Sustainability is becoming a more and more important criterion for consumers in their purchasing decisions for both products (more than half of products bought in 2019) and services. Under the title ‘Dossier Duurzaam’, an external market survey shows that nearly four out of ten consumers are also prepared to pay extra for sustainability. In ‘Dossier Duurzaam’, NS achieved a score of 45, which has earned us 12th place in the top 50 of most sustainable businesses (2018: 11th). We have now also appeared for the first time in the top 15 of sustainable brands mentioned spontaneously by respondents. Half of all consumers in the survey were able to spontaneously mention existing sustainability initiatives of NS, with the use of green power being cited as the most important theme. Our sustainable image has a positive effect on consumers' attitudes towards NS. Over a third of respondents say that NS's sustainable business practices mean that they now are more inclined to travel by train. Less than a quarter of respondents said so last year. There is a similar upward trend when it comes to aspects such as trust, value proposition and involvement with NS. The train is considered to be the most environmentally friendly means of transport. While the electric car topped the list in earlier years, in 2019 its score for environmental friendliness was lower.
NS’s involvement in the Climate Agreement
In 2019, NS contributed to the Climate Agreement through its participation in the consultative platform for mobility issues (the mobiliteitstafel). With a range of other organisations, we are actively contributing to reducing mobility-related CO2 emissions by focusing on energy efficiency and running our trains on wind energy.
Employers in the Netherlands are key in the efforts to reduce mobility-generated CO2 emissions. At the initiative of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, environmental organisation Natuur & Milieu and NS, 15 organisations joined forces in 2015 to boost the sustainability of business travel among their employees. To that end, they formed the 'Anders Reizen' coalition. In 2019, the coalition grew to include 65 large companies and organisations, together representing more than 300,000 employees in the Netherlands. NS also participates in the Mobility Alliance, a broad coalition of parties in the Dutch automobile sector, bicycle sector, freight road transport and public transport that aims to stimulate and optimise sustainable mobility.