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About Low Car Diet

Low Car Diet is the mobility competition of the Netherlands.

From the 13th of September 2021, the Dutch industry will again travel as sustainable as possible from and to work. The goal: as little CO2-emissions as possible.

During Low Car Diet, senior managers and employees of organisations discover that they can daily travel from point A to point B in a cheaper, more relaxed, cleaner, and healthier manner. They use other modes of transport, such as an (electric) bike, shared cars, the train, and meeting spaces for one month. The Fynch App will automatically log their travel data and automatically rewards sustainable travel choices. This gives both the employees and the employers (on an aggregrated level) detailed insight into their travel habits during and after that month.

Low Car Diet is an initiative of De Reisbeweging, the organization for sustainable mobility. The objective of Low Car Diet is to provide companies and organizations an easy way to learn about sustainable mobility and to support them in implementing sustainable mobility policy as part of their business operations. The car remains unused for 23 hours a day on average and it is a major cost factor. Sustainable transport is cheaper, cleaner and frees up space on the road and in the city.

The Low Car Diet starts on the 13th of September 2021 and will continue for four weeks. Before the Low Car Diet start, the team will be made ready to have a particular start.

The Low Car Diet is for every organisation, small or big. In the tab “Sign up” you can find more information.

 

The Low Car Diet began as an initiative by Urgenda in 2012. After that, the competition was made possible in part by MVO Nederland, the Nationale Postcode Loterij, and Samen op Reis, a collaborative initiative of the key public transport parties; transport companies, government agencies, and consumer organisations.

At the beginning of 2017, the Low Car Diet became part of the independent Stichting De Reisbeweging (the travel movement association). More information about that association can be found here.

The Low Car Diet travel behaviour campaign is also effective in the long-term. A survey in 2015, 3 months after the competition, has shown that employees are still making different (sustainable) mobility choices 30-40% of the time. They have decreased their CO2 emissions by 20%. The CPB (Central Planning Office) has researched these numbers to see whether influencing behaviour is effective for work-related mobility. You can read the report here.

The Low Car Diet month is also part of our transitional method to help companies make their mobility more sustainable. Through extensive analysis of your mobility data, discussing your goals, and providing practical solutions, we support your company during workshops and conversations in implementing a new, sustainable mobility policy.

Organisations

Any company and organization can participate in the Low Car Diet. To ensure the internal and external reach of the campaign, it is preferable if at least one director / senior manager participates. An unlimited number of employees may participate. One of the participants must register as the internal captain. This person is the campaign coordinator within the participating company and serves as the point of contact for the company’s employees and the Low Car Diet team.

  • A concrete realisation of sustainable ambitions to reduce CO2-emissions
  • Immediate savings on mobility costs
  • Time savings by meetings on-site, such as at the station or by working from home
  • Specific achievement of sustainable ambitions and reduced CO2 emissions
  • A healthier lifestyle
  • More effective and relaxed travel
  • Increase support for a more sustainable mobility policy
  • Team feeling; a nice way to collaborate to reach goals

The Low Car Diet has tremendous benefits, including overall cost-savings. Sustainable kilometers are cheaper, healthier, and cleaner than the ‘standard’ car kilometers. You can initiate a more sustainable and affordable policy. There will be fewer fine particles emitted by your company and you will need less space when there are fewer cars. You will motivate your environment to work smarter. Participants who travel more by train and bike are healthier and arrive at work more well-rested and prepared.

The car is unused 23 hours a day
Most commutes are between 20 and 40 kilometers in distance. There are approximately 250 kilometers of traffic congestion every day. Accessibility and air quality are under pressure and the costs caused by mobility are increasing. Regular car kilometers are the most expensive and most inefficient kilometers: most cars are unused 23 hours per day. Sustainable kilometers are cheaper, healthier, and cleaner. The trend towards paying for actual use is visible in parking, public transport, and car-sharing. The Netherlands has one of the best public transport systems in the world and is one of the leaders in terms of infrastructure for electric transport. Research shows that employees want to use a different mode of transport, but employers don’t give them enough motivation to do so.

As a senior manager/director you will set a good example by using more sustainable transport and by achieving the company’s ambitions in sustainability. You can communicate this to your employees, co-managers, and customers via social media, blogs on the website, and the media, who are generally interested in the participants’ experiences.  What’s more, you give your employees the opportunity to see for themselves that they can travel from point A to point B every day in a manner that is cheaper, faster, more sustainable, and healthier. We challenge companies to participate with as many employees as possible because your company has a chance to win wonderful prizes during the competition.

Participation is easy. Your company registers and we will work with your designated team captain to organise and facilitate communications, employee activations and provide an online platform. We will also recommend and guide agreements with suppliers. You can also have us arrange for NS Business Cards. The standard rates will apply to their use.

Employees register on the Low Car Diet website and will automatically receive login credentials for the Fynch app. They will receive an update each week during the month. Therefore, Low Car Diet handles almost all the arrangements. The captain is expected to coordinate everything well.

Low Car Diet will host an activation campaign at your location. The captain and the communications department will announce the campaign a few weeks before. On the activation day, there will be an opportunity to try out e-bikes and electric cars, and more details about the contest will be provided. Employees can also register at that time and challenge each other. After the activation campaign, employees can register online to participate.

All participants can obtain an NS Business Card as part of Low Car Diet if their company doesn’t already provide them. Important: standard rates apply. Besides this public transport card, participants mainly use their own resources within the company during the Low Car Diet. Companies are also encouraged to take more advantage of carpooling, flex working, and teleconferencing.

