Red Cross Mobility is a social and regional innovation programme that champions sustainable and inclusive transport. It aims to support the local branches of the French Red Cross in developing shared and inclusive mobility solutions in their region.
Over the last few years, transport has been increasingly at the heart of environmental concerns. In France, the transportation sector is responsible for 33 % of energy consumption and 39 % of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, of which 80 % comes from road freight (French Ecological Transition Agency, ADEME). Indeed, the vast majority of French people travel by car (80 % of their annual distance travelled) and 55 % of them claim they have no other choice but to use it in everyday life.
Since the most isolated people and those living in precarious situations struggle with travelling and accessing sustainable transport, mobility has also become a matter of equity and inclusiveness. Broadly speaking, all people who find themselves wholly dependent on cars are in a vulnerable situation and live in rural or suburban areas.
Finally, transport is also a public health issue. Air pollution, largely caused by road transport, is a major threat to our health and causes 48,000 deaths in France every year (French Public Health Minister).
As part of their activities supporting vulnerable people, the volunteers of the French Red Cross are required to move around on a daily basis. To support such movements, the French Red Cross manages significant numbers of local fleets of vehicles and volunteer drivers. As a consequence, the French Red Cross has a big opportunity to contribute to the development of more shared, supportive, sustainable and inclusive transport solutions.
Technical details & Operations
To address such a challenge, the French Red Cross project manager and intrapreneur Cyprien Noble launched Red Cross Mobility. It is a national programme supporting local branches to develop shared and inclusive transport solutions in their area (a neighbourhood, a village, a community of local areas). Red Cross Mobility offers three services : car-sharing, car-pooling and transportation services. They are designed to be accessible primarily to vulnerable people or households.
By drawing on its own resources and those from the national programme, any local branch can significantly contribute to the implementation of new transport solutions, co-created with other local stakeholders (local authorities, businesses, associations). By diversifying the ways in which people can get involved in the project and adapting the solutions so that they reflect the capacity and personal choices of everyone involved, Red Cross Mobility is built on the contribution of all citizens, including fragile or vulnerable people. In this way, the project brings together local communities and contributes to strengthening the dynamism of the French Red Cross locally.
Local projects are developed according to a “test & learn” methodology that allows the team to continuously monitor and enhance the impact of the solution while growing local communities.
Deployment & Impact
In 2019, Red Cross Mobility won the Intrapreneurship (Season 1) programme of 21, the Social Innovation Accelerator of the French Red Cross. It benefited from 6 months of acceleration support.
Since 2020, the programme has been incorporated into the French Red Cross’ Corporate Social Responsibility mission (General Management), for an initial national deployment phase lasting two years (2020-2021). By the end of 2020, 19 local branches had signed up to the Red Cross Mobility programme, spread across 9 of the 13 regions of mainland France (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Brittany, Centre Val-de-Loire, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur).
Since its creation, Red Cross Mobility has enabled the transportation of people in vulnerable situations, including the elderly, people with disabilities, carers, single parents families and unemployed people.
Within the next few years, Red Cross Mobility should make it possible to improve the lives of isolated people by offering them the opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and have experiences outside of the home, but also to optimise the Red Cross’s emergency response services by reaching victims faster.
This project broadens the range of services offered by the French Red Cross. Without necessarily becoming a regular volunteer for the Association, each citizen can get involved by making their vehicle available or by helping people to get around on a daily or occasional basis. All in all, the programme serves as an excellent call to action for all citizens on the issues of climate and social justice.