Sustainable mobility

All trains on green power in 2017

73% of our trains ran on green power in 2016. Because wind farms are being completed more quickly than expected, all electric trains in the Netherlands will run on this clean power from 2017 onwards. The green power comes from new wind farms that are gradually coming on stream in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Finland. Half the power will come from the Netherlands, the other half from abroad from specifically designated wind farms. This ensures that the supply is traceable. In addition to trains, the energy used at stations and NS offices in the Netherlands will be completely ‘green’ by 2017. In 2016, the figure was 73%.
The supply of gas for buildings was put out to tender in 2016. Gas will be fully climate-neutral by 2020, as determined by traceability and additionality (added environmental value).

Sustainable travel

In 2015, on the way to the Climate Conference, fifteen organisations joined forces to encourage sustainable mobility among their employees. In addition to NS, these included banks, insurers and multinationals. The organisations met up several times in 2016 to learn from one another, about both the successes and the bottlenecks. They also discussed cross-organisation topics affecting sustainable mobility, such as fiscal incentives, sustainability through working conditions and cooperation with local authorities. Late in 2016, prior to the National Climate Conference, another fifteen organisations that share this same ambition joined us.
Another aspect of making travel more sustainable, in addition to effective policies, is influencing individual journey patterns. NS allows companies’ employees to experience the benefits of sustainable mobility through the behavioural change programme 'MEE!'. Staff of Accenture and Arcadis have already completed the programme with positive results. Use of public transport, bicycles and working from home all increased while the use of cars decreased, resulting in considerable savings in costs and reduced CO2 emissions. More than half of the respondents said that they found public transport to be a more attractive alternative than it used to be.

Vision of mobility in the Netherlands

If a densely populated country like the Netherlands is to maintain the quality of life and stay accessible and competitive in future, large investments are needed every year – as well as transport companies and authorities coming up with new ways of looking at and thinking about mobility. NS, Qbuzz, HTM, GVB and RET have sketched out a picture of the future of mobility in the Netherlands. It contains improvements in door-to-door journey times and capacity, flexibility, comfort and sustainability of public transport in the Netherlands. This vision of the future is based on the use of sustainable forms of a variety transport options that meet the requirements of future passengers:

  • who want to choose where, when and how they travel

  • who no longer want to think in terms of what is supplied and scheduled by the authorities and carriers

  • who chose the option that is quickest, easiest and most sustainable, and has a good price-to-quality ratio

In this vision, public transport is so quick and so flexible that it is the obvious choice. This makes the car not so much the primary choice, but merely one of the options. That is why it must be possible to travel between large cities in densely populated areas within one hour, and quieter areas should offer more flexible, demand-driven transport. This needs a different kind of collaboration, with the public authorities playing a different role. This vision is an offer we are making to central and decentralised authorities. As executive bodies, responsible for the mobility of millions of passengers every day, we want to use our experience to make a meaningful contribution to the future debate.