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Eneco Group wants to make sustainable energy accessible to everyone. According to benefits specialist Bianca van den Bosch, such a strategy requires a matching mobility policy. Here’s why such a policy should include both incentives and disincentives.
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OV Vrij season ticket
Eneco encourages its employees to take public transport. Since April 2016, employees commuting by public transport have been given an OV Vrij season ticket that they can also use for personal purposes. ‘It’s a bigger benefit than necessary - strictly speaking -, but it does make public transport more appealing’, Bianca van den Bosch explains.
Disincentives pay
After offering employees the ‘carrot’ - a free season ticket for public transport -, the company gave them the ‘stick’ by lowering the kilometre allowance for commuting, as well as launching a restrictive parking policy. Van den Bosch has not yet seen detailed analyses of the responses, but is certain that more employees have switched to public transport thanks to the active mobility policy. However, the numbers have been underwhelming: 'Ideally, we would take only positive measures, but we’ve found that disincentives work. Despite provoking some resistance, they’ll also encourage more people to change.’
Justify your decisions
On Eneco’s intranet, the season tickets for public transport garnered a mixed response. After we lowered the kilometre allowance, people would tell us how season tickets weren’t particularly convenient for everyone.’ Van den Bosch: ‘Often, employees take having their employer facilitate and pay for everything for granted. We shifted some of the onus to them: you get to make your own decisions, and we get to decide how we want to spend our money. You have to justify your decisions - that’s key.’
The power of peer pressure
Mobility, according to Van den Bosch, is partly about status. Having a company car on your porch is more impressive than getting on your bike to go to the station or taking the bus. A car also means more freedom, being able to go wherever, whenever. ‘It’ll be hard to change people’s minds on that,’ she expects, ‘but role models can make all the difference. Peer pressure removes counterarguments and helps break habits. We support peer pressure with an active policy: employees with a company car also get an NS-Business Card to encourage them to travel by public transport.’
Practice what you preach
Van den Bosch: ‘In a nutshell, our vision is to travel by public transport as a rule by 2020 and to only have all-electric company cars. We won’t offer employees company cars as a perk anymore and use shared cars for business travel. Our mobility policy is not so much about benefits. Above all, our policy has to fit Eneco’s image as a sustainable employer, which lives and dies by credibility. If we tell our customers that we’re a sustainable energy company, the least they can expect is for us to practice what we preach. With this policy, we show that we take sustainability seriously - including sustainable mobility.’
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Bianca van den Bosch van Eneco
Bianca van den Bosch, ArbeidsvoorwaardenspecialistEneco
We want to make renewable energy accessible to all. Such a strategy requires a matching mobility policy.
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Vrouwen station
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