The potential role of employers in promoting sustainable mobility in rural areas: evidence from Eastern Austria

Soder, Michael and Peer, Stefanie (2018) The potential role of employers in promoting sustainable mobility in rural areas: evidence from Eastern Austria. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12 (7). pp. 541-551. ISSN 1556-8334

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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In industrialized countries, mobility represents one of the most important sources of CO2 emissions. Most research on promoting sustainable, climate-friendly modes of transportation has focused on urban areas. Rural areas-although characterized by high dependency on individual car ownership and usage-have received less attention. This article explores the potential role of rural employers in supporting sustainable alternatives to commuting by (single-occupied) motorized vehicles among their employees. We conduct a collective case study that considers five employers located in Eastern Austria (Burgenland), drawing from multiple data sources including structured surveys, expert interviews, focus groups, and site visits. Our analysis shows that employers have little incentive to implement measures that foster sustainable mobility among their employees. On the one hand, the costs accruing to employers for implementing such measures tend to exceed the corresponding benefits by a significant margin (unlike in urban areas where significant cost reductions can arise for employers). On the other hand, also employees generally exhibit little demand for such measures. We conclude that both from a societal and a business perspective, it is not efficient to promote sustainable mobility in rural areas via employers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors wish to thank the European Regional Development Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) for funding of the project "Eco-mobility in the Austro-Hungarian border region" (EMAH). We also want to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Keywords: Commuting; employers; mobility management; rural areas; sustainable mobility
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 13:40
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