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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Transport & Construction | Mobility International Sharing cars and model success

Sharing cars and model success

Mobility International

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We now have the knowledge and the means to sustainably drive ourselves into an unknown future. For car users, the key lies not in eliminating cars, but in changing the behaviour of why and how a car is used. Mobility International, a global car-sharing business, discusses adapting different attitudes towards transportation, changing consumer behaviour in an oil-dependent world and reducing the amount of CO2 into the environment.

On the most pragmatic, immediate level, this is about increasing quality of life for end-users, developing transportation systems and reducing numbers of private vehicles in congested cities.

As an innovator and early adapter of the “car sharing” model, Mobility International’s parent company, Mobility Cooperative, was set up as a community-based cooperative to serve the transport needs of the individuals in Swiss cities, while caring for and preserving the environment of the wider collective. With 15 years experience, the group is now the world’s second largest car sharing company, and top for viability and profitability. It is owned and supervised by its 40,000 members.

Car sharing cloud - click to enlarge

The results speak for themselves. In 2009, there were 18,000 fewer cars recorded on Swiss roads and overall savings of CO2 emissions (290kg per customer per year) while fulfilling individual demands efficiently and reliably. Analysis has shown 90% of the efficiency of the success of the car sharing model comes through the changing behaviour towards car sharing with exponential benefits as traffic is reduced and mobility maintained. The car user sees how expensive individual car usage is (Mobility uses a completely transparent billing system), versus the convenience of public transport with the combined efficiency of car sharing. With these two insights, the car owner begins to drive less and use more public transport – thus bringing about the change in behaviour.

Car sharing helps to avoid fixed car usage costs in favour of need-based costs. For the environment, this translated in 2009 in Switzerland, to savings of 15,200 tons of CO2 emissions or the equivalent of 11,700 passenger seats on a Zurich-New York transatlantic flight. This, in turn, changes perceptions about mobility, in particular what people perceive their needs to be – and how these needs are met by a mix of public and private transport systems.

Getting masses to share

Mobility is willing to share its GRi (Global Reporting Initiative) B-checked model with partners and stakeholders; this sustainable reporting seal assures the world that Mobility undertakes some of the highest sustainability internal business practices in the economic, environmental and social spheres. Using the company’s technology, operating services, training and business development support, and supported by its reputation and dependability, the aim is to join up with bodies such as city municipalities, planning commissions, city/community transportation systems, as well as private organisations. Ultimately, this means that car-sharing could become a viable option in the most far-flung regions.

The necessity for mobility for billions of people worldwide is not new – nor will this abate any time soon. For most people, this model saves money, energy and resources, as they do not actually need a private vehicle. For local government, this complements and adds value to their transportation services, while satisfying multiple stakeholders and improving life conditions. Mobility International extends an invitation of partnership, to those organisations ready to facilitate this change, and who are well positioned to lead the way to a collective, positive future for us all.

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Mobility International

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