How Proximus’ mobility budget can incentivise change

30-something guy texting in a train station with the train waiting beside him.

Until not very long ago, my family and I moved like most average Belgian families: mostly by car, both for work and private engagements. It was comfortable, if you discount the hours spent in traffic. But it was not cheap, and it certainly wasn’t green.

I’m happy to say that the way we move has changed dramatically in recent years. My family and I now make a lot more trips by train, and my current company car has only racked up 18.000 km since I got it two and a half years ago. Most importantly, the way we think about mobility has changed.

How did this change of mind come about? It was made possible, and even desirable, thanks to the mobility budget I receive at Proximus. This formula offered so many advantages over my old company car that it was almost a no-brainer to move to greener mobility choices. I am convinced that the implementation of a well-considered mobility budget can have the same effect for other employees and families. Here’s how we do it at Proximus.

Incentivising Green Choices

The main pillar of the Proximus mobility budget is to incentivise green choices by valorising certain aspects of the company car. In simple terms: the less you use your car, and the more environmentally friendly your car is, the more other benefits you get. For example: if our employees opt for a smaller car that emits less, or for an electric car, they have more budget left per month to spend on train tickets (also for private use), other forms of shared mobility, or even the purchase of a bicycle.

This also works the other way around: if you make a choice that is not particularly sustainable, it will cost you more. For example, parking in Brussels is more deductible on off-peak days and times to incentivise a better spread of employees on the road and in our offices. This is only one of many examples of small ways that we incentivise less and more well-considered car usage.

Lowering the threshold

A second important aspect of the mobility budget at Proximus is lowering the threshold to allow our employees to make green choices more easily. To achieve this, we have partnered with Vaigo to integrate all of the options within our mobility budget on one platform. This makes it easy for employees to purchase tickets, enter their expenses, keep an overview of their spending, and plan their travel.

Another way to lower the threshold is by making sure we offer options that are viable for every employee’s unique situation. This encompasses the choice of cars in our company car fleet, as well as the types of shared mobility and options for electric charging we offer. Our collaboration with Vaigo makes it possible to integrate the offering of a wide range of suppliers, while also maintaining a personal relationship with each of those suppliers in order to maximally tailor their services to the needs of our employees.

Offering Flexibility

Back in the day, employees could choose between a company car or a season ticket for the train, and that was it. But most people don’t have the same schedule or needs every day. Offering maximum flexibility to make a different choice dependent on the situation is key to stimulating green choices whenever viable. I can take my bike to the train station one day, take my car instead when it’s raining, or work from home when feasible without wasting any of my budget on unused options.

This flexibility also extends to employees in exceptional circumstances. We offer extra fuel compensation for those who have to travel great distances in their car due to the nature of their work, as well as additional train reimbursement for those who live very far from work. This is also why our mobility budget is not based on the federal mobility budget: we want to be able to offer more flexibility and to guide mobility choices of our employees, much of which is impossible within the current legal framework.

The result of these strategies? Ten years ago our employees drove an average of 35.000 km per year in their company cars, today that average has decreased to 24.000 km per year. After some initial hesitance, employees who switch from company car to mobility budget are hooked and make excellent use of it. Flexible public transport options are especially popular; we expect more extensive adoption of bicycles as infrastructure improves.

And for my family and me? Due to the more rural location of our house, abandoning the company car completely is not possible for now. But thanks to the mobility budget, I can see us evolving to a situation where we have one car instead of two, and where we only use it when strictly necessary. After all, the available greener choices are better for the world my children live in, for our own comfort, and for my bank account. Clearly, the mobility budget is a win-win.


Gregory Jacobs, Compensation & benefits manager Proximus

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