In the run-up to the May 2019 elections, AmCham Belgium has been focusing on the most important issues for the international business community and our recommendations to make Belgium more competitive, as outlined in the 2019 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium (#PPB19). Today, we take a closer look at one of our main topics – Invest in Mobility – with the help of a member company, Deloitte Belgium. AmCham Belgium Board member and Managing Partner of Deloitte Tax & Legal Belgium, Tom Declerq, shares Deloitte Belgium’s vision on sustainable mobility and presents some of the company’s initiatives in this area.
by Tom Declercq, Managing Partner of Deloitte Tax & Legal Belgium and Executive Sponsor Sustainability and Mobility for Deloitte Belgium
In July 2018, Deloitte Belgium launched a new mobility plan to get its 4,000 employees to reduce the mileage they drive by 10%. We are very proud that 42% of them have already opted for a more sustainable choice.
As a global organization, our employees drive 75 million kilometers per year. Deloitte’s Global City Mobility Index shows that Belgians lose on average more than a workweek per year in traffic jams (39 hours). Traffic jams cost the Belgian economy an estimated €4-8 billion a year in addition to harming the environment. We aim to reduce the total number of kilometers driven by 10% or 7.5 million kilometers each year.
The mobility plan is part of our broader sustainability program with the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2021. The remaining 75% will be compensated by carbon-offset initiatives, such as encouraging sustainable mobility alternatives for business trips. Also, by moving from our four old office buildings to our innovative Gateway Building next to Brussels Airport in 2017, we have reduced our CO2 footprint by no less than 40%.
Making a conscious mobility choice
By introducing an internal mobility plan, we want to assume our role as a sustainable player in society, without waiting for an updated policy framework or new infrastructure.
Bringing alternative modes of transportation closer to our employees encourages them to consider, for each situation, which means of transport best suit their individual needs. It is important to reduce the threshold for them to adapt their habits. Deloitte offers its staff multimodal mobility, combining different options:
- Public transport
- (Electric) bike
- (Shared) car(s)
- Combined routes (station parking – train; bicycle – train; electric cars)
- Flexible working at 12 local offices or at home
Moreover, we are committed to simplifying and greening our car fleet. While the Belgian government is expanding the infrastructure needed to support electric car usage, Deloitte is steadily investing in less polluting cars, including electric ones.
Ready for the future
We’ve based our mobility plan on the current situation in Belgium and at Deloitte. Internal and external industry experts were consulted about the future of mobility and the legislation under consideration by national and EU governments. Crucially, we also consulted our employees.
Being at Gateway, public transport is within reach of all our employees, and international connections are easier.
Multimodal mobility takes center stage in Deloitte’s sustainability program. It is not just about giving our people more options to move from point A to point B. Combined with flexible working arrangements – working from home or a local office – we can improve mobility for all.
About the author
Tom Declercq is the Managing Partner of Deloitte Tax & Legal Belgium, a practice with over 60 partners and more than 800 practitioners. He is also Executive Sponsor Sustainability and Mobility for Deloitte Belgium. In this role, he stimulates Deloitte’s mobility program, which focuses on bringing multimodal solutions closer to the organization’s 4000 employees. For Tom, multimodal mobility means considering all possible options and giving all employees the flexibility to choose whichever mode of transportation fits them best on any given day.