Celebrating World Car Free Day 2022

Car Free Day September 22

We’re seeing out September by celebrating World Car Free Day – an initiative taking place on the 22nd of this month, which encourages people to avoid using their vehicles on the day. This is to both raise awareness regarding the levels of pollution caused by cars, and to reduce the emissions generated for one day.

We know all too well the contributions that vehicles make to climate change, and are passionate about highlighting their role in Scope 3 emissions. Read on to discover why World Car Free Day is so important, and how utilising specialist technology can help your business track these key emissions.

A Closer Look: World Car Free Day

World Car Free Day is not the first of its kind. Informal car free days have been taking place since the 1990s – and it was in 2000 that the first, official, global Car Free Day was launched. This was celebrated by a variety of cities across the globe, who showed their commitment by closing their central roads and replacing them with walking or cycling events.

The significance of World Car Free Day is linked to pollution, and the role that vehicles play in this. Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, with road travel accounting for three-quarters of transport emissions.[1] These are significant figures and highlight the desperate need for a reduction in the number of vehicles on the road.

World Car Free Day – The Problem with Pollution

Pollution is a historic problem, in which its severity has increased in parallel with growing human populations.

Although car ownership in the UK has experienced the first consecutive annual decrease in car ownership for more than 100 years, cars are getting older and van ownership has reached a record high.[2] Road transport is a big source of pollution in the UK and causes various issues – including poor air quality, congestion and climate change.

In addition to damaging the environment, pollution is also detrimental to our physical well-being. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can increase the risk of respiratory infections, lung cancer and heart disease – as well as worsening the symptoms of people who are already ill.

The problems regarding vehicle emissions are increasingly being acknowledged, and as concerns around climate change continue to rise, more people are starting to embrace sustainable alternatives such as walking, biking and electric cars. There’s also been conscious efforts made by the UK to tackle the problem. In 2019, more than 16 miles of roads in Central London were closed by mayor Sadiq Khan, in honour of World Car Free Day who also stated his plan to ensure that 80% of London’s journeys were being made by public transport, cycling, or walking within the next 22 years.

Essential Transport – Cars and Scope 3

However – for many people and businesses, these alternative forms of transport simply aren’t practical. It’s important to recognise that they will continue to play a major part in transport for the foreseeable future.

It isn’t just vehicles used in the day to day operations. Transport emissions from employees can also form a significant part of a business’ Scope 3 Emissions. These are emissions resulting from activities from assets which aren’t directly owned or controlled by the reporting business, but which still impact the value chain.

Scope 3 Emissions can be notoriously challenging to both control and report, as they encompass the individual emissions generated by employees. This could include everything from the energy used by employees who are working from home, and the emissions created by their vehicles when commuting to and from work. For businesses who are committed to lowering emissions or reaching net zero – knowing the extent of these emissions is an essential starting point.

Given the rise of hybrid and remote working, it’s never been more important for business owners to be able to accurately track and report on key emissions which extend beyond the immediate walls of their organisation.

This is especially true when acknowledging the increased pressure on businesses to engage with SECR reporting, and the expectation for them to demonstrate what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

Engage with Axiom

For many businesses, Scope 3 (supply chain) can make up the largest proportion of emissions – up to 80% or more!

If businesses want to cut their carbon footprint and make real change, it’s essential that they are addressed. This begins with gathering the right data – and this is where we can help.

Our specialist software addresses the complete supply chain and allows you to gather key data from your team. From transport and work from home emissions through to energy and water use outside the workplace – our new Engage feature collates the necessary metrics required to provide a clear and thorough insight into your business’s sustainability.

Get in Touch

To find out more about how Axiom can help your organisation advance its sustainability, please contact our expert team here.

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-transport

[2] https://www.smmt.co.uk/2022/05/three-quarters-of-a-million-evs-now-on-uk-roads-but-car-ownership-falls-for-second-year/

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