SORTED Guide to Sustainability in Further Education – Part 5 - Estates and Operations – 5.4 Estates and Operations: travel and transport
Introduction to the topic area
Travel and transport cost institutions money but much of the cost is not immediately evident. Mileage claims and vehicle fleet management are only the visible tip of the iceberg. Under the surface there are many hidden costs. For example, there are costs associated with staff time spent travelling for business and the surprisingly high average annual cost of providing car parking spaces meaning many institutions spend thousands of pounds on parking every year. In addition, there are the costs of travel delays and unreliability due to congestion.
If the impact on the balance sheet is worse than it first appears, the same is true of the impact on the environment. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and cause of climate change, with commuter and business travel constituting nearly 40% of miles driven by car each year.
Organisational value of embedding sustainability in this area
- Reduce stress for staff and students by supporting healthy and clean means to travel to and from site each day.
- Keep travel provision costs low.
- Improve relations with the local community and local authority.
- Improved health of students and staff by encouraging walking and cycling.
Wider benefits of embedding sustainability in this area
- Contribute towards the reduction of air emissions, particularly in towns and cities.
- Contribute to the reduction of road traffic congestion in the area.
- Understand how staff and students are travelling now, where they are coming from, and why they use this mode of transport.
- Understand the drivers for your travel strategy – do you need to reduce the number of parking places due to demand on land? Do you wish to help reduce congestion in the area? Set targets accordingly, and create a Travel Plan around these. Ensure the Travel Plan is signed off by the senior management team.
Much of the emphasis will involve your organisation focusing on engaging with staff and learners to encourage them to take a more sustainable approach to their travel options. This could include:
- best practice urban design on and off campus to minimise the need for cars
- reducing the need to travel e.g. using video-conferences
- providing information and advice on travel options, personalised to individual staff and students
- car sharing - this may need better planning for meetings, events etc
- using fiscal measures as a disincentive to travelling by car – e.g. charging for parking
- restricting car parking permits for those that live in close proximity to the institution
- integration with public transport working with local transport providers to ensure clean, safe, reliable and accessible public transport that is closely integrated with the FE estate
- providing subsidised public transport / cycle purchase support
- fleet management audit
- encouraging advanced car driving techniques which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%
- providing electric car charging points on campus.
Additional options could include considering adopting highly fuel efficient cars for the organisation’s fleet such as alternative fuels, electric hybrid. You should also take care to address the issue of your “grey fleet” this refers to staff who use their own cars on official business.
Ask your EAUC colleagues for support via the EAUC Communities of Practice and Topic Support Networks.