With months of home office and remote work behind us and still ongoing in many places, we all remember commuting to the office every day in pre-covid times. Especially the ones who used a car to get to work will also remember the stress of wasting time and arriving late because of an annoying traffic jam along the way. However, despite home office regulations and the use of digitalization having become custom in many branches, there are still a lot of people that have to commute to work each day.
Daily commuting – an emissions nightmare
In pre-covid times, we’ve had an astonishing number of 13 million regular commuters in Germany. Each of them would cover an average distance of 16.9 km per trip, which adds up to 33.8 km per day. In total, this results in 439 million km travelled each workday.
To help you picture this enormously high number, the distance equals travelling to the sun and back and to the sun again. Of those millions of kilometers, 73.4 % (= 322 million km) are done by what is called „motorized individual transport”, which in most cases are cars. With an average of 200gr CO2/km emitted by cars in Germany, we count 64,504 tonnes of CO2 emitted by commuting only. Not in one year, but each working day!
Due to its significant impact, commuting is taken into account when calculating a company’s carbon footprint. Considering the number above, we calculated an average of 4.96 kg CO2 emission per commuting employee per day. This shows us, when companies want to reduce their emissions, they need to tackle their employees’ commuting behaviour.
The solution: closing the gap between public transport and the last mile
And this might be easier than it sounds: For example employers can encourage their employees to use public transport and motivate them to ride their bike to work by making space for changing rooms and showers. Also, there is an increasing number of sustainable micromobility options arising, which offer business solutions for corporates .
For example, TIER Mobility, Europe's leading micromobility provider and official partner of ClimatePartner, recently launched TIER for Business to help companies give their employees access to TIER’s climate-neutral e-scooters and e-mopeds. With the help of ClimatePartner, TIER calculated its carbon footprint, reduced emissions throughout the entire value chain and continuously supports reforestation projects to offset all remaining emissions.
If these obvious benefits for the climate and the urban environment were not reason enough to overthink one´s daily commuting habit, there is also a monetary perspective to be considered. As recently reported by the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), costs for motorised individual transport by car are mainly influenced by fuel prices: while the overall consumer price index in May 2021 was 2.5 % higher than the previous year's value, petrol, diesel and co. had become 27.5 % more expensive in the same period.
To sum it up, there are a lot of ways to take on climate action in our everyday commuting. How do you get to work? Tell us about the initiatives you or your company take to contribute to more sustainable commuting!