EPF welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to create an EU framework for harmonised measurement of transport and logistics emissions – ‘CountEmissions EU’, which sets out a common framework to calculate and report transport-related greenhouse gas emissions that can be applied by both the passenger and freight sector.

In order to be able to make an informed choice, passengers need a neutral, comprehensive and reliable overview of available – multimodal – travel options. To promote a modal shift, it is recommended that information about sustainability / environmental impact – for all modes – is included in the overall overview, and that environmental impact is included as one of the (default) variables for ranking available transport options.

Taking into account the trend towards growing environmental awareness among citizens and the urgent need to combat pollution and climate change, there is a strong case for more information on environmental impact of transport. Such information should be transparent, reliable and comparable, in order to avoid ‘greenwashing’ from the industry side and to create trust on the consumer side.

In order to achieve this, in EPF’s view the following main barriers must be overcome:

  • Reliable standards for measuring environmental impact of transport need to be developed, and all transport operators and planning / booking platforms should apply the same standards to ensure transparency and comparable information.
  • A holistic approach is needed. The impact of the whole trip (including the supply chain and adopting a lifecycle perspective) should be taken into account; standards should be applicable and comparable across modes; also non-CO2 impact should (in the future) be considered.
  • Calculating environmental impact is complicated as it depends on many factors, but for passengers information should be presented in a way that is easy to understand, e.g. a label or an icon ‘most sustainable choice’, based on a standardized score.