“Home-to-work carpooling has experienced a strong recovery since mid-January,” says the Paris Region Institute, the Île-de-France planning and urban planning institute. It reached its “highest level” last April. The fleets of French companies would therefore increasingly adopt new forms of mobility.
This is true at CGI Finance, a financial establishment in Lille which promotes soft mobility for its 1,000 employees. “This sustainable policy is part of one of the three strategic pillars of our company and of our Societe Generale group,” explains Ludovic Van De Voorde, CEO.
“This strategy aims to support both our customers and our employees in their daily lives. And, at the same time, contributes very actively to reducing CO emissions2. In addition to the teleworking implemented in October 2021, this also reflects our desire to promote the quality of life at work for our employees”, continues Ludovic Van De Voorde.
Providers at the rendezvous
And the suppliers are doing it. The rental company Athlon is thus betting on this concept of new mobility for its customers. Just like ALD Automotive. “Our business customers want mobility that is as flexible as possible,” emphasizes Pascal Vitantonio, director of strategy and development for the lessor. The latter also markets ALD Move, a global and modular service, which integrates most forms of mobility.
“Our customers are adapting to the demands of their employees who want to travel less regularly and less frequently. All in a context of quality of life at work, teleworking, journeys that emit less greenhouse gas (GHG). Our customers want to switch from the “car” to the “mobility” policy”, summarizes Pascal Vitantonio.
In this context of new mobility, fleet managers find themselves at the forefront. But what can be done when their working time is not extendable, when they are overwhelmed and when these new forms of mobility no longer target a single minority eligible for the company car, but all employees? “It’s complicated, recognizes Alain Teig, president of the Echomobility association which brings together around twenty fleet managers in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. There is the electric car, the bicycle, the scooter, public transport, car sharing. This brings us closer to travel management and HR. This is the future and we must collectively reflect on all of this,” adds Alain Teig.
Indeed, these new mobilities require the integration of more expensive solutions while companies must restrict budgets. “We are also going to reach almost all the employees of our companies. Is it our role to manage global mobility? asks Alain Teig. Answer: “I don’t know. This will increase the number of our missions and create a “monstrous” position. I believe that we must encourage these new mobilities but I am not sure that we should manage them. »
Fleet management and new mobility
Director of facilities and mobility management at Orange (15,600 vehicles), Hélène Billon approves of this positioning: “In our company, we develop these soft forms of mobility but we do not manage them. In particular, Orange has signed a partnership with the municipalities where the group’s entities are located, so that they can offer employees public bicycle parks.
“We have also launched a sustainable mobility package of 400 euros per year to help our employees finance their soft mobility,” adds Hélène Billon. But here again, the conduct of this policy is carried out, with our support, by the HR departments. »
But be careful not to “pass the baby” on to other departments, as pointed out by a fleet manager who prefers to remain anonymous, with the danger of losing responsibilities if fleet management does not take part in the discussions. “We would then go towards an obsolescence of our missions”, worries Hélène Billon. The challenge therefore remains to participate in this transition without being overwhelmed by time-consuming occupations. And Hélène Billon believes that fleet managers should evolve to become mobility managers by 2030.
Having said that, new forms of mobility are making their mark on fleets in many ways. The first remains the mobility credit. The food and equipment wholesaler Metro has been betting on this option with its executives since the beginning of 2022. “Employees eligible for the company car can have a sum of money instead of the vehicle”, explains Mélaine Pouchain, employee services manager.
These employees can choose between two systems. Or, with a card managed by the supplier Betterway, they benefit from a sum in exchange for the company car. Either the company entrusts them with a less expensive electric car and they then obtain a lesser sum. At Metro, fifteen executives out of 150 have opted for mobility credit.
The mobility credit can also be a victim of its success and its novelty. Because service providers may be more tempted to sell than to advise. It is therefore necessary to understand this product well, and then explain it to the leaders and senior managers concerned. “The latter remain very fond of the statutory side of the company car, quips anonymously a fleet manager. It’s difficult to explain to them that mobility credit is a good thing for them. You have to communicate and go through the youngest executives, less straddling the outward signs of wealth than their elders. »
Another manager notes that, in his company, not a single member of the executive committee has opted for the mobility credit. It therefore suggests the introduction of a more substantial and more incentive mobility credit. Fayat Énergie Services, a subsidiary of the construction company Fayat, for example, offers eligible employees a mobility credit of 8,000 euros per year to make the trips they want.
The sustainable mobility package
The other soft mobility tool remains the sustainable mobility package. With this FMD, a company can pay up to 500 euros per year to all its employees for their journeys, net of tax. This is the system also used by Fayat Énergie Services. “With our mobility plan launched in 2020, we want to limit our impact on the environment by allowing employees to circulate in a sustainable way,” says Kamel Amara, its HRD in charge of 400 company vehicles for 5,000 employees.
Fayat Énergie Services offers all staff an FMD of 400 euros per year. The company relies on the services of supplier Ireby, a loyalty program that encourages employees to opt for sustainable means of transport. On a platform, employees declare their journeys and receive five to ten points per journey. Each year, these points are accumulated and give the right to gift certificates of 400 to 600 euros to buy consumer goods from companies linked to carbon-free transport.
Carpooling can also help reduce the number of home-to-work journeys. But it is still necessary to educate employees to get them to change their mobility habits. Deploying an internet platform to find out who carpools in the company and to where, thus helps to motivate them. “When this type of solution is adopted, about a third of employees sign up for carpooling and 60% carpool regularly,” says Olivier Binet, manager of Karos, an operator specializing in carpooling for the short distance between home and work.
The employer can also add benefits such as reserved parking for carpoolers. This is the solution adopted by CGI Finance, which allows carpooling cars to park as close as possible to the entrance to the company. It is also possible to offer FMD of 500 euros to reimburse employees for carpooling. Or to organize contests with prizes for the best carpoolers. These initiatives will then be used to feed the company’s internal communication on the new forms of mobility offered by its fleet. Indeed, the information collected on the volume of carpooling, the gain in purchasing power (equivalent to 120 euros of non-spending on fuel per month), or even the reduction in GHG emissions can stimulate membership.