Flix releases its first voluntary ESG report as a springboard for continuous improvement and growing transparency and announces carbon neutral travel commitment for Europe by 2040
+++ With its first voluntary ESG report, Flix commits to constant improvement in addressing its material topics and growing transparency with its diverse stakeholders, from employees to passengers.
+++ Flix serves over 5,500 destinations across 4 continents, with India to become the 42nd country in 2024. CEO André Schwämmlein: «With growth comes responsibility. We are ready to take it».
+++ Planet, People, Mobility, and underlying Governance remain at the core of Flix’s ESG strategy. The Company unveils the commitments behind its sustainable vision.
Munich, June 20th, 2023 – Flix releases its first voluntary ESG report, thus marking a further milestone in its history of pursuing long-term value creation within its vision shaped by sustainability.
With over 5,500 destinations served globally, and its offering of sustainable and affordable travel in Europe, the Americas, Türkiye and India starting in 2024, the tech-enabled mobility company now sets a decisive milestone for granting even more transparency to a stakeholder base bound to grow further, while using ESG reporting as a benchmark for continuous, steady improvement.
André Schwämmlein, CEO and Co-Founder of Flix, has thus commented on the event: «We are proud to announce that today we are releasing our first voluntary ESG report, which we are confident will help us enforce our vision of sustainable and affordable travel with a new awareness and a revived consciousness, while kicking off a process for progressive improvement through recurring reporting and a set of well-defined ESG KPIs and measures».
«A company should always keep sight of the values that shape its vision and focus on the impact its business has on the community. Accordingly, we want to make sure that we create value for the communities we serve, and we are ready to address our strengths as well as whatever shortcomings may come up. With growth comes responsibility. We are ready to take it», has concluded Schwämmlein.
As per the common ESG framework and double materiality, the report investigates Flix’s most material topics and their impacts on economy, Environment and the Society as well as on the long-term success of the Company, while establishing strong Governance as the underlying foundation of all its related actions. In line also with Flix’s specific scope of action, 4 pillars form the backbone of its ESG strategy: People, Planet, Mobility and Governance, with focus areas singled out via double materiality analysis.1
Planet: Flix is tackling its environmental impact, with a long-term vision to achieve carbon neutrality
Flix aims at offering carbon neutral travel by 2040 in Europe, thus decarbonizing its business even ahead of the timeline set by the EU. Globally, the Company plans to define a timeline for carbon neutrality within the next two years, according to its SBTi progress and global CO2 reduction scheme with the goal to meet or exceed the Paris agreement goals timewise. The global goal will also be determined by the evolving regulatory framework and the further development of alternative drives, in which Flix is also actively taking part.
In 2023, the Company publicly committed to SBTi to establish near-term science-based emission reduction targets as the first crucial step.
For this, a four-principle climate strategy is in place, focused on avoiding, reducing, and offsetting CO2 emissions, as well as fostering engagement with stakeholders along the value chain.2
Effective Fleet Management by Flix targets for an optimal utilization of vehicles on the road and use of a state-of-the-art fleet, and it has allowed its passengers to avoid more than 800,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2022 alone just by choosing its services over other options such as cars or planes. In Europe, FlixBus emits 26g of CO2 per passenger per km. According to the German Environmental Agency (UBA), this equals to approximately 16% of the CO2 emissions of a car trip on the same route (with more than 80% CO2 emissions being saved) and approximately 12% of the CO2 emissions of a flight on the same itinerary (with nearly 90% CO2 emissions being saved). Additionally, Flix has made it possible for travellers to compensate 98,000 tonnes of CO2 since 2015 thanks to the Offsetting System set up in cooperation with atmosfair.
But most of all, Flix is constantly looking into alternative drives and fuels to reduce its carbon footprint via progressive Fleet Transformation. Although a final technology for carbon neutral long-distance bus operations is not yet available, the Company takes a diversified approach and has been testing five alternative fuel and drive technologies with more than 10 pilots in Europe and US in the past few years, namely battery electric buses, Bio-CNG and Bio-LNG, biodiesel and solar panels: just today, the first Italian buses equipped with solar panels are having their debut on the international lines Milan-Marseille and Milan-Munich. Flix also plans to launch Europe’s first hydrogen-powered long-distance coach in 2024, in partnership with Freudenberg Fuel Cell e-power Systems and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and electric coaches in 4 years with Daimler Buses. Besides, Flix’s first bio-LNG reference fleet will begin at the end of 2023 with the goal of scaling up to 50 Flix coaches with Bio-LNG technology within two years. Such projects showcase Stakeholder Engagement and cross-sector synergies, which are crucial to the sustainability goal.3
At the same time, Flix is planning to partner with new suppliers to raise the amount of Renewable Energy used in all its workplaces to 80% by 2025 and to 100% by 2030.
