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University of Warwick and WMG already on route with today’s CBI demand for “Greener Miles”

VLR prototype tours CoventryThe University of Warwick is not just backing today’s CBI report ‘Greener Miles: Delivering on a net-zero vision for commuting’ – which calls on businesses to shoulder greater responsibility for ensuring their workers adopting greener travel habits – it has already taken action. The University of Warwick is already on route with a two year extensive programme to cut personal car use on campus and therefore reduce emissions. WMG, at the University of Warwick, is also deep into a suite of intense research programmes that will help industry, the public sector and consumers across the UK and beyond find sustainable transport solutions which will cut emissions.

The new report published today (Friday 30th April 2021) by the CBI and KPMG and entitled Greener Miles: Delivering on a net-zero vision for commuting – has proposed a series of recommendations designed to cut travel emissions ahead of the Government’s upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan.  Key among those recommendations is a call for businesses to shoulder greater responsibility for ensuring their workers adopt greener travel habits.  

In fact, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has already teamed up with the University of Warwick on a two-year programme to do just that:

E-scooters, buses on demand, Enterprise Car Club vehicles and the Betterpoints sustainable travel app are just some of the innovative transport projects that form part of this two-year ‘Choose Your Way Warwick’ trial encouraging participants to adopt more sustainable transport choices and receive rewards for greener travel.

The trial will look at how the use of new transport solutions like e-scooters, or a car club can affect travel behaviour and replace traditional car use in and around the University campus area.

The projects include:

  • Voi Technology, the UK’s leading e-scooter operator, has brought e-scooters to the University of Warwick campus as part of a pilot research project to help inform Government e-scooter legislation in the UK and research into micro-mobility.
  • Membership of Enterprise Car Club with access to two low emission Hyundai Ioniq cars, for use by staff, students and the local community (subsidised for staff). The vehicles can be booked for anything from half an hour to a full day. As well as the two car club vehicles, members can also use any of the car club’s 1,400 vehicles around the UK and access the wide range of vehicles from Enterprise’s daily rental fleet.
  • The West Midlands on Demand responsive bus service operates in a similar way to a taxi The convenience of the DRT will make it easier for the local community, staff and students to use public transport where a traditional bus service may not be appropriate.

The University has also made a travel policy commitment sets out that travel by train is to be the default mode of transport for journeys under 6 hours and a departmental ‘green levy’ will be charged for any air travel.

The University of Warwick’s Provost Professor Chris Ennew said of this and all the University’s sustainability initiatives:

“Warwick has always been a forward-facing university and today is no different. We know the way ahead has to lead to a better, more sustainable, relationship between people and the planet. As one of the region’s largest employers, we know Warwick has a critical role to play. We have a responsibility as a community and organisation to moderate our individual actions, our research and teaching, and how we run and develop our University. We aim to reach net zero carbon from our direct emissions and the energy we buy by 2030 and to achieve net Zero carbon emissions from emissions arising from procured goods and services by 2050.”

WMG, at the University of Warwick, are also already working with companies and organisations on a range of research programmes to support the sort of sustainable transport that will help deliver the “net-zero vision for commuting” sought in today’s CBI report and the governments Ten Point plan. Professor David Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems in WMG said:

“As the UK transitions to net zero carbon by 2050, we must ask whether and how we will commute to work in the future. A personally owned car will not be the only possible answer, and alongside our work on electrifying cars, WMG has strong interests in light rail solutions as well as increasingly autonomous vehicles. Two-wheelers and micromobility will also have a more important role to play, and our research here includes consideration of future regulation and road infrastructure as well as vehicle development and trials. All of these rely on batteries and electrification which also form a significant part of our research portfolio. “

Here are just three of WMG’s sustainable transport research projects:

· Coventry Very Light Rail tours its future home

· Novel e-assisted cargo trike launched (warwick.ac.uk)

· Pod research opens up a swarm of market opportunities for Aurrigo (warwick.ac.uk)

Note for Editors

CBI release: https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/greener-miles-how-government-and-business-can-work-together-to-reduce-emissions-from-the-commute/

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations
Chief Communications Officer’s Group, University of Warwick
Mobile/Cell: 07767 655860 UK +44 (0)7767 655860 International
Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

30th April 2021