In the Netherlands, the Climate Agreement was entered into in 2019. This agreement is part of the Dutch climate policy and its main goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 49% in 2030 compared to 1990. One of the commitments is that annual CO2 emissions from work-related mobility of persons will be reduced by at least 1.5 megatons of CO2 by 2030. This agreement is elaborated in the Decree “CO2 reduction from work-related mobility of persons” (“Decree”).
The Decree obliges employers with 100 or more employees to collect data on the employees’ total business traffic and commuting as per 1 January 2024. These data should provide insight into the total amount of CO2 emissions from work-related mobility of persons and provide an incentive to reduce them. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management ("Ministry of I&W") has deliberately opted for a joint CO2 emission cap. The next few years will show whether total CO2 emissions from work-related mobility of persons remain below this cap. This will be evaluated in the second half of 2026. If that evaluation shows that CO2 emissions have not remained under the joint cap, the Decree will include a maximum CO2 emission per kilometer of each passenger. Every employer will then be obliged to comply with this.
100 or more employees
Employers with 100 employees or more will be obliged to report on work-related mobility of persons as per 1 January 2024. An employer with less than 100 employees may report voluntarily. The reference date for determining the number of employees is 1 January of the year to be reported on. It is therefore irrelevant that the number of employees may change during the year. The reporting obligation only applies to employers who offer a mobility facility to their employees (e.g. a financial allowance, reimbursement for public transport, bicycle, moped, passenger car, motorbike or other mobility facility for commuting or business traffic). If the employer does not provide any mobility facility to its employees, the employer has no reporting obligation.
Not all persons performing work for the organization are 'employees' within the meaning of the Decree. An 'employee' is considered to be the person who, on 1 January of the year to be reported on, is required by an employment agreement or public law appointment to perform at least 20 hours of paid work per month for the company or legal entity. Seconded workers, temporary workers, volunteers and workers on zero-hours agreements do not fall under the term 'employee'. The employer also does not have to consider employees at foreign branches.
What does the reporting obligation entail?
As per 1 January 2024, employers will have to submit an annual statement of the total kilometers travelled by all employees combined. Each year, the data of the previous year must be submitted to the environmental department before 1 July. This means that employers can submit the data of 2024 up to 30 June 2025 at the latest. The Dutch Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland) has developed a platform for submitting the data, on which a form can be filled out. According to the Ministry of I&W, the reporting obligation has been set up in such way that it matches the employers' administration as much as possible and that submitting the data creates as little additional effort as possible for employers. For example, employers are not asked to calculate the CO2 emissions themselves; this is calculated automatically in the form.
For those cases where the employer does not have a registration system where it can easily read out all work-related mobility of persons, for example via an app or mobility card, the Ministry of I&W has prepared a guide. This guide provides tips on how to adapt the administration system and explains which alternative methods exist to collect the requested data. An alternative method is, for instance, to conduct an annual survey among employees, in which employees are required to fill out the business traffic and commuting of one (representative) week. The average result of the survey can count as the average for the whole company.
When submitting the data, a distinction shall be made between travels by car, motorbike, moped/scooter, bicycle and public transport. In addition, if applicable, the travelled distance should be divided or broken down per fuel type. Only distances travelled with a start and/or end point in the Netherlands should be included. If part of the travelled distance takes place abroad, for example because the employee lives across the border of the Netherlands, the employer should include the kilometers of the entire distance in its reporting. Air travel is not (yet) required to be reported by the employer.
In addition, as mentioned above, a distinction is made between business traffic and commuting. Business traffic refers to all distances travelled by employees for work, excluding commuting. Commuting refers to distances travelled by employees between their place of residence and the location where their work is habitually performed by them. This includes travelling to different branches/offices of the organization. It also includes occasional travel from the place of residence or stay to the work address to pick up materials, for example. Travelling to and from places other than the permanent work address does not fall under commuting but falls under business traffic.
Based on the total number of kilometers submitted by the employer, a calculation is automatically made of the total CO2 emissions. The employer receives a report on the outcome of such calculation. This report is checked by the environmental department in the region where the organization’s head office is located.
Consequences for employers
If the employer does not have a registration system that allows easy data-reading of work-related mobility of persons, the employer will have to adapt its systems accordingly. We advise employers to start doing this timely, as the records will have to be collected from 1 January 2024.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to assist and answer any questions you might have.