Environment Forum

Making a consumer market for zero-emissions miles

February 9, 2010

bikeToday travelers can rack up frequent flyer miles and trade them in for upgrades, tickets and other amenities. 

How about perks not for zooming across thousands of miles in a fossil-fueled jet, but for zero emission miles? Consumers who collect miles for zero-emissions travel — say, bike riding — could swap them for a cool gadget, like an Apple iPhone, paid for by companies or other individuals who need or want to cut carbon emissions, for example.

That’s an idea from Volvo Group, the global heavy duty transportation company, and its environmental initiative at Commute Greener, which offers an application for consumers, businesses and governments track their carbon footprint and meet goals to cut their emissions.

Volvo’s Magnus Holmqvist said it’s not clear how the market for zero emissions miles for consumers will take shape, but he believes it could help spur people to change their behavior.

We were wondering if readers think a mass market could develop for individual carbon tracking — not just for big corporations — and whether a set of perks would lead people to ride their bike to work instead of driving a vehicle?

(Photo:  A woman rides a bicycle on Chang’an avenue in central Beijing  Photo credit: Jason Lee / Reuters)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Fantastic possibility!

It can be a way to combine both health and wealth in a more frequent way. Getting some healthy exercise when possible at the same time as saving gas money. Since it is good for the planet the whole movement is part of sustainable development. How do I get going?

Posted by frequent | Report as abusive
 

Good idea. The company I work for estimates that providing car parking spaces for employees to commute to work by car costs £1000 p.a. per space. That’s obviously a hidden subsidy to car commuters, and paid for by the customers.
The question is, why is a similar benefit not available to people who use a zero carbon commute?

Posted by the_biker | Report as abusive
 

I forgot to mention of course, that the hidden £1000 subsidy for commuting by car is tax-free.
When are we actually going to stop encouraging people to drive everywhere?

Posted by the_biker | Report as abusive
 

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