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Why becoming Railsponsible will make you smile too


Because I feel extremely proud, for yesterday Capgemini has been awarded the Railsponsible Climate Award in the Category “General Services Related to Rail”. To me, that’s not just an award: it is an award that truly reflects the foundation of our beliefs. We believe sustainability is an integral part of strategy, of our goals, and our business, and part of every solution we provide for our clients. You see, everything we do is empowered by this belief: any solution needs to add sustainable value to our clients, their clients and our world. That is why we are so very proud our European Rail clients have put us on the stand for being the supplier that really makes an impact on our climate.

Did we see that train coming or not? Yes and no: of course, we always go the extra mile to create a sustainable solution. For years, Capgemini Group is working on several sustainability goals we aim to realize. But we are also more the kind of ‘Don’t tell, show!’ company. So, we were a bit overwhelmed we got nominated by our clients. It also made me realize: maybe we should spread our green thoughts and solutions more often as lots of organizations may benefit from our best practices. And this may be the right moment to share them with you.

It’s the execution that counts!

First, our goals have to be executable. As we all know, it’s not hard to come up with a great idea; it’s the execution that’s often the most important hurdle to take. In fact, it was our execution ability and drive that convinced the jury to reward us. They looked at our sustainability and climate strategy, our carbon footprint and emission targets, and all measurements to significantly reduce our emissions in the short and long term. They also evaluated our climate initiatives and looked into our motivation to implement them. The jury was very pleased to see we also have continuously measured and improved our output, outcomes and impact, and awarded the fact that what we do is replicability and innovative.

How do you successfully create a true sustainable impact?

Secondly, we realize climate change is a fact; it affects us today as well as tomorrow. If we want to make an impact, we need to systematically reduce our environmental effects. As you may expect from an IT-based company like Capgemini, of course we use data-driven insights from our carbon management approach to identify opportunities for solid and meaningful improvements. As a Group this approach enabled us to reduce our emissions per employee by 15%. How did we do that? In the Netherlands for instance, we’ve encouraged private travel with the Dutch Railways Business Card. Based on the assumption that people who privately travel by public travel are more inclined to also travel for work with public transport, we organized a pilot: people could use their Travel Business Card also on Saturday and Sunday for private travel by public transport at Capgemini’s expense. Our assumption was proven right. When we translate the results of the pilot into (potential) results for one year, we see a decrease in car kilometers of 1 million and a reduction of CO2-emission of 100 tons.

Creating a better world with our clients

Thirdly, everything we do, should provide a solution for our clients that will not only improve their business but also have a positive impact on our climate. For instance, we also work on a smart planning and scheduling solution to improve the yard planning of one of our rail clients. This has an overnight impact on the maintenance activities running more efficiently and effectively. Therefore, the next morning trains will be ready to leave at the exact right time, from the exact right track. This means everyone will start their new day without any (train) disturbance. This IT solution will in the end contribute to more available train seats for passengers, a higher customer satisfaction rate and, most importantly, making the train a great alternative to the car. Ultimately, that is what we aim for with our solutions.

All means to one end: a sustainable future

The same goes for solutions that will bring entire offices to the cloud, supporting people to work from their home and balance their families and work. Our solutions make our consultants get out of their cars and work together with our clients through different online applications. We look for ways to have all paper vanish from our desks and work completely paperless. But in the end, it’s not about the solution itself: that is just a means to an end. It is what it does for our customers and how it helps to make a sustainable impact on our overall life work balance, our people’s satisfaction and our climate.

And it goes without saying that I am extremely proud this has been recognized by our European Rail clients. So, hopefully now you’ll understand why I am smiling like an idiot today 🙂

About the author
Dick Hunnersen is our Account Executive Dutch Railways (NS) at Capgemini the Netherlands and Leading Capgemini’s International Rail team.