Back to top

Carbon rationing for work-related trips? Clarifying an idea for public policy

Ongoing research
Begin: September 2022
End: January 2024

With 45% of distances traveled, work remains the primary purpose of travel (home-to-work trips and trips made in the course of professional activity). Moreover, work-related mobility practices (company cars, air travel, etc.) strongly influence industrial choices. By addressing the issue of rationing, this research will seek to answer a twofold question: how can companies participate in the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and how can public authorities support them?

Research participants


Contact : Matthieu Bloch

The climate goals set in France’s National Low Carbon Strategy aim to make the transport sector almost completely carbon free by 2050. The current geopolitical and environmental context is a strong reminder of the need to reduce our energy consumption. Given the magnitude of the challenge, solutions that rely on vehicle transformation and modal shift won’t be sufficient. For this reason, the Mobile Lives Forum is exploring the idea of carbon rationing for travel 1 , as a means of enabling a fair management of demand and supporting a complete transformation of the mobility system. Employers have a key role to play in this process. Work accounts for 45% of all distances travelled 2 and remains the primary reason for travel (commuting and work-related trips). Not to mention that work-related mobility practices (company vehicles, air travel, etc.) strongly guide industrial choices.


This project will explore the idea of carbon rationing for work-related trips, by considering how planetary limits can be integrated at the scale of professional organizations and activities, on the question of mobility. This will involve, in particular, identifying the effects of a mobility rationing system on business operations (HR policy, travel organization, etc.) and on commuting (recruitment, remuneration methods…). This exploration will allow us to identify the levers and obstacles to the introduction of rationing, in view of initiating a dialogue with individuals involved in corporate mobility management and instigating public debate around the idea. Ultimately, this research will aim to recommend tools and an area of relevance for carbon rationing work-related travel.


This research will be based on a theoretical framework and empirical case studies. The team will mobilize qualitative methods (interviews with actors, employees, etc.) and quantitative methods (analyzing data associated with employee travel, analyzing the location of jobs in a living area, etc.). There will be three kinds of case studies: an approach by objects (company vehicles, aircraft), an approach by places (an area of activity) or an approach by structures (companies).


Akrich (M.), “La construction d’un système socio-technique. Esquisse pour une anthropologie des techniques” [The construction of a socio-technical system. Sketch for an anthropology of techniques], in Akrich (M.), Callon (M.) & Latour (B.), Sociologie de la traduction : textes fondateurs [Sociology of translation: founding texts], Paris, Presses des Mines, 2006

Boutueil (V.), Towards a sustainable mobility system: leveraging corporate car fleets to foster innovation, doctoral thesis in architecture, spatial planning, under the supervision of Fabien Leurent, Université Paris-Est, 2015

Brisepierre (G.) & Desrues (A.), Le Transfert de pratiques environnementales domicile travail [The transfer of environmental practices from home to work], Paris, Ademe - IFPEB, 2018

Devienne (M.), Fall (M.), Manasterski (S.), Mini (A.), Rouaud (C.) & Seress (M.), Une carte carbone dédiée aux déplacements : est-ce possible, juste et souhaitable ? [A carbon map dedicated to travel: is it possible, fair and desirable?], University of Paris, Mobile Lives Forum, 2021

Fourmont (N.), Les Déplacements domicile-travail : quelle coordination des acteurs territoriaux ? Étude de cas portant sur les zones d’activités économiques de la métropole d’Orléans [Commuting: what coordination of territorial actors? Case study on Orlean’s economic activity zones], 2nd year master's thesis in Transport and mobility, Paris School of Urban Planning, 2021

Korsu (E.), Massot (M.-H.) & Orfeuil (J.-P.), La ville cohérente : penser autrement la proximité [The coherent city: thinking differently about proximity], Paris, La Documentation française, 2012

Korsu (E.) & Le Néchet (F.), “Would fewer people drive to work in a city without excess commuting? Explorations in the Paris Metropolitan Area”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, No. 95, 2017, p. 259-274

Lapierre (V.), Effets des politiques publiques environnementales et sociales sur la gestion des mobilités en entreprise [Effects of environmental and social public policies on corporate mobility management], 2nd year master's thesis Transport and mobility, Paris School of Urban Planning, 2021

Zélem (M.-C.), " Les énergies renouvelables en transition : de leur acceptabilité sociale à leur faisabilité sociotechnique” [Renewable energies in transition: from their social acceptability to their socio-technical feasibility], La Revue de l'énergie, 2012, n° 160, p. 418-424


For the Mobile Lives Forum, mobility is understood as the process of how individuals travel across distances in order to deploy through time and space the activities that make up their lifestyles. These travel practices are embedded in socio-technical systems, produced by transport and communication industries and techniques, and by normative discourses on these practices, with considerable social, environmental and spatial impacts.

En savoir plus x

Associated Thematics :


To cite this publication :

Arnaud Passalacqua et Nicolas Fourmont (26 September 2022), « Carbon rationing for work-related trips? Clarifying an idea for public policy », Préparer la transition mobilitaire. Consulté le 19 June 2024, URL:

Licence Creative Commons
Projects by Forum Vies Mobiles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 France License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at contact.