Participants may also use new sustainable modes of transport like electric bikes and cars.  We can work with the company’s captain to see which supplier is the most suitable to supply these resources. We have also concluded agreements with a few suppliers that you can use during Low Car Diet, as a company or as an individual participant.

The first prize goes to the company that makes the least amount of car rides per person compared to the total amount of car rides. On top of that, we use the next conditions:

  • Carpooling and using a shared car will not be included in the calculation. A car ride in an electric car will be. 
  • Working at home will not directly be included in the calculation, but indirectly it will because working at home will mean that a car ride has been prevented. 
  • We only will look at rides that have been labelled as business-related. So, check regularly whether you uploaded the travel goals of all of your trips in the app. 

The Low Car Diet can serve as an evaluation of the options available for using more sustainable methods of travel, even for companies whose main job consists of visiting customers or locations throughout the country. Many companies are currently tasked with reducing their CO2 emissions, which mobility plays a major role in. Low Car Diet would like to help and provide recommendations of the options available to find practical and feasible solutions.

Participants

If your company participates in Low Car Diet, you can register on this website. If your company didn’t participate yet, contact us through our contact form.

Each participating company or organization has an employee who serves as the contact person for the Low Car Diet team. This person is referred to as the captain. This person recruits participants internally and keeps the company and participating directors and employees up-to-date on Low Car Diet by providing and distributing practical information. The captain also coordinates the (social) media activities with the communications department.

No, you don’t have to hand in your car keys. You can keep them. This in contrast with 2012 and 2013. During this year's Low Car Diet, you can use your car. But of course, just as little as possible! There are many alternatives available, as a shared vehicle, public transport or bicycle.

There is not only a winning organisation once the Low Car Diet finishes, but there are also individual winners. These participants have travelled the most sustainable kilometers in one of the following ways:

  • The least amount of car rides. When several participants share the first place, we also look at the level of improvement. If someone is going on vacation during the Low Car Diet, that person is excluded from participation. Carpooling and a sharing car will not count as a car ride. 
  • The most cycle coins. You can earn cycle coins during the week when you cycle for more than one kilometer.
  • The most OV coins. You can earn OV coins during the week when you travel by public transport.
  • Most coins in total. This is a combination of cycle coins, OV coins and coins earned when you travel outside rush hours. For OV-coins you can earn the outside-rush-hours when you travel outside 7:30-8:30 and 17:00-18:00, when you drive by car you can earn the outside-rush-hours when you travel outside 7:00-9:30 and 16:00-18:30. Extra information on the coins is to be found in the app at “Coins”.

There is a nice, appropriate prize for every winner, therefore try to travel sustainably as much as possible!

Yes, to make the data from the Low Car Diet tool as useful as possible, we recommend participating for a full month. The chance to win the competition decreases the fewer trips the participant fills in, which means you will earn fewer points.

Absolutely! The Low Car Diet is all about cleaner, affordable, relaxed, and healthy travel. Participants from prior years are very enthusiastic about the new experiences and insights they have gained during the Low Car Diet. Those who cycled more often became fitter and enjoyed their daily commute more. Some participants thought that travelling by train was cumbersome, but they arrived at work quicker, more relaxed, and ready to work. Participants generally netted more time for themselves. Having meetings while on the road turned out to be a surprisingly good solution for saving time, particularly if multiple colleagues in a company did that together.

On top of that, participating has several extra benefits. You earn coins for trips that you make during the week by bicycle, public transport, or by traveling outside rush hours. You can exchange the earned coins, for example, for free coffee at NS, day cards of NS, and discounts on several sustainable trips. 

Senior managers and directors can set a good example by using more sustainable modes of transport and achieving the company’s sustainable ambitions. They can communicate this information to the employees, senior managers from other organizations, and customers via social media, blogs on the website, and in media that are mainly interested in the experiences of participating senior managers. It is also the perfect opportunity for your director to experience how travelling from point A to point B can be cheaper, faster, more sustainable, and healthier. You can also tell your director that senior managers from other organizations in the Netherlands are participating, such as the Dutch MSE organization and CSR Netherlands. This may also motivate your senior manager or director to participate.

Challenge people personally. You can use a personal video message, send them a message on Teams, or use flyers and posters that you can hang up and distribute within your company. You can obtain flyers and posters from your team captain.

You can also simply say that you want to win the competition and you need them to participate. Participants will be given access to the online Low Car Diet tool to keep a log of the number of sustainable kilometers. A log of the number of sustainable kilometers will be kept per company and participant for the duration of the Low Car Diet. Once the 30 days are up, the winners who have travelled the most sustainable kilometers, relatively speaking, will be announced.

Before the start of the Low Car Diet, you will receive an invitation to download our app. In this email, there will also be a link to a form that will ask you for your current travel behavior: we want to know how many trips you make each week and by what transport. 

Earned Coins 

You earn coins for trips that you make during the week when you travel by bicycle or public transport, or when you travel outside the rush hours by car or public transport. You can exchange the earned coins for free coffee at NS, NS day cards, discounts on several sustainable incentives, etc. 

Look at your own results and the ranking of all participating companies 

We will make your travel-behavior visible through the app. You can compare your results with the average of your colleagues and you can see the scores of all participating companies. Both you and your company have a chance to win prizes!

The app will track your trips and decide which form of transportation you used. If you carpooled or used a shared car, or when you used an electric car, you will have to manually upload this. 

If you want more information or when you have questions about the app, please go to the website of Fynch