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Webshop Coolblue has a pragmatic attitude towards mobility.

HR Assistant Suzanne Overdijk: "As a relatively young company, we took the accessibility of our locations into consideration from the very beginning. We see mobility as a tool for making our operations better, more convenient or less expensive, so we can always offer our customers the best deal. That doesn't require some complicated strategy to make it happen."

Different compensation

Almost half of Coolblue's 2,500 employees live within 10 kilometres from their workplace, and receive no compensation for travel expenses. Those who have to travel farther receive compensation based on the number of kilometres. "Our travel expense compensation is fairly basic", says HR Assistant Suzanne Overdijk. "The company doesn't have plans to change that, but we recently formed a Works Council, and they may eventually bring it up for discussion."

Growth in job openings demands control

According to Suzanne Overdijk, another reason for the company to pay more attention to mobility would be the further growth in the number of employees: "Especially if we have a lot of job openings for specialists in a short time frame, it might be relevant to offer more attractive benefits." In that case, the company would develop its own vision on mobility in collaboration with partners such as NS.

Headquarters next to the station

In 2012, Coolblue moved in to a new headquarters on the Weena in Rotterdam, withing walking distance from the train station. Many employees can get to work by bicycle or public transport. The company also considers accessibility for customers when selecting locations for new stores: new locations must be centrally situated in A-locations. Warehouses are located near motorways and access roads, so suppliers can reach them easily by lorry. Locations near PostNL depots are also preferred, because the company uses the distribution firm to deliver small parcels.

Intelligent management of business travel

Employees' business-related travel include deliveries to customers and travel by purchasers. Employees can claim € 0.19 per kilometre in compensation. For business travel on public transport, employees receive compensation for individual tickets or the use of their personal NS-Business Card. Only 10 employees of Coolblue in the Netherlands have a company car.

Cutting costs with mobility

Mobility and sustainability are not high on Coolblue's list of priorities. Cost efficiency is an important factor, however, and mobility can play an important role in that aspect. For example, the parking capacity at the new headquarters proved to be insufficient. Suzanne Overdijk: "We could lease parking spaces under the building, but they were extremely expensive. We solved that by acquiring seven shared cars. With an average age of 27 years, many of our employees have a driver's license, but not their own car, and those that live in the city don't necessarily want one. With the shared cars, we can limit the number of parking spots needed, while reducing the burden on the environment. Two birds with one stone!"