Better places – First estimate of the True Price of transport for travelling


Better Places is a travel agency and a social enterprise. Their mission is to make the world a little more beautiful with the travels they offer, contributing to poverty reduction and sustainable economic development as well as protecting nature and biodiversity. At the same time, they are aware that transportation to and from destinations can have severe negative impacts on the environment, especially flights.​

Project description

For the transition to sustainable tourism, it is key to change customer behaviour during the process of selecting travel destinations. Showing the true price of types of transport and distances can influence customer decisions. That is why Impact Institute and Better Places have cooperated to develop a tool to start estimating the true price of transport for traveling. As a start, the two most material environmental impacts were selected: contribution to climate change and air pollution. These environmental costs were assessed and monetised for three types of transport (airplane, car, train) with different specifications. ​ The environmental costs were mapped through emission figures per passenger kilometre based on the STREAM report and the True Price methodology including monetisation factors. After calculating the environmental costs, the main drivers were identified and included in the tool: modality, energy source, occupancy, and distance.

Value for Better Places

Better Places experiences that data on emissions of transport for traveling is intangible to their clients: what do certain emissions mean? For this reason, Better Places wanted to be able to show a first estimate of a True Price for transport modalities for travelling, as monetisation can help make external costs (such as environmental costs) more transparent to clients. Included in the project were assessments of several impact dilemmas, like short vs long distance travel, car vs flight vs train, and differences in types of fuel. The analyses show that travel by train has the biggest greening potential.​​

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Data, Technology, & SoftwareEnergy TransitionTrue Price
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