Green traffic behaviour initiative hits the road
With 27,000 students, 4,000 employees and a large car fleet, SDU's green transport initiatives are set to reduce the University’s overall carbon footprint. However, green transport is about more than just measuring the impact here and now. It’s about a fundamental change in behaviour and about finding lasting solutions through disruptive field tests. Among other things, these initiatives will nudge us into changing motorist behaviour from one driver, one car, to carpooling.
Why change something that feels comfortable?
If you work or study a long way from home without easy access to public transport, it’s far easier, quicker and a part of your daily routine to drive your own car to work – alone. When something is easy, fast, safe and comfortable and provides maximum freedom, why change it and how do we change it?
A group of students from Experience and Learning Technology as well as Welfare Technology are going to investigate this. During November and December, the team will test a number of behaviour-regulating interventions in the car parks, including by reserving spaces for electric and hybrid cars and for cars used for carpooling to SDU. In addition, the use of electric scooters will be tested.
The team describes it as follows: ‘We’re going to try some new initiatives and see how they work. We don’t necessarily believe that all our experiments will be a huge success, but we’re determined to find out whether making green vehicles more visible and accessible will have an impact.’
The students are guided by research assistant and consultant Morten Ploug Henriksen. The various interventions will take place on a trial basis in Odense. At the same time, carpooling and new SMART recharging points will be tested on other campuses.
SDU’s green transport initiative covers the promotion of the following initiatives:
During November, FynBus will set up screens at Gydehutten with the day’s departure and arrival times. The bus lines and bus connections will be made more visible, especially the lines leading to and from the city centre.
There is currently a dialogue with potential suppliers of technological solutions (carpooling applications) and transport companies. The intention is that at the beginning of 2021, one or more pilot projects will be established.
Diesel and petrol cars in the car fleet of the Central Administration will have been phased out by the end of 2022 (in line with the depreciation of the cars). For some vans with lifts, a longer period may be considered, as for now there are no alternative solutions that also meet SDU’s work environment requirements (to avoid heavy lifting) imposed on suppliers.
New sources of energy
Installing recharging points on SDU's campuses has awaited the executive order on recharging points (‘ladestanderbekendtgørelsen’), which, on the basis of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, requires that in connection with certain buildings, recharging points must either be installed or preparations must be made (e.g. laying cable trays) so that recharging points for electric cars will be relatively easy to install at a later date. The executive order was issued in March 2020, and SDU is now in dialogue with the Danish Building and Property Agency regarding coverage of costs for the purchase and installation of publicly available recharging points. The Danish Building and Property Agency expects a tender for suppliers of recharging points in the spring of 2021.
Work-related flights are a matter of controversy – when is it necessary to travel, when is it not? At SDU, there is confidence that researchers themselves are able to weigh their need to be able to do research freely, including by participating in research activities abroad, against climate considerations. It is therefore up to the individual researcher to balance the climate goal, for example, against other UN Sustainable Development Goals.