Transports and carbon emissions
Because of the carbon emissions generated, transport is one of the factors that has the biggest impact on the environment. Planning ahead is the key to optimizing transport logistics (before, during and after the event) of guests (ease of access to the venue, limiting of transfers between different places, etc.), targeted choice of service providers (transport and venue for the event) and clear communication with participants.
Situated at the centre of an exceptional railway network, Paris is linked to the rest of Europe (Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Spain) by more than 25 high-speed-train connections daily. The city also has an excellent public transport network (buses, metro system, inter-urban trains, tramway, mainline trains) and has introduced self-service transport systems, notably Vélib’, Autolib’, etc.
Although transport is a vital element in the organization of an eco-responsible event, no label exists for this sector. It is however easy to estimate its impact by calculating GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, which can be done for free on numerous websites, or by commissioning a specialist company (which will usually offer complementary services like introducing an action plan to reduce your future emissions) to carry out a survey.
Transport service providers fall into three categories: journey organizers (plane, train, coach), organizers of shuttle services or other types of transfers, and those who put individuals in contact with each other (e.g. carpool). It is sometimes necessary to use all three in order to provide a comprehensive offer:
• Optimization of public transport: public transport map, use of shuttles, creation of a specific page for the event on a carpool website, proposal of a public transport pass for the duration of the event;
• eco-driving training for drivers, advice on the event website;
• encouraging train travel for getting around (venues selected close to a station, conference rates negotiated with the SNCF);
• encouraging the use of environmentally-friendly transport (accessibility by bicycle and on foot, choice of electric, hybrid or thermal latest generation (Euro 5) motors for coaches). A page devoted to active mobility is available on the RATP website;
• original modes of transport (bicycle-taxis, horse and carts, tuk tuk);
• establishment of a CO2 emissions compensation service, paid for by the host or the traveller;
• organization of transfers by the person responsible for the event (better guidance to participants, more practical and rapid transfers, choice of shuttle);
• evaluation of the importance of the attendance of participants in relation to GHG emissions linked to their travel (possibility of opting for video conference).