Ecorys celebrates first World Sustainable Transport Day

On the 26th of November it is the United Nations’ World Sustainable Transport Day. On this day we support initiatives that try to tackle pressing challenges and identify opportunities for sustainable mobility that align with the global goals of sustainability. This day helps to promote sustainable transport cooperation and advancing the global commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda. Ecorys’ Transport, Infrastructure and Mobility sector contributes to sustainable transport through a number of projects

Transport is vital for promoting connectivity, trade, economic growth and employment. Yet it is also implicated as a significant source of green-house gas emissions. Resolving these trade-offs is essential to achieving sustainable transport and, through that, sustainable development.

The goal of sustainable transport is to provide services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods in a way that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while minimizing carbon and other emissions and environmental impacts. Sustainable transport is therefore not an end in itself, but a means to achieve sustainable development.

Ecorys contributes to universal access, enhanced safety, reduced environmental and climate impact, improved resilience, and greater efficiency of sustainable transport in multiple ways. Sustainable transport is also a cross-cutting accelerator that can fast-track progress towards other crucial goals, such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and combatting climate change. Below we highlight three projects through which our Transport, Infrastructure and Mobility sector contributes to sustainable transport and sustainable development in the broader sense.

Transport over water: Short Sea Shipping

Shipping containers via the sea, instead of shipping them per truck, yields a significant saving in emissions and saves scarce space on our roads. We conducted a study for the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Waterways to map the current state and potential of short-sea shipping from several ports in the Netherlands to Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Germany and Poland. Ecorys found that short-sea volumes are substantial, but that there is definitely still potential to realise, for which more detailed and topical data is needed.

Short-sea shipping has also received the EU’s attention, and Ecorys just started a study for the European Commission on this topic. Besides containers, this study also involves bulk, trailers and even passengers, and looks into means to support and revitalise the sector. This way, we hope to contribute to significant emission savings, efficient supply chains and roads with less congestion.

Saving Emissions: CountEmissions EU

Accurate data on greenhouse gas emissions enables customers to make conscious choices about transportation and influences the decisions of businesses providing transport services. However, the wide array of possible emission calculation methods creates confusion and makes it hard to compare data from different sources, hindering informed choices and the willingness of operators to disclose data. Ecorys helped the European Commission assess a unified and comparable methodology to enable transport users to make more sustainable choices. This way, we help to promote environmentally friendly transport.

Sustainable development: Green inland ports

Inland ports are an essential part of the EU’s transport infrastructure along the core Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) and play a key role in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal to reduce transport emissions with 90% by 2050. Ecorys is conducting a study which aims to support European inland ports to become zero-emission, sustainable hubs connecting Europe. 

The  objective of this project is to identify and evaluate factors contributing to sustainable development of inland ports, as well as to propose solutions for the implementation of green objectives for inland ports paired with their economic development. Part of the study also focuses on the possible adoption of inland waterway transport for urban mobility and short-range passenger and freight transport, such as waterbuses, urban logistics, ferries and more. This way, Ecorys is contributing to sustainable transport. More information about this project can be found here.

24 November 2023

3 minute read