Public-Private Partnerships for successful implementation

January 19, 2021 |

The strength of the CFE scheme comes from its European character. It accounts for the differences in cycling levels between countries, while maintaining one standard across the continent. We see more and more that public-private partnerships are key for a larger uptake of the scheme. From certifying public bodies to teaming up with public bodies to deliver CFE certifications to employers in a territory.

SPAIN: Durangaldea Commonwealth as the first CFE Territory 

Despite a great interest in cycling as a sport, short distances and an amenable geography, the use of the bicycle as a mode of daily transport is less than 1% in the Durangaldea Commonwealth explained Mireia Elkoroiribe, President of Durangaldea. Made up of 9 municipalities in the Basque country and with a population of 60,000, the Durangaldea Commonwealth has set a goal to increase the modal share for cycling to 5% by 2023. 

Recognising the necessity for coupling institutional commitment with active stakeholder participation, the commonwealth began a partnership with Bikefriendly Group, the national coordinator for CFE in Spain. Building on the CFE framework of action fields, a three-year territorial strategy was designed following a participatory territorial analysis.  Carlos Martín, Director of Bikefriendly, underlined the success and value attached to the common actions offered to employers in the territory, and the appointment of ‘bike-heroes’ within the employers for developing and promoting bike culture. The strategy brings together some 23 bike heroes, 10 municipalities, 4 educational and research centres as well as 8 private companies. Funding from the Basque government allows for 100% financing of the CFE certification to be covered for public authorities and education centres, as well as 50% for private companies.

The initial communication and coordination strategies have already achieved success, with participating organisations winning 3 out of 4 national awards in September’s 30 day cycling challenge (link in Spanish). The next steps include quarterly sensitization and training sessions for participating employers in the form of webinars and contests. The implementation of the three-year workplan continues, with a view on identifying new funding opportunities, extending the local cycling network and strengthening institutional synergies.

POLAND: Public-Private Partnership for national & local CFE Implementation

Jan Rusek, of the Polish Association for Mobility (PUMA) and Magdalena Szymańska of the City of Gdańsk, presented the consortium behind the CFE National Coordination for Poland. PUMA is responsible for national level implementation, Jan Rusek explained, while the City of Gdansk is coordinating the certification on a city level in Gdańsk itself. Magdalena Szymańska outlined the successful use of initiatives and user engagement strategies to increase cycling use within the city. Building on multiple years of experience with Bike-to-work campaigns, the city organised a CycleHack in 2017 to encourage resident participation in brainstorming for methods in encouraging more cycling. This led to the implmentation of the cycling game “Cycling for Gdańsk” during the autumn months as an attempt to extend the cycling season. The CFE certification was seen as complementary to the city’s strategy for increasing cycling, and was first awarded to organisations which were the most successful in the cycling game. Seven public authorities have already been invited to support CFE, some of which have already been certified as CFE. The next steps for CFE Poland include the expansion of national level implementation and encouraging certified companies to reach higher levels of certification.

GERMANY: City of Essen & State of Hesse

In 2017, the city of Essen in Germany was awarded as European Green Capital. In this context, promoting cycling among employers became a municipal objective. This objective is being met with the guidance and support of ADFC and the CFE certification, as Sara Tsudome of ADFC explained. The city offers partial funding for certification for employers, and sponsors informational workshops for interested employers. This has resulted in 13 employers being awarded a certification since 2017. Building on a long history of cooperation, ADFC successfully collaborates with the State of Hesse for certifying employers in the state. The goal is to have 10 employers certified in 2020 and 20 employers in 2021. Despite the difficulties occuring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 6 certifications in the state are completed and/or underway, with the programme set to launch in November! The success of this model lies in partnership between ADFC and public entities with established climate and sustainability goals, as cycling is a cheap method in achieving these goals. The importance of engaging initially with a number of organisations as pilot projects to understand the desires and goals of private organisations in moving forward was also outlined.

THE NETHERLANDS: Cycle-friendly Police

Focusing on the sustainability and health benefits of cycling in encouraging engagement was also mentioned by Max Mooj, Program Manager at Fietersbond Netherlands. The Dutch CFE National Coordinator has recently achieved a big success with the participation of all 14 regional Police departments in the CFE Certification. As the biggest employer in the Netherlands, with over 65,000 employees, certifying the Dutch police is a significant milestone not only for CFE Netherlands, but for the CFE Consortium in general. While it is important for the police to show the Dutch public its commitment to sustainability, it also saw the many health advantages in cycling in what can be a physically demanding profession.

Throughout the webinar the importance of engaging with the contextual goals and needs of organsiations was mentioned, in addition to encouraging engagement through short term initiatives and long-term planning and communication strategies. The sustainability and health benefits of cycling is a clear motivation among both public and private organisations and should be underlined in engagement whose success can be assisted through a strong and active partnership.