Summa College, ambitious in sustainable mobilityPublished on October 18, 2022
Students of today are the employees, citizens and parents of tomorrow. And that tomorrow is changing quickly. Summa College is therefore working on the future in a new way. From their students, from their employees and from the entire organization. Sustainable mobility is part of this. Brainport Bereikbaar helps.
Traveling sustainably in education
As many as 18,000 students and 2,000 employees travel back and forth to the 26 locations of Summa College during the week. If they spread out more, avoid or drive together, we notice this in the crowds on the street. The educational institution is well aware of this. Just as she is the other way in which she makes an impact in society. That is why there is a clear future strategy. With which she takes concrete steps, looks broader than her own organization and seeks cooperation. This makes Summa College a leader in the region.
'Our main goal is to train students through our more than 250 vocational training courses, says Hans Doffegnies, strategy program director at Summa College. 'But we also have a share in their personal development and their development as citizens. The current times require something different from us than before. We live in a society of transitions and uncertainties. For example, 30% of the professions of the future is not yet available. And of what you learn now, only more than half will be relevant in four years' time. That is why we want to focus even more on other skills. Such as the ability to develop in your life and work, to acquire knowledge and to play a positive role in society. We want to be of more significance in society through co-creation with other companies. This has led to our new strategy aimed at 2025 with an extension until 2030. One of the pillars is sustainability. We focus on four themes: green campuses, energy-neutral organization, embedding sustainability in education and mobility.'
Making a difference
As a senior advisor within the sustainability pillar, Cor Konings is responsible for the mobility component. He explains: 'The 20,000 people around Summa College make a lot of moves. With this we can really make a difference. For example, 60% of our students is over 18 years old. Many of them throw their public transport annual pass in the kitchen drawer and come with their car. Understandable, that has appeal. Yet we want to tempt them to travel in a different way.' Hans adds: 'It is very encouraging that we see that the current generation Z seriously wants to contribute to a cleaner world. We see this in fashion courses, for example, where students almost see the reuse of textiles as a condition for their designs. The same applies to circular building designs.' Cor: 'At the same time, we believe that we should set a good example ourselves. So we focus first on our own employees. How can we, as an employer, make the choice of other transport more pleasant in a positive way?'
Let the environment benefit
How visible are the plans already? Cor: 'With our fleet we are already well on our way towards electric cars. When our teachers go on a working visit - our students have internships throughout the country - they are supposed to take an electric bicycle, scooter or car. Or public transport. We automate the declaration process. That makes it cheaper and easier for them. Based on zip codes, we look at whether we can plan the schedules of our employees in such a way that people who live near each other can drive together more often. The reward? If you leave three cars at home, you will incur travel expenses four times over. There is also an experiment with co-sharing that we want to expand even further.' Hans emphasizes: 'But there is much more to do. And we know: a transition like this takes time and requires a change in behavior. You cannot just use everything, many things cost a lot of money and that is why testing is necessary. Just like collaboration with other parties. For example, we are in discussions with the municipality: we would like to see the obligation for the minimum number of parking spaces removed. Then we can make our parking lots greener and our environment will also benefit from this. That is also part of our strategy. Just like complying with the regulations for commuting mobility and proactively contributing to Eindhoven being emission-free by 2030.'
Developing a good future together
Cor: 'You cannot realize many solutions alone. Just look at shared bicycles at different locations. Sufficient charging facilities. Combined travel. Together we can make mobility easier, but you need connections for that. Brainport Bereikbaar fits our needs exactly. They are an important connecting and facilitating factor that helps us move forward faster. They offer knowledge, network contacts and project guidance. For example, actions in the field of cycling, behavioral change and shared mobility. The mobility scan and mobility survey is the first concrete collaboration between Summa and Brainport Bereikbaar. Very important, this gives us insight into where our employees come from, how many kilometers they travel, and what their reasons are for choosing a mode of transport. We can then respond much better to their needs. Furthermore, we can share our experiences with others through the Brainport Bereikbaar working groups. And that also fits in with our social function and our belief that we can only develop towards a good future together.'