How ICT providers can promote
and find business opportunities in
It is in the interests of
providers of ICT products and services to encourage the
development of company Travel Plans.
That is the principle behind a
recent guide published by the UK Department of Environment,
Transport and the Regions (DETR). The pivotal concept here is
that of "transport substitution". As the guide says:
"Most areas of Green
Transport Planning focus on encouraging people to change the
way they travel. The more innovative Green Transport Plans
also recognise that for many of the tasks in the modern
workplace, travel can be replaced by working over electronic
and individuals are reaping the benefits of remote working,
and many business trips can be replace by the use of
Vendors of the new ICT already
identify their products and services with the business
benefits they bring. With the potential of the technologies
for "travel substitution", ICT products and services
can also be actively identified with the environmental
benefits which will be of increasing concern to customers.
on bottom line issues
The guide is a welcome sign that
the government recognises the contribution that ICT and flexible
working can make to eliminating unnecessary travel.
And also welcome is the recognition
that it is the bottom line and organisational self-interest that
will frequently be the spur to reducing work-related travel.
By focusing on the business
benefits there is likely to be a greater impetus to take action -
and the results can have significant environmental spin-off
Computing and advanced
telecommunications are revolutionising the way we work.
Increasingly work is becoming location independent - in principle
if not yet in practice. Modern voice and data networks allow
individuals and organisations much more flexibility in organising
where they work, and progressive firms are taking advantage of the
new opportunities to increase productivity and reduce costs.
The pressures to do more for less
cost are felt not only in the private sector. Public sector
organisations feel the pressures of limited resources and the
requirement to achieve "Best Value". Old models of work
organisation are being questioned, and the new ICT open up new
possibilities for more efficient working.
on the horizon
In addition to these "bottom
line" pressures, the government's new transport and
environmental agendas will increasingly require organisations to
incorporate the concept of "sustainability" into the way
We can all expect to see in due
local targets for reducing
workplace parking charges
planning consents which require
the development of a company Travel Plan
ever rising fuel costs,
the "polluter pays"
These will impact on all employers.
Reducing the need to travel is
going to become increasingly important for individuals and
employers in the coming years. And incorporating the effective use
of ICT into Travel Plans is one way of combining increased
efficiency and productivity with a social and environmental
Travel Plans: New
Business Opportunities for Suppliers of ICT, General
Information Report 80 from the Energy Efficiency Best Practice
Programme can be obtained by calling the Environment and Energy
Helpline 0800 585794 (please quote ref GIR 80).