-service, ride-sharing, pedelecs and other forms of soft mobility prove viable solutions in dense areas, but what if your company operates remotely? Jonathan Van Cauwenberge dealt with it in his role as Mobility Advisor for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges .
“There’s a lot of lessons to be learned from trying something that seems unlikely at first.”, he says, “One of our most famous mobility backbones is the waterbus, a public initiative pushed forward by private companies.” Trying to weigh on local policies sometimes works. Next to that, the harbour operator bets intensively on an (e)bike shift to get the majority of their car commuters (above 70%) out of their vehicles.
Another challenge in the corporate mobility pie is the business travel share, a sector slowly creeping back to pre-corona habits. On a corporate level, it hardly accounts for a decisive share of a company’s carbon footprint (0.6%). But according to Daan Bieleveld, nature-human mediator in mobility and travel, also here a fundamental change is irreversible: “A new corporate culture has to be put in place because the cost savings can’t be neglected. When business travel almost stopped during Covid, it hardly affected sales. But more importantly, ecological awareness from the employees is growing.”
Some final good advice was provided by Daan Bieleveld: “Check your individual and corporate carbon footprint, gather those data, see what your employees really want and start from there.”
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