Julie Furnell, Mobilityways: edie’s Net-Zero Hero

At a glance:
Who: Julie Furnell
What: Net-Zero Hero
Where: UK
When: 2023
Why: Addressing office and journey-based emissions

The business has driven down 300 million kg of commuter carbon emissions for leading employers across the public and private sectors, including the NHS, Royal London and Heathrow Airport, since it launched.

In the past 18 months, the headcount has grown by 10%, launching a new Commutology team to support large employers to take action on their data to identify and implement sustainable commuting initiatives. Jules’s commercial acumen has meant she has focused on nurturing a lucrative partnerships network to help grow referral business to accelerate decarbonisation. This includes a portfolio of mobility leaders, technologists and transport operators such as Enterprise, Arriva, Octopus EV and Zeelo.

Business growth

Having completed a Certificate in Business Sustainability Management, Jules also looks inwardly to explore ways our business can reduce its environmental impact. This has resulted in Mobilityways launching drastic decarbonisation to reduce its net-zero targets to 2030.

By spearfishing large campus-style organisations like the NHS, multi-site employers and universities, Mobilityways’ client base has grown by 289% in the last 12 months.

The NHS employs 1.3 million people, each commuting daily to hospitals, clinics and health centres. These journeys generate 20m tonnes of CO2e annually – 4% of the NHS’ total emissions output.

Under Jules’s direction, Mobilityways has been implemented in 84 NHS Trusts to date and has been integral in the pioneering ‘Step up a Gear’ project – the first ICS-wide commuting initiative to tackle key commuting challenges in the North East, a region that has more attributable deaths to air pollution per 100,000 people than London.

The project encompasses 11 provider trusts with around 120 sites, examining the commuting habits of around 81,000 staff. The collaboration has successfully secured funding through the Healthier Futures Action fund.

Carbon savings

Jules also incorporated sister companies Liftshare and Liftshare For Work into the Platform. The Liftshare For Work Platform subsidises the public Liftshare community allowing public users to connect with other car-sharers for free.

This is effective for regular commutes to work and the school run and long ad-hoc journeys, with dedicated communities for festivals and sporting events. To date, Liftshare has saved more than a billion road miles, £226m in travel costs, and more than 250,000 tonnes of CO2e.

Jules and her team also developed the Mobilityways Platform – a tech-led social enterprise on a mission to make Zero Carbon Commuting a reality – to support employers in meeting their net-zero goals.

The Platform is a software tool suite that enables employers to measure, reduce and report on their commuter emissions. It is the only software solution dedicated to decarbonising the commute.

It provides full visibility of commuting challenges, identifying sustainable travel alternatives for employees to help employers reduce their scope 3 emissions in line with net-zero goals.

Jules champions sustainable commuting at every opportunity, speaking at conferences like London Climate Tech, Move, and Chamber of Commerce and was recently named 2023’s EveryWoman’ Champion of Transport and Technology.

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