About Us

Transportation

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At the completion of a workshop in this classic Geneva hotel, we reflected on the beauty of the Swiss environment, the ingenuity of the people and the power of well-regulated capitalism. They are epitomised here more than most parts of the world. Switzerland has built sustainable development as a core article in its constitution. It's fitting therefore that Geneva can be seen as the birthplace of the modern sustainable development agenda with the publication in June 1987 of ‘Our Common Future’, under the leadership of Gro Harlem Brundtland and under the auspices of the United Nations.

Yet beautiful Switzerland is by no means immune from humanity induced environmental degradation. Switzerland as one of the world’s richest nations has amongst the highest number of cars per head of population – 66%. Automobile pollution kills more people in Switzerland than road accidents. As well as health and environmental damage Transport consumes 25% of the world’s energy. As the rapidly developing world [notably China, India, Russia and Brazil] assert their consumer rights to car ownership with increasing wealth, fossil fuel consumption, climate change and air pollution will escalate beyond crisis levels. If for example, as a result of rapid development China gains the same percentage of car ownership as Switzerland CO2 emissions would double and 2/3 of the world’s energy would be used for private vehicles [Anne-Marie Sacquet, World Atlas of Sustainable Development, Anthem, 2005]. In many cities throughout the world already the air is not safe to breathe.

Smart vehicle manufacturers are embracing new technologies with Toyota leading the way. Hybrid electric and petrol vehicles are now in vogue and carbon neutral bio fuel or hydrogen vehicles are on the drawing board. There is renewed interested in public transportation systems, the environmental effects of which can be better controlled. It is in this arena that there are significant opportunities for new technologies, products and businesses, and severe risks to traditional occupiers of this sector through creative destruction.