University of Amsterdam drastically reduces air travel to eliminate Co2
Eliminating the carbon footprint is no longer a dry statement. Although the announced cancellation of domestic flights by Air France turned out to be a cap, the avalanche has started. An interesting example is the new travel policy of a university in Amsterdam. It seeks to completely eliminate medium-distance air travel (up to 6 hours) and replace it with rail.
New travel policy to reduce Co2 by 25 percent.
Amsterdam university takes a Benedictine approach to reducing Co2 emissions. One of the strategic goals is to reduce Co2 emissions generated by business travel by 25%. in 2026, the base for savings is the pre-pandemic year 2019. Despite the fact that travel generates barely 6 percent of. of all Co2 production, then, as you can see, there is no concessionary fare for them.
Air travel is to be allowed only if there is no alternative, and even then direct flights are suggested to generate less emissions. Travellers are also encouraged to choose the bus or to share a journey by electric car, if these are possible competitive solutions.
It seems that the solutions introduced by the university will become more and more common. Accurate diagnosis of the level of generated emissions, and then taking action to eliminate them will concern more and more companies and public institutions. In countries such as Poland this is not yet fully recognised, but the trend towards monitoring/reducing carbon footprint will have a significant impact on business travel, including booking/monitoring tools.
An excellent rail network helps
The Dutch case is unique in the sense that the network of train connections from Amsterdam is really rich. All major business/university centers in Europe can be reached easily from the Dutch capital. And all in a fairly reasonable time. Fly service has been operating in the Netherlands for years&Rail enabling transfer from train to plane on one common ticket.
Development and liberalization of rail transport in Western Europe will undoubtedly accelerate the process of moving away from short-haul air travel.
Liberalization of the railroad market in Spain, Italy and France will lower prices and increase availability
The railroad market in Europe has been changing dynamically in recent years. A few years ago Italy opened up to competition by allowing its subsidiary TGV to compete on the most popular long-distance routes. In the last year big changes started to materialize in Spain, where on the lines from Barcelona to Madrid we have a real price war. And it looks like more carriers will be joining soon.
The bastion of protectionism – France, so far protecting itself from railroad competition, is also changing. Italian railroads launch first fast services from Milan to Paris in December. At the moment we have only 2 pairs of trains on this route, but soon there will be 5, and this will already be an interesting offer for different market segments.
In Poland we are waiting for competition, Intercity increasingly emphasizes its green services
In Poland, we are still waiting for competition on the railroads, and unfortunately we do not have a good quality product on short European routes, which enjoy above-average demand such as Prague, Budapest, Vienna or Berlin. Without it, it is difficult to compete with airplanes. It is possible, however, on domestic flights, especially since LOT announced withdrawal of the cheapest in operation turboprop planes.
In this case, the green railroad should effectively replace air connections to Katowice or Poznań. Not to mention Lublin or Bydgoszcz. PKP tries more and more to communicate the green character of its services. It does so gently, however, because today its main competitor on the aforementioned routes is the state-owned LOT.
We are waiting for the liberalization of the railroad market, what is happening in Western Europe is a foretaste of events that will materialize in Poland. We are certainly in for a boom on the railroad market. It will also be supported by a conscious business travel policy banning short distance flights. It is worth observing examples such as the one from the Amsterdam university, because soon they will also apply to Poland.