Favouring sustainable transport serves well-being

2023-08-29 Oona Uusitalo and Katriina Paakki

As a concept, sustainable transport is simple. The fewer emissions caused by transport, the more sustainable it is. Every one of us has the opportunity to choose and have an effect on tomorrow. Transitioning to more sustainable transport is an easy and worthwhile eco-activity for private citizens, companies and other organisations. Through sustainable transport, you can reduce your carbon footprint, add exercise to your daily life and save money on transport expenses.

In Turku, the promotion of sustainable transport is being tackled by organising sustainable transport guidance in Skanssin Monitori, the City of Turku’s service point. On Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm, visitors can talk to an expert about their transport habits in Skanssi’s Monitori. The guidance service helps find the most suitable sustainable ways to move around that promote the well-being of both the individual and the environment.

Three electric vehicle driving schools will also be organised at Skanssi during 2023, where everyone interested can discuss the use of electric cars and try driving in one. The purpose of the electric vehicle driving school is to bust myths surrounding the use of electric cars and offer personal experiences.

A good fifth of Finland’s emissions result from traffic

According to the overview published by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom in December 2022, the domestic traffic in Finland in 2020 comprised about 22 per cent of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, approximately 95% was the result of road transport. 53% of emissions resulted from the use of private cars, 33% from lorries, 8% from vans, 4% from buses and about 1% from microcars, mopeds and motorcycles. According to the latest data on passenger transport compiled in 2021, 38% of the trips taken in the Turku region, for example, are done using sustainable transport methods.

Favoring sustainable transport is easy for everyone

The easiest way for an individual driver to move around more sustainably is an economic way of driving and reviewing the necessity of trips taken. Complete or partial alternatives for driving a car should be looked into, such as by linking trips together. Trip chains – that is, for example, combining a car and a bus trip – during commutes in particular are a functional way to move around.

A more sustainable way of driving a car is replacing a car with a combustion engine with an electric car. An electric car’s usage costs and need for maintenance are smaller compared to a car with a combustion engine, as their structure is simpler. Electric vehicles also promote habitability, as they reduce the amount of noise at low speeds. When driving an electric car, it is good to pay attention to the sustainable production of electricity. Electric cars do not produce emissions during driving, rather, their largest emissions are created during the car’s manufacturing. The longer the car is used, the smaller the emissions during the car’s life cycle will be.

Workplaces as part of the green transition

An employer can make it easier for their employees to travel more sustainably. This can be done by, for example, the employer offering a work travel card, which the employees use for their commutes. In addition to a travel card, sustainable transport during the work day can be promoted through shared cars or bicycles. It is good for workplaces to support their employees in sustainable travel, including by ensuring there are good locker rooms and safe and easily accessible places to park bicycles.

Shared vehicles are an easy method for sustainable travel, and they come in a broad selection. Offerings include shared cars and other vehicles, such as bicycles and electric scooters. Shared vehicles are easy to combine into various transport chains. This way, you can avoid such things as looking for a parking space and get some good daily exercise without even thinking about it. One of the benefits of using shared cars is you do not need to commit to owning your own car and the costs it entails, but rather can choose the car best suited to your needs each time.

The guidance and electric vehicle driving schools in Turku are being implemented as part of the Canemure project.




Oona Uusitalo and Katriina Paakki 

City of Turku

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