The potential role of employers in promoting sustainable mobility in rural areas: evidence from Eastern Austria

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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In industrialized countries, mobility represents one of the most important sources of emissions. Most research on promoting sustainable, climate-friendly modes of transportation has focused on urban areas. Rural areas—although characterized by high dependency on individual car ownership and usage—have received less attention. This article explores the potential role of rural employers in supporting sustainable alternatives to commuting by (single-occupied) motorized vehicles among their employees. We conduct a collective case study that considers five employers located in Eastern Austria (Burgenland), drawing from multiple data sources including structured surveys, expert interviews, focus groups, and site visits. Our analysis shows that employers have little incentive to implement measures that foster sustainable mobility among their employees. On the one hand, the costs accruing to employers for implementing such measures tend to exceed the corresponding benefits by a significant margin (unlike in urban areas where significant cost reductions can arise for employers). On the other hand, also employees generally exhibit little demand for such measures. We conclude that both from a societal and a business perspective, it is not efficient to promote sustainable mobility in rural areas via employers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541 - 551
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502001 Labour market policy
  • 502047 Economic theory
  • 502046 Economic policy
  • 502042 Environmental economics
  • 502022 Sustainable economics
  • 502018 Macroeconomics

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