Published on
August 23, 2023

What is sustainable transport?

Written by
Emma Thomas

With the Government forcing businesses to report emissions from employee commutes in January 2024, sustainable transport is more important than ever. 

With heatwaves, wildfires, floods, ice storms and other extreme weather events, the focus on climate change and what can be done to mitigate it has never been more important. 

Sustainable transport is one way businesses can decrease emissions, improve their green credentials and meet the new requirements to declare Scope 3 emissions coming into effect from January 2024.

Want to see how a RideTandem shuttle bus improved sustainability for a food manufacturer? 

Download the case study here.

What is Sustainable Transport?

Very simply, sustainable transport gives people efficient, safe, and accessible commutes while minimising harm to the environment.

Sustainable transport includes:

Environmental Considerations: Reduce harmful emissions, minimise energy consumption, and lower the ecological footprint of transport. 

Economic Viability: Sustainable transport should be affordable and efficient.

Social Equity: It emphasises accessibility, inclusivity, and safety for all members of society, regardless of age, gender, income, or physical abilities. 

Reducing Congestion: By promoting public transport, ridesharing, shuttle buses, cycling, and walking, there will be fewer cars on the road leading to better commutes for all.

What are Scope 3 Emissions and Why Are They Important?

A recent study by edie found that 60% of businesses in the UK are not ready to meet the January 2024 deadline for climate disclosures.

According to Sustainability House, staff commutes account for up to 15% of a businesses Scope 3 emissions on average. Tackling these emissions can help you rapidly improve your overall figures. 

Since 2019, RideTandem has helped businesses avoid around 12,000 metric tonnes of CO2 by using the smart, adaptable shuttle bus service.

Examples of Transport Sustainability

Public Transit: Well-developed and accessible public transport systems are a very sustainable way to travel. They reduce the number of private vehicles on the road, lowering emissions and congestion.

Ridesharing and Carpooling: Apps and platforms that facilitate ridesharing and carpooling contribute to reduced traffic and emissions, making them key elements of sustainable transport.

Cycling Infrastructure: Dedicated cycling lanes and bike-sharing programs encourage eco-friendly commuting options, reduce pollution, and promote healthier lifestyles.

Electric Vehicles (EVs): Electric cars and buses are becoming increasingly popular as they produce zero tailpipe emissions and can be powered by renewable energy sources.

Smart Traffic Management: The use of technology to optimise traffic flow and reduce congestion not only saves time and fuel but also reduces pollution.

Dedicated Shuttle Buses: Some workplaces put on dedicated shuttle bus services which adapt to the number of passengers booked on - saving money and producing zero emissions when not in use.

Remote or Hybrid Work: Encouraging remote or hybrid work helps reduce the need for daily commutes, cutting down on carbon emissions.

Why Do We Need Sustainable Transport?

As the recent extreme weather across the world shows, the need to reduce harmful emissions is greater than ever.

Traditional transport relies heavily on fossil fuels which create emissions and air pollution. Non-renewable resources, such as oil, will run out one day. By switching to sustainable transport, we can make these fuels last longer. 

Other benefits include increasing physical activity like walking and cycling as well as taking vehicles off the road which makes towns and cities quieter, cleaner places to live.

Even if you can’t use sustainable transport yourself, you’ll still see the benefits. Fewer cars on the road = less traffic. 

Why is Managing Transport Important for Urban Sustainability?

Transport systems shape the environmental, economic, and social fabric of cities. 

Air quality and the overall environmental health of urban areas are hugely impacted by transport. Petrol or diesel cars, buses and vans, contribute to air pollution which can cause health issues and increase emissions. Reducing this as much as possible helps improve the environment for everyone.

Everyone hates sitting in traffic. But as well as being frustrating, congestion can stop deliveries, slow down critical services and eat into company profits. More than 40% of businesses are losing money simply because of traffic jams, research by Close Brothers Asset Finance shows.

Lastly, managing transport is essential for equality. Access to affordable, efficient and reliable transport options is vital to make sure everyone in our society has equal opportunities. By managing transport well, businesses, organisations and cities can promote social equity and inclusivity, ensuring that no one is left behind.

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