Over 50% of all kilometres travelled by road in the Netherlands, and the associated CO2 emissions, are attributable to Dutch employers. Clearly, employers have an important role to play in reducing mobility-generated CO2 emissions. On 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, fifteen employers founded the Anders Reizen Coalition in 2015 to boost the sustainability of business travel among their employees (andersreizen.nu). In 2020, the coalition members included 65 large employers with a combined impact on 500,000 employees. The coalition aims to achieve a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions from commuter traffic, business travel and air travel by 2030 (compared with 2016, per FTE), although the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may force us to adjust this target. By sharing best practices, the coalition members provide each other with perspectives for action. Its ambitions and best practices have also been incorporated into the Dutch government's Climate Agreement.
In 2020, many employers placed mobility higher on their business agendas. The travel restrictions have confronted them with the material impact of travel and the need for long-term changes to their policies. With a view to providing employers with further perspectives for action and reducing CO2 emissions caused by international travel, the coalition's best practices have been gathered in a knowledge document entitled ‘Vliegwijzer’. In addition to discussing reduction measures, the document also focuses extensively on efforts to replace air travel by rail travel on distances of up to 700 km. The Anders Reizen Coalition also calls for a reform of the tax system to encourage people to opt for sustainable travel options. Finally, in 2020 NS committed to realising a zero-emission car fleet by 2025.
This has already resulted in an average CO2 emission reduction of 4.2% among the coalition members in 2018-2019, while the emission trend for the Netherlands as a whole was upward. As an employer, NS also wants to remain a front runner with its own mobility policy. In 2020, we implemented a new policy for international travel, requiring employees to travel by train as standard on journeys within a radius of 700 km and 8 hours of travel time.
NS: a sustainable brand
NS has for several years participated in the ‘Dossier Duurzaam’ survey, the name of which was changed into 'Monitor Mens & Maatschappij’ in 2020. Since the questions have also changed, the scores for many brand names in 2020 were lower than in previous years. The score for NS remained the same, as a result of which we moved up to fifth place in the ranking (2019: twelfth). When it comes to sustainable brands mentioned spontaneously by respondents, we are in eleventh place (2019: fifteenth). Sustainability plays an ever more prominent role in society and in consumers’ choice for the train above other means of transport. The sustainability image of various means of transport is shifting, with electric cars now scoring higher than the train. In 2019 it was the other way about.