Pledges on staff commuting in the “Greening the Commission” Communication 

On 5 April 2022, the Commission adopted its new HR strategy and a package of related documents, among which a communication to explain how the Commission expects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact. Below, we have gathered extracts that are particularly relevant for staff commuting, including cycling to work. 

Introduction “the Commission aims to reach climate neutrality in its operations by 2030 and reduce its environmental footprint.” 

 “The Commission’s objective is to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60% by 2030 compared to 20053 and compensate remaining emissions with carbon removals.” 

“Commission staff’s full engagement will also be essential in this collective effort.” 

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Staff commuting  

In 2019, staff commuting represented 13 700 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which accounted for around 6% of the Commission’s carbon footprint. This is mainly due to the use of private cars. It should be noted that most of the Commission’s sites are located in areas that are well-served by public transport and that the Commission staff are already using it frequently. Moving towards greener commuting is one of the tools that will further develop sustainable behaviours and contribute further to building a virtuous example for authorities in charge of infrastructures that citizens are eager to embrace a greener way of life.  

With the increased use of telework impacting commuting, and the additional measures presented in this Communication, the Commission intends to reduce GHG emissions in this area by around 45% by 2030 compared to 2019.  

In Brussels, which accounts for almost 85% of the emissions linked to commuting, the Commission is already implementing several measures to support greener commuting: partial reimbursement of season tickets for public transport; a fleet of Commission-owned conventional and electric bikes available for staff to use; facilities for all staff to make their commuting by bike easier (electric charging points and quality, accessible and safe infrastructures such as dressing rooms and showers); awareness campaigns and events, such as safe cycling courses and a yearly bike commuting challenge. The Commission will continue to adapt its infrastructure as a priority, including the installation of charging points for electric vehicles, whenever possible, in accordance with the proposal for a revision of the energy performance of buildings Directive1. It will also maintain its dialogue with local authorities from all sites to improve mobility options and enhance safe mobility such as emphasising the importance of additional safe bike lanes to switch to greener mobility. The future organisation of the Brussels Schuman round-about is an example of close cooperation with the Brussels authorities promoting soft and greener mobility.  

In Luxembourg, public transport is free in the whole country. The Commission subsidises cross-border transport passes for staff and offers free subscriptions to Vel’OH!, the bike service network of the City of Luxembourg, in addition to providing Commission service bicycles and facilities such as showers.  

In addition, and in line with the measures recently implemented by local authorities, the Commission will adopt a new mobility plan in 2022 that increases incentives for the use of all sustainable methods of transport (e.g. new eco-hubs, improved fleet of Commission-owned bikes and an increased number of charging stations for electric vehicles). In Brussels, the Commission will also reduce gradually the availability of car parking spaces in its buildings by 2030, by at least 35% compared to 2019, pursuant to the implementation of regional legislation in Brussels (COBRACE2), transposing an EU Directive3 into regional legislation. In Luxembourg, the planned moves into new office buildings will lead to a decrease in the number of parking spaces of 35% by 2026. The Commission will implement a digital tool to allocate parking space. With this smarter monitoring and planning, as well as with the increase of telework and of public transport or other sustainable means of transport, the reduction of car parking space by at least 35% is realistic.” 

Annex B – overview of the Commission’s goals, by source of emissions, 2019-2030 

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(…) 

Annex C – Action Plan 

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Increase green mobility for commuting. Target 2022-2030: -45% GHG emissions 

#   Objectives  Actions and milestones  Lead  
11  Teleworking  Evaluate the emissions linked to teleworking and assess the timeframe for including emissions linked to teleworking under the Commission’s corporate target; first reporting expected by the end of 2022  HR, OIB, OIL, JRC  
12  Mobility and commuting  Enhance and implement new mobility plans covering building facilities and means of transport (mobility hub, incentives to use public transports, etc.) – end 2022 In Luxembourg, reduce car parking spaces by 35% by 2026 when moving to new office buildings  Enhance communication and participation to events: Vélo en mai, Green Mobility day – recurrent actions in the framework of EMAS and fit@work Align with Fit@work, fit@home  OIB, OIL with BUDG, HR  
13  Corporate fleet  Gradually replace service car fleet with low or zero emission vehicles, to be completed by 2027 at the latest, including a target of -50% by 2022  OIB/COMM with BUDG, OIL  

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