Reducing car use among employees in Balzers (Liechtenstein)

By News Editor / Updated: 30 Apr 2015

At electrical engineering firm INFICON AG, an initial survey undertaken for an ISO 14001 certification showed about 63 per cent of individual trips were by motorised transport. The employees’ commuting trips were responsible for about 50 per cent of the total energy consumption and 60 per cent of the total CO2 emissions of the company. A plan was drawn up with the goal of reducing the mode share of individual vehicles.

Context 

Travel management at INFICON’s site in Balzers, where 225 people are employed, was developed as a consequence of the ISO 14001 certification process in 1999 and in the course of a move into a new building in 2002. The goal is for motorised individual transport to have a maximum share of 40 per cent of journeys to work (a year, on average) as defined in 2000. This shall be achieved by corporate travel planning actions with incentives and punitive measures, without endangering employee satisfaction. Another objective is to share knowledge gained with society, in the spirit of the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management).

In action 

Measures and Communication

  • A Mobility Club was set up with contributions and a limited number of free day-parking spaces; employees with an assigned parking lot paid a parking fee.
  • A 'Business CarSharing Master' contract was signed with Mobility CarSharing Switzerland; this included free-of-charge usage on personal work days.
  • Cycle facilities were built or bought; these included a covered bicycle stand at the main entrance, a cycle repair corner, company bicycles and changing rooms (male and female) with showers.
  • Regular awards and promotions for club members were undertaken, including a monthly raffle of CHF 100 (approximately € 73) for top members and a yearly raffle for top members having used a maximum of 4 day-parking spaces.
  • A daily raffle jackpot was held during a four-week period each year, with CHF 50 (approximately € 36) being added daily to the Jackpot. Employees who did not commute in an unshared car or motorcycle were eligible. If nobody won, the money rolled over to the next raffle.
  • Actions to promote cycling to work were undertaken; an annual Bicycle Repair Day was held and every employee who had a helmet received CHF 30 (approximately € 22) once a year. A bicycle safety course by Pro Velo Switzerland - 'Safe in the Saddle' was also conducted.
  • The company participated in the 'commuting' team and relevant actions (e.g. Cycling to Work') of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LIHK).
  • Distribution of information of actions taken was done by folders or flyers.
  • A subsidised lunch was offered in the employee restaurant to reduce traffic at lunch time.
  • Communication was conducted via an information board (also at bicycle stand) and an intranet.
     

Cost and benefits
The plan was paid out of mobility contributions from employee salaries. When taking all expenditure for mobility management into account (including working time), income due to parking fees and the savings due to fewer parking spaces being needed, the yearly net savings total approximately € 80 000.

Results 

Surveys were conducted by questionnaire (since 1999) and by counting vehicles (since 2005), and showed the following results:

Motorised individual transport

  • 1999 = 63 per cent
  • 2007 = 50 per cent

Collective transport (including public transport and car pooling)

  • 1999 = 24 per cent
  • 2007 = 37 per cent (of which 32 per cent public transport and 5 per cent car pooling)

Cycling and walking

  • 1999 = 13 per cent
  • 2007 = 13 per cent (of which 10 per cent cycling and 3 per cent walking)

For 60 to 70 per cent of the employees, the new location is 1.5km farther away by cycling and takes 6 minutes longer by public transport.

This plan was shortlisted for the PEWTA award within Best Employers category at the ECOMM 2008 in London.

In Depth 

Photo by r. nial bradshaw / CC BY 2.0

 
Topic: 
Mobility management
Country: 
Liechtenstein
City: 
Balzers
Contact: 
Georg Sele
Author: 
Moritz Kammerlander
14 Sep 2010
30 Apr 2015