Sustainable travel to and from work: these are your options

Sustainable commuting is good for the environment. That is why the government offers subsidies to encourage green travel. That can also save you money. Which sustainable travel options suit your business? Check out these eco-friendly ways to get from A to B.

1. Electric lease cars

The government is encouraging the purchase of emissions-free cars with tax incentives. This means that business owners do not have to pay the tax on cars and motorbikes (BPM) or motor-vehicle tax on electric cars and cars running on hydrogen (in Dutch). For the purchase of an electric car you may also be able to use the tax schemes Environmental investment allowance (MIA) or the Random depreciation of environmental investments (Vamil).

With electric leased cars, you are preparing for a future with more and more zero-emissions zones. More than 25 Dutch municipalities will establish zero-emissions zones starting on 1 January 2025. You will no longer be allowed to go there in a car that runs on petrol or diesel. Soon, only trucks and vans that emit no exhaust fumes will be allowed to enter these zones.

2. Carpooling and carshares

If there are a lot of vehicles standing idly at your premises every day, why not see whether carpooling is a solution? If employees travel together, there are fewer cars on the road and you reduce your CO2 emissions. You can also use a shared car service. That way, you have no purchase costs and no worries about maintenance, insurance, depreciation, fuel receipts, or mileage records. In addition, you can use a shared car for a shorter period, such as half a day. That is great for when you occasionally visit a few clients on the same day.

Reporting mobility CO2 emissions

As of 1 July 2024, companies with over a 100 employees must report the number of kilometres their workers travel for business and commuting. Do you have a smaller company? You can also file a report on a voluntary basis. Based on your mileage data, you can view how much CO2 your company emits (pdf, in Dutch). 

3. Drive with a travel allowance

With a travel or mileage allowance, you help employees make sustainable choices. Consider not reimbursing the first few kilometres, for instance. That way, you encourage employees who live nearby to come by bike or bus. You also influence employee behaviour with your parking policy. Examples include paid parking or a parking permit that you offset against employees’ net salary. You can also reserve all parking spaces only for staff who have to travel further than 15 kilometres.

4. Train travel and OV-fiets

Are your premises close to a railway station, or is there a bus stop with good connections nearby? Encourage sustainable transport, such as trains and buses. A public-transport subscription is usually cheaper than a mileage allowance. Many transport companies have special subscriptions for companies, such as the NS Business card.

Even if your business is further from the station, there are options. Consider, for example, complementary transport by public transport bicycle (OV-fiets). An added advantage of travelling by train is that you can work during the ride.

Tax-free public transport card

Since 1 January 2024, you do not have to levy wage tax if you reimburse your employee for the costs of a public transport card (ov-kaart). Read more on

5. A company bicycle

You can give your employees a company bicycle for commuting, such as the lease-bicycle scheme. It is like a car-leasing scheme, only more sustainable. Since 1 January 2020, the tax allowance for a company bicycle has become simpler. Employees may use the bicycle privately without limitation, but will get an additional taxable benefit of 7% on top of their salary. No need to keep track of mileage anymore. An electric bicycle or a speed pedelec is an alternative for employees who live just a little further from the office.

If you do not reimburse the cost of the entire lease, employees can use the work-related costs scheme to their advantage by deducting the cost of a bicycle from your gross, as opposed to net, wages (so that your overall taxable income is lower).