People: in Flix’s vision, well-being remains a strategic asset for corporate success
As a company operating across 40 countries, Flix is aware that its actions are bound to impact everyday life in a wide range of contexts and groups, from passengers to bus drivers to its over 5,500 employees. Therefore, it has placed people at the very core of its business strategy, acknowledging their wellbeing as one of its fundamental assets and identifying specific focus areas accordingly.
First of all, these include ensuring Safety of passengers, crews and employees, ultimately enforced via a thorough Safety Management System that encompasses more than 60 initiatives. Fostering Diversity & Inclusion with a Global Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy, while making available a Global Whistleblowing Policy for people to report any possible violation to it, also comes as a priority, in line with the notion of plurality as a catalyst for value creation. These areas also include Employee Engagement and Development, with an employee listening strategy rolled out across 5 different channels to monitor and assess employees’ feedback, including a Trust Council and a Work Council, and Development of Professional and Personal Skills, with a centralized staff training fund aimed at enabling continuous professional growth of both team leaders and their team members.4
Mobility: Flix aims at protecting everybody’s right to travel, regardless of residence and economic status
Beyond just connecting A to B, Flix sees Mobility as a fundamental right. People should be able to travel and connect to the world regardless of their place of residence and economic status. With this notion in mind, the Company has been serving a growing number of destinations by building Europe’s widest long-distance bus network under the FlixBus brand, then launching its FlixTrain service.
Enabling sustainable and affordable travel for everyone remains at the core of Flix’s vision, which is first and foremost reflected in the Attention for Underserved Communities: Flix reaches over 5,500 destinations in 40 countries (447 of which joined the network in 2022), 30% have less than 20,000 inhabitants, with a ratio above average in countries like Croatia (78%), Poland (41%) or Italy (40%). By continuously expanding its global network, also in remote areas where FlixBus is often the sole means of collective transportation, Flix can play a major role in safeguarding people’s freedom of movement.5
At the same time, Flix looks at Innovation and Customer Satisfaction as key targets to accomplish and strives towards Sustainable Value Creation as a major goal to ensure its long-term stability and sustainable growth. This entails investing in infrastructure, network expansions and intermodal forms of transport, on top of encouraging research and development of alternative drives and fuels while piloting those that seem to be more promising at the present stage: in this respect, a project to equip up to 50 buses with Bio-LNG technology is planned to be kicked off by the end of 2023.
Governance: strong business ethics and compliance remain the foundation of all Flix’s activities
Within the framework of Flix’s ESG strategy, strong Governance acts as an underlying pillar to those of Planet, People and Mobility and a prerequisite for all actions pursued across every business area.
This implies strict adherence to national, international, state and local laws and enforcement of solid corporate ethical standards to generate long-term value, with a growing number of measures taken in this respect. Among other things, Flix's Global Compliance Management System includes a Global Code of Conduct for employees and one for Business Partners, various policies, a Whistleblowing program and a new Data Protection Management System (DMS) implemented in 2022. At the level of ESG governance, a Flix Sustainability Steering Committee, formed by all members of the Management Board, acts as the oversight body on ESG strategy, ESG risks and performance, and is tasked with setting the ESG agenda and goals for the Flix Group.6
Flix is pioneering the transport sector by offering climate-friendly alternatives for convenient and affordable travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. Thanks to a unique business model and innovative technology, Flix has quickly established Europe’s largest long-distance bus network and swiftly moved on to a global expansion including the United States, Canada and Brazil. As a trailblazer for sustainable traffic Flix operated the first green long-distance trains in 2018, initiated a pilot project for all-electric long-distance buses in 2018 and launched EU’s first biogas-powered long-distance buses in 2021.
While Flix handles technology development, network planning, operations control, marketing and sales, quality management and continuous product expansion, trusted Flix-partners maintain the daily route operations. The unique combination of technology start-up, e-commerce platform and classic transport company has positioned Flix as a leader against major international corporations, permanently changing the global mobility landscape. For more information, visit corporate.flixbus.com.