The Fondation Maisons pour Étudiants Lausanne (FMEL) is a foundation that encourages its staff to consider environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility – such as car sharing. Yves Ferrari, FMEL Director since July 2021, explains how this works.
The COVID 19 pandemic changed the way teams work. How has that affected your staff’s mobility?
At FMEL we have both field and administrative staff. The pandemic has made us work differently. That’s why we introduced a teleworking system that reduces travel and allows us to be more flexible and mobile – not least thanks to the Mobility offering.
What’s important to your staff in terms of mobility?
The FMEL’s staff still seem to be very focused on private modes of transport. However, we’re working to make them aware of the energy-related and environmental costs of travel. The climate problems alone mean that everyone has to make a contribution.
How exactly do you promote sustainable mobility in your organisation?
For the foundation's 60th birthday, we decided to be stricter in the way we went about allocating parking spaces. By way of compensation, we offer the Half-Fare travelcard and the Mobility trial subscription. Both are designed to ease the switch to more sustainable ways of getting around. We also decided to hire an electric car through Mobility, which is available to everyone. This conscious decision in favour of electric mobility finds us wanting to encouraging employees to try out solutions that are more environmentally benign.
The sharing economy has been trending in the private sphere for a long time – has this now crossed over to the world of work?
Organisations need to move away from the ownership model and instead share services. For example, we’re trying to promote carpooling and other sustainable solutions among our people. This begins as early as the job interview. There’s often a lack of awareness in terms of alternatives to the private motor car.
How do you mean?
Staff usually know exactly how long it takes them to get to work by car. On the other hand, they often overestimate by a factor of three the time it would take them by public transport. Many believe that changing between modes of transport takes forever, whereas this isn’t the case at all. If you want to get people to change their habits, the important thing is to promote viable alternatives, even if the demand isn’t yet there. Mobility already offers excellent connectivity at the Swiss level: we encourage our people to give it a try. You can get almost anywhere with Mobility and public transport, and it doesn’t cost much. People conveniently forget that a car costs 800 to 900 francs a month, because you also have to change tyres, fill up with fuel and pay taxes. In short: none of this is the case with car sharing.
Have you yourself tried Mobility?
Personally, I’ve been a member of Mobility for almost 20 years. Things were quite complicated back in the early days, but Mobility’s come on in leaps and bounds. Nowadays, the service is easy to use and offers its users a high degree of freedom in their private as well as their working lives.