New WBCSD project accelerates the transition to clean and efficient urban mobility

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24 January, 2019




  • New Transforming Urban Mobility project brings businesses and cities together to accelerate the transition to better urban mobility
  • Project draws on cutting-edge technology and models of collaboration
  • More than 20 global companies on board

Geneva, 24 January 2019: Today, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched Transforming Urban Mobility (TUM), a new flagship mobility project that aims to make urban mobility cleaner and more sustainable. 

Over 20 global companies have come together to address key issues that affect cities around the world in terms of their mobility systems, in order to make the transition to safer and cleaner mobility that is both more accessible and more efficient.

The lead companies include Michelin, Microsoft, and Toyota with active participation from Accenture, Arcadis, Bestmile, BMW, Bp, Bridgestone, Brisa, BT, Daimler, Eastman, Eaton, EDP, Enel, ExonMobil, Mahindra, Honda, Pirelli, Renault Nissan Mitsubishi, Solvay, Shell, UPS, Volkswagen

As part of TUM,  the companies are already collaborating with cities to identify and test solutions that can help achieve sustainable mobility. One of the planned outcomes of this collaboration is a soon-to-be-released position paper on data sharing principles.

A key element of the collaboration is focused on modern technology including artificial intelligence and the cloud. The collaborative model led by WBCSD and the companies is a critical enabler of success in this respect, as available (and future) technical solutions are complex, and there are innumerable urban mobility systems in operation across the globe.

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development said:

“TUM will foster innovative collaborations across the spectrum of urban mobility. That means using systems thinking to help cities to manage mobility more sustainably and developing principles for data-sharing between public and private stakeholders. TUM is uniquely positioned to help businesses and cities deliver on these goals and help improve life for everyone living and working in a city.”

Projects like TUM are essential levers in the challenge to deliver modern, liveable cities for people around the world, as well as being a critical part of the fight against climate change. Air quality levels for 80% of cities around the globe already exceed World Health Organization guidelines, putting people’s health at risk and causing an additional burden on already overstretched health infrastructure and budgets.

In addition, transport currently produces nearly 23% of global CO2 emissions, and without significant changes to the system, this is set to increase as more of the world’s people move to cities. It’s predicted that 70% of the world’s population will live in a city by 2050 (source UN).

In addition to the work already underway, TUM plans to issue guidance for the corporate adoption of electric vehicles and to begin conceptualizing solutions (such as mobility hub networks) that can be piloted in cities around the world. Further work will be undertaken on the opportunities to consider the circular economy as part of the automotive value chain.

Quotes from TUM companies and stakeholders

Takeshi Uchiyama, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation: “The name of the project implies deep collaboration to transform urban mobility systems. Toyota will play an important role and collaborate with other WBCSD members, not just to foresee the vehicle of the future but to create new mobility system.”

Florent Menegaux, General Managing Partner, Michelin: “Mobility is a vector of human progress. Our mission is to make every effort to ensure that mobility is responsible and sustainable. We do this by working in ecosystems with all stakeholders as we are convinced that concerted action is the best response to the challenges of today and tomorrow. Michelin Group is committed to foster collaboration as part of the Transforming Urban Mobility project.”

Toni Townes-Whitley, President, US Regulated Industries, Microsoft: “Modern technologies like the cloud and artificial intelligence will play a key role in accelerating the urban mobility efforts of cities around the world. Microsoft is eager to contribute our expertise to WBCSD’s Transforming Urban Mobility project, where our collaborative efforts can help cities develop inclusive and sustainable, mobile solutions that empower citizens to engage in today’s digital society.”

Professor Jose Viegas, special advisor to the project and former Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum: “We need to quickly identify barriers and develop realistic transition path to sustainable mobility for all. TUM brings a new system-level strategic approach fuelled by the expertise of companies from different sectors of the mobility value chain.”