Personnel Sustainable Mobility Plan: a tool that’s required to ensure a better country.

MC Mobilitat

​The evidence is all around us; every year that goes by there are more and more cars in Andorra and, as a result, more and more traffic jams. This means that we have more and more pollution due to emissions and noise. Non-tourist internal mobility accounts for 13% of the greenhouse gas emissions in our country. The factors chiefly responsible for these emissions, as we’re currently being reminded by the Climate Summit in Glasgow, are climate change and the consequent rise in the planet’s temperature.

Having reached this point, we should understand the need for and usefulness of sustainable mobility plans, which seek to steer the transport-related habits of our employees and suppliers and even our customers towards more sustainable methods. What does “sustainable methods” mean? Encouraging non-motorised mobility and public transport or collective transport formulas such as transport on demand that compete directly with the use of private vehicles. We must encourage reductions in energy consumption and emissions of pollutants, thus minimising traffic congestion and improving air quality.

From a business standpoint, there are numerous benefits, including lower costs associated with transport (parking fees, fuel, the fleet, etc.), improvements in commuting to work, increased engagement and identification with the company, a higher quality of life and less time lost due to traffic jams, among many others.

A few months ago, at Vall Banc we began the process of drawing up our Personnel Sustainable Mobility Plan. As we’re an organisation with more than 100 employees, the Government approved a regulation in December 2020 stipulating that we should have it ready by 31 December 2022. We wanted to get one step ahead by starting work right away. Why? Because environmental sustainability is a strategic element for Vall Banc.

Moreover, when we looked at the data provided by the mobility service, we found that each day more than 12,000 vehicles drive past our head offices in Unió Street, over 16,500 drive past the La Massana branch and almost 5,000 drive past the branch in Andorra la Vella. Finally, it is estimated that the average annual cost of a vehicle owned for driving a total of 20,000 kilometres per year is about €500, not including parking fees.

Our Sustainable Mobility Plan for Vall Banc Personnel shows that 42% of the entity’s employees go to work on foot while 49% do so by private car, among other significant data. Excellent data on access to work on foot but data on the use of private vehicles that must be improved.

In the plan, which includes the vast majority of the organisation’s personnel, we ask ourselves what we can do as a private sector company to achieve more sustainable mobility. We need to reduce travel, perhaps by increasing working from home and offering more flexible hours and, perhaps, by providing discounts for lunch. We can encourage the use of public transport.  We can search for synergies with other companies so as to stimulate a kind of transport on demand that’s competitive with private vehicles. We can provide parking spaces for bicycles and scooters and promote electric mobility by providing charging stations in the car park. We can also run communication campaigns to promote sustainable mobility. For example: Walking as a healthy habit. We need to sensitise and raise awareness, among other potential initiatives and actions. 

Personally, I’m concerned that we’re not more active in view of the risks we’re running, when we hear news about the climate crisis and the declaration of a state of climate and ecological emergency. By outlining the case of Vall Banc I hope I’ve helped to clarify what Sustainable Mobility Plans are and I hope that together we can do our little bit to make Andorra a better and more sustainable country and society with a higher quality of life!

 

Marc Cornella Solà

Personnel management director at Vall Banc

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