Revolutionising the commute is key to reducing UK carbon emissions, new research from Mobilityways reveals

Credit: Pressat- Published on September 29, 2020
Tuesday 29 September, 2020Survey of 285,000 commuters finds more than one in four drivers could be
walking or cycling and eight in ten could be sharing a lift with a co-worker
Commuting accounts for 25 per cent of UK transport emissions, with UK
commuters driving 25 billion miles a year
Average Commuter Emissions Level (ACEL) fell by 20 per cent at peak of
10 billion kg of CO2e could be saved if more people walked, cycled, used
public transport or car shared
​Businesses have vital role to play in reducing commuting emissions
To mark World Car Free Day (September 22), Mobilityways has released data that shows 10
billion kg of CO​2e could be saved if people commuted more sustainably, either by walking, cycling, using public transport or car sharing – the equivalent of London’s carbon emissions
for almost four months.Transport is the biggest source of UK carbon emissions. In the UK, commuting accounts for 18 billion kg of CO​2e – 25 per cent of transport emissions and five per cent of total emissions. Mobilityways, a new organisation committed to helping businesses achieve zero
carbon commuting, analysed travel data for 285,000 commuters across 200 major UK
employers – the data highlights there is significant potential for people to commute more
The data shows that 42 per cent of commuters could walk or cycle, 46 per cent could use
public transport, and 92 per cent have one or more colleagues living within one mile of them
who they could share a lift to work with. The average commuter has over five people they
could share a lift with within walking distance of their home. But census data for England
shows that only 15 per cent of commuters currently walk or cycle, 18 per cent use public
transport and just 10 per cent share a car with a co-worker.According to Mobilityways, the opportunity to reduce commuter emissions is currently being
missed. The Department for Transport’s Decarbonising Transport document, published in
March 2020, does not mention commuters or the importance of employer travel plans. In
addition, public sector and business greenhouse gas emission reporting does not need to
include commuting and ‘grey fleet’ business miles.Mobilityways helps organisations plan and implement sustainable commuting solutions. ​It is
launching the UK’s first average commuter emissions level (ACEL)​ ​online calculator​ to h​elp
businesses and public sector organisations to make data-driven decisions on mobility
planning and policy. Using data from an organisation’s latest travel survey, it identifies the
modes of travel that are emitting the highest levels of CO​2, and outlines how to lower emissions and meet carbon reduction targets using ​viable alternatives. Mobilityways also introduces customers to new tools, partners and travel operators to help them achieve zero
carbon commuting. ​Organisations can benchmark their ACEL score against national and
local averages.

Ali Clabburn, CEO of Mobilityways, said:​ “Zero​ carbon pledges cannot be met without
reducing emissions from transport – which means decarbonising the daily commute is
critical.“Our commuting habits have barely changed in thirty years, we know that there is vast latent
potential for people to travel more sustainably when they need to get to their workplace. But
working from home also has a big part to play – we saw the national ACEL fall by 20 per
cent at the peak of lockdown.“Employers play an essential role in decarbonising the commute. Covid-19 is forcing
businesses to re-examine their entire ways of working. As organisations overhaul their
operations to manage social distancing and the health of their workforce, it’s vital that
commuting is considered as part of this mix.”Increasing average car occupancy on the commute from 1.1 per car to 1.2 per car would
take 1.2 million commuting cars off the road, and save 1.2MtCO​2e – as much as doubling train use and has lower CO​2 /pkm (88.5g) than travel by bus (105g)**.

In addition to the environmental benefits, ​sustainable commuting also lowers business costs
and personal expenses. ​Mobilityways’ analysis showed that ​employee satisfaction can be
improved by an estimated 22 per cent. Offering a wider range of mobility options makes
employees’ co​mmutes more accessible, and less stressful and more enjoyable, and better
commuting strategies are also thought to increase hiring and employee retention rates.Mobilityways​ is part of the Liftshare Group, the UK’s largest car-sharing platform with over
20 years’ experience in changing commuter behaviour. ​As well as helping organisations to
reduce carbon emissions, Mobilityways can deliver return on investment in just 1.5 months
and is already working with 700 major brands, including the NHS, Virgin, Ocado and
Bentley.*England Census 2011
**UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company ReportingDistributed by

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