Summer Promo: Get 20% Off!

On the Move for Sustainability: Strategies for Greener Workplace Mobility

Find out about the latest practices in workplace mobility and stop taking for granted the freedom to move.
workplace mobility
In this article

It’s a fact: the need for better mobility and sustainable workplaces is on the rise. 

And we’re in this together: creating a future that’s both eco-friendly and supportive of well-being.

This is why we’ve invited PTV Group to our interview series “The Workplace Scoop”. 

PTV Group, together with Econolite, is part of Umovity, a global market leader for end-to-end traffic management and transportation technology.

Umovity solutions enable decision-makers and users across cities, companies, organizations, industries, and academia to mold a future that is both smarter and safer while enhancing mobility for a more sustainable future. 

So, welcome Thomas Epp, Managing Director of PTV Austria!

Now, in our interview we want to find out how workplaces can shape smart and livable communities. 

Without any further ado, here’s our interview!

On employer branding, mobility, and the freedom to move

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Recently, PTV Group was awarded with the prestigious title of “Arbeitgeber der Zukunft” (Employer of the Future). What does it mean for the company? And how are you inspiring other companies to go the same path as you?

Thomas Epp: We are delighted to have received the prestigious title of “Arbeitgeber der Zukunft” for the second time, as it underscores our unwavering commitment to employee welfare and modern leadership at PTV Group. This recognition is a testament to our dedication to pioneering innovative technologies within Umovity to optimize mobility for humanity, with a core focus on digitalization and sustainability. 

At the heart of our mission is the belief that content, motivated, and talented individuals serve as the driving force behind our endeavors. This award validates our commitment to fostering a positive and innovative working environment. 

By sharing our experiences and best practices, we hope to inspire and encourage other organizations to prioritize employee well-being, embrace modern leadership approaches, and integrate innovative technologies into their operations.  

Alina from Tidaro: And I do believe that the fact that you are evangelists of mobility will help with building the employer brand furthermore. We all know that nowadays candidates choose their employers based on certain convictions. And one of the most popular ones is support for environmental issues. 

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Can you tell us more about PTV’s #MobilityisaHumanRide initiative?

Thomas Epp: I guess most of us are taking their ability to move around freely for granted. The freedom to move, and thus the possibility to get to work, meet with others, get access to education, shopping, health care or culture, has a massive impact on our quality of life. 

This also means that those who cannot afford mobility or don’t have access to transportation, are excluded from society to some extent. And there are millions around the globe who are not able to exercise this basic right. 

To emphasize the crucial role of human-centricity and public transport in guaranteeing mobility and accessibility, we launched the campaign “#mobilityisahumanride” last summer. We aim to raise awareness of the importance of creating a more equitable and accessible world for all.
 

I invite everyone to take a picture of yourself, e.g. in front of a sustainable mode of transport with a cardboard or a piece of paper that shows the slogan: Mobility is a Human Ride and share it on LinkedIn with campaign hashtag #mobilityisahumanride and @PTVGroup. 

PTV will donate 1 Euro per post to the World Resources Institute to support a mobility project. 

On how businesses and individuals can minimize their environmental footprint

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Now, this takes us to my next question. Businesses and individuals seem to be more actively involved in minimizing their environmental footprint. In the workplace, initiatives like public transport subsidies, facilitating car-sharing, installing EV chargers, are just a few of the actions happening. But is this enough? Can both employers and employees do more?

Thomas Epp: Around one quarter of air pollution from vehicles is caused by people traveling to work. 17 % by business travels. 

I therefore believe that companies have a duty to mitigate the traffic flows they generate. Cooperate mobility management is a strong lever for reducing emissions in transportation.  

For many cyclists, for example, it is important to be able to park their bike safely and shower when they arrive at work drenched in sweat. Such measures can encourage cycling. Companies should not only actively support their employees to commute in a sustainable way, but also optimize business trips, visitor traffic or movement within a company’s premises. 

  1. Alina from Tidaro:  I can see this changing slowly around me as well. But let’s look a bit further into the future. Which are the sustainable mobility trends you envision for the next 10 years across Europe in relationship with sustainable workplaces? 

Thomas Epp: I am confident that the popularity of cycling will continue to grow. Numerous cities have already taken steps to improve their cycling infrastructure. 

An efficient network of direct and uninterrupted bike lanes allows cyclists to navigate quickly and comfortably, thereby encouraging greater use of bicycles. 

workplace cycling

Source

I also see significant potential for sustainable commuting through the integration of cycling and rail travel. By combining these two modes of transportation, individuals can seamlessly cover long distances, providing a promising solution for environmentally friendly and convenient travel. 

On sustainable commutes

  1. Alina from Tidaro:  Speaking of sustainable commutes, here’s another hot topic: 15 minutes cities. What’s your take on the topic? Is it feasible or utopia?

Thomas Epp: There are several cities around the world that are already working towards a 15-minute city. Paris is probably the best known example. Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona has adopted a similar concept called “superblocks” to create mini-neighborhoods where cars are restricted and pedestrians and cyclists are prioritized. 

The U.S. city of Portland has invested in mixed-use development, improved public transportation, and bicycle infrastructure to create a 20-minute neighborhood. Today, many cities have realized that they need to focus more on people’s needs to make urban spaces more livable. I think this is going to win out in the long run. 

Alina from Tidaro: I love these stories! I’m looking forward to seeing more cities joining the movement!

  1. Alina from Tidaro: How is PTV group helping companies embrace sustainable mobility?

Thomas Epp: Data analytics, modeling, and simulation play a pivotal role in fostering evidence-based decision-making. Tools such as PTV Visum and PTV Vissim empower planners to thoroughly analyze and assess various mobility measures before implementing them. 

In addition, our software helps identify and understand the diverse mobility needs of people across all modes of transportation. This capability enables planners to contribute to the development of a more inclusive and sustainable mobility ecosystem.

  1. Alina from Tidaro: And a personal question for you, Thomas: good old-school bike or electric bike? 

Thomas Epp: I ride a good, but old-school bike to work almost every day 🙂.

Alina from Tidaro: Old-school bike works for me too 😀. But walking seems to be my favorite way of transportation, accompanied by my Audible books.

This being said, thank you Thomas for joining our interview series! It was a real pleasure.

Conclusion

The interview with Thomas Epp, PTV Austria’s Managing Director, delves into the role of workplaces in shaping smart and livable communities, while trying to understand:

  • How communities can minimize their environmental footprint via greener mobility,
  • How workplace actions, such as public transport subsidies and cycling facilities, contribute to sustainable commuting,
  • The potential of integrating cycling with rail travel,
  • How we can get inspired by 15 minutes cities initiatives across Paris, Barcelona, or Portland.

Now, in a previous article of ours we also debated another hot topic: reducing the drive alone rates. The conclusion is that car transportation was initially a blessing to our society. Also, there’s hope that the office carbon footprint will diminish while we design more and more eco-offices.

Now, it’s turning into a nightmare.

But we’re in this together, and we can shape the future together.

It starts with the individual, then the businesses, and then the whole community will join. 

So, let’s build both sustainable businesses and cities.

Picture of Alina Belascu
Alina Belascu
Alina is a digital marketer with a passion for web design. When she’s not strategizing she’s doing photography, listening to podcasts on history and psychology, and playing with her 2 dogs and cat.