Two people sitting in a car at sunset.
Cover photo © Darwin Vegher/Unsplash.

Car use rationalisation

  • Commuting

Where car travel is unavoidable, there are ways to reduce the number of cars used and their carbon footprint, including carpooling, carsharing, eco-driving and alternative fuels.

Light vehicles, including passenger cars, account for about a third of global oil demand and produce about half of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Limiting car use and fuel consumption can make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Key facts


of global transport
emissions come from passenger vehicles


Commuting accounts for around 1/4 of the oil used by cars in the European Union

3 km

Around 1/3 of car journeys in the European Union are less than 3 km

1 occupant

Most car trips in the European Union are made with just
1 occupant

23 hours

Cars are parked 23 hours a day in England

Key solutions

  • #1 Carpooling system

    Set up an internal carpooling system, join forces with other organisations.

  • #2 Subscription support

    Pay for part of the subscription to a carpooling or carsharing application.

  • #3 Parking advantages

    Reserve parking to carpoolers and carsharers, don’t guarantee parking for others, apply an SUV-free parking policy, charge for the use of the parking.

  • #4 Training

    Train staff and promote best practices.

  • #5 Alternative fuels

    Incentivise the use of alternative fuels (e.g. by subsidising or informing about bioethanol conversion kits for cars).

  • #6 Electric vehicles

    Facilitate the use of electric vehicles (e.g. by installing charging stations).

Two men engaging in car use with their hands on the steering wheel, demonstrating rationalisation.
© Orkun Azap/Unsplash.

To consider

  • Potential co-benefits

    • Carpooling and carsharing provides opportunities for social interaction
    • Saves money (maintenance, fuel, parking)
    • Reduces congestion
    • Reduces air and noise pollution, thus good for health
  • Success conditions

    • Set comprehensive rules and processes
    • Communication on incentives from the organisation and the authorities


  • Prerequisites & specificities

    • Access to parking near workplace for carpooling and carsharing
    • Access to charging stations for electric cars. Useful only in countries where electricity is not generated from fossil fuels



  • Potential risks

    • Delays or cancellation for carpooling and carsharing
    • Inequality in the services offered in the different offices
    • Unfairness when benefits are for the richest (e.g. electric cars) and restrictions for the poorest (e.g. no parking for diesel cars)
    • Employee dissatisfaction regarding parking restrictions or unequal benefits

Success stories

VINCI's carpooling system

In 2015, VINCI launched a company carpooling system via the Klaxit app, available to their 1,700 employees. One year after the launch, 16% of employees were offering their journey on the app and 30% of them were carpooling regularly.

La Poste eco-driving training

For 15 years, La Poste has been providing eco-driving training to its staff, resulting in 10% less fuel consumed per year and associated emissions.

ICRC mobility plan

The ICRC’s mobility plan has reduced the number of cars at the HQ site by half. The mobility plan is structured around three complementary axes: Encouraging the use of alternative modes of transport to the car (subsidies for public transport users, carpooling, electrically assisted bikes), optimising parking management (allocation, access criteria, pricing and occasional parking), and communication.

Losinger Marazzi and FairPark

Losinger Marazzi, uses “fairpark” where employees can choose between:

  • Carpooler: commits to carpooling at least 3 times per week – earns a fixed parking space.
  • Multimodal: commits to giving up the use of their car at least 3 times a week – earns a certain priority in the reservation.
  • Autosolist: remains committed to using their car – no reserved parking or “last served”.

In total, nearly 50% of employees who used their personal car changed their travel habits.

Tools and good practices

  • Carrot strategies to carpool to work

    These employer strategies influence employees to carpool to work. Carrot strategies encourage carpooling; stick strategies discourage driving alone.

    Read here
  • Eco-friendly practices guide, ADEME

To go further

Cover photo © Darwin Vegher/Unsplash.