À quoi sert la Semaine de la mobilité ?

What is European Mobility Week all about?

Because there are a thousand and one ways to get around!

European Mobility Week (EMW) is an annual event that encourages citizens, cities and businesses to adopt more sustainable modes of transport to reduce pollution and combat climate change.
The main aim is to find alternatives to polluting vehicles, which are sources of road congestion, noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas.

What is Mobility Week all about?

Promoting sustainable mobility

Every September, it's now a tradition for some of the streets that populate our cities to suddenly change face... All of a sudden, clusters of festive cyclists, daring roller skaters, speedy longboarders and intrepid scooterists appear on the streets... Sometimes, strange futuristic vehicles, pedal-powered or electrically propelled, parade past under the curious gazes of passers-by. So there's no doubt about it: this is the sign that a new edition of the Mobility week.

Created in 2002 at the initiative of the European Commission, in just a few years the event has become THE major annual event for sustainable mobility. Over the past twenty years, Mobility Week has continued to expand: now, in 2023, it is taking place in almost 3,000 small, medium-sized and large European towns and cities every autumn. For seven days, thousands of events and workshops are organised to raise awareness and change our practices in this area.

The aim is clear: to promote and develop more sustainable modes of travel, safer and better quality for everyone. In particular, we need to promote all the alternatives to the private car, which continues to reign unchallenged on the majority of our journeys. 

The advantages of sustainable transport: why and how to choose it?

The aim of Mobility Week is indeed to remind people that, while it remains very useful in some cases, it is not necessarily the best option in many others, and should therefore be used in moderation. More generally, the event is an opportunity to look at the major challenges facing mobility.

There are many: 

🏥 Health impact: the cost of automobile pollution

And yes, mobility is first and foremost a real public health issue. We're not teaching you anything: travelling in an internal combustion car pollutes; and pollution kills. "Numerous studies show a role for air pollution in the loss of life expectancy and mortality, but also in the development of cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and lung cancer", Public health France). Air pollution kills 40,000 people every year in France. The combustion engine is not the only culprit, of course, but it is a major contributor.

Vehicle exhaust gases contain nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide and several heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. This nasty cocktail, multiplied by the 37.3 million or so internal combustion cars in France (2020 figure), is a veritable health bomb. So the maths is simple: the fewer people who drive an internal combustion car, the better off we'll be. It's up to us to walk, cycle, take the train or the metro!

The way we organise mobility is crucial on another front: the fight against climate change. Once again, combustion-powered vehicles are in the firing line. They are major contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the very gases that are accelerating global warming and causing lasting damage to the planet. "Transport is responsible for 24% of global CO2 emissions, and it is the only economic sector in which emissions are continuing to rise," point out the organisers of Mobility Week on the event's official website.

The challenge? Decarbonising all that! At DECATHLON, for example, we've calculated that the journeys our customers and staff make to our shops, often using motorised vehicles, still account for 12% of our total ecological impact. Developing low- or zero-emission mobility is therefore a priority. The good news is that there are plenty of options: bike models are constantly diversifying (folding bike, cargo bike, longtail bike ... all with or without electric assistance); electric public transport is multiplying (buses, trams); vehicle sharing platforms too.

📊 Economy and mobility: reducing costs through alternative transport solutions

With commodity prices soaring, the case for sustainable, low-carbon mobility has grown tenfold. The idea is to reduce the role of the private car in our lives, this time for a very practical reason: its cost! In France, owning a combustion-powered car eats up almost 10% of the total household budget. The association "Réseau Action Climat" estimates that owning a car in 2022 would cost an average of €4,212. For a vehicle that remains parked 95% of the time, that's a lot. Self-service bikes, car-sharing, carpooling...: Mobility Week is therefore seeking to "push" solutions that are less costly for citizens, and to promote a more collective and community-based organisation of our travel.

🙌 Improving the quality of urban life: the benefits of soft mobility

Mobility is also about living together. Because it structures the territory, and towns in particular, making it harmonious is a necessity. Less noisy, less cumbersome, less dangerous and more accessible transport helps to make public space more peaceful and welcoming for everyone: children, people with reduced mobility, the elderly, etc. So-called "soft" (non-motorised) mobility is being promoted during Mobility Week because it has such a positive impact on the urban environment.

What is Mobility Week all about?

A week to test and change your habits

According to IFOP (2022), 72% of French people feel dependent on their car. However, changing habits and trying to free oneself from this dependence is not so simple. That's the whole point of Mobility Week: to give people a moment each year to ask themselves the right questions about their mobility.

The programme is open to everyone: individuals, local authorities, public institutions, businesses, associations, etc. Individually or collectively, the aim is to explore, experiment and, if all goes well, adopt new habits. Mobility Week thus makes it possible:

- test new equipment. For example by trying out, with the help of a professional, that famous cargo bike that will allow us to pick up the kids from school without having to take the car. Or getting on that scooter for the first time, so useful for short urban journeys.

- to test a new route. The home-work journey is one of the pillars of everyday mobility. During Mobility Week, some companies are encouraging their employees to reinvent their commute. It's an opportunity to swap traffic jams for a new cycle path, or that tram that's been giving us the eye for months without us daring to venture out... Tools exist to help you build the route that suits you best.

- to test a new service. Boosted by digital technology, mobility services are exploding, mainly in cities. There are now many platforms, both public and private. Secure parking for your bike near the station, short- or long-distance car-sharing, long-term bike or electric scooter hire...: Mobility Week is the perfect time for a quick review of the options available near you.

Teammates and customers' sustainable transport

Teammates and customers' sustainable transport

Raising awareness about environmentally-friendly transport.

Picture of herbs

Our environmental challenges

Biodiversity, climate and plastic pollution in the ocean: 3 issues that DECATHLON are working on in particular. Why these? How?

What action plan is needed to reduce absolute CO2 eq emissions?

What action plan is needed to reduce absolute CO2 eq emissions?

DECATHLON commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2021 base year. Decathlon also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 42% within the same timeframe.

Decathlon workshop photo

Going circular - Transition towards a circular economy

Decathlon is taking measures to reduce the impact of its offer by factoring in its entire ecosystem.

Picture hiking

10 questions you may have about DECATHLON's sustainable development

The questions you'll find here are those put to us by our teammates in an internal survey and that customers shared with us during meet ups over coffee

Illustration de couleurs

What impact does the carbon footprint have on us and our environment?

What is a carbon footprint? What impact do we have on it? And it on us? We will focus on its link with greenhouse gases, the climate and how we calculate it.