Avoid-Shift-Improve Refocusing Strategy

Applying Avoid-Shift-Improve (ASI) measures through integrated, inter-modal and balanced approaches is critical to unleashing the full benefits of sustainable, low carbon transport. The ASI framework has been central to sustainable, low carbon transport for more than a decade.

The ASI approach follows an implicit hierarchy, with appropriate and context-sensitive Avoid measures intended to be implemented first, followed by Shift measures and finally by Improve measures. This prioritisation can help reduce environmental impact, improve access to socio-economic opportunities, increase logistics efficiency, reduce congestion, improve air quality and increase road safety.

Growing evidence shows that Avoid and Shift strategies can account for 40-60% of transport emission reductions, at lower costs than Improve strategies. The updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement continue to focus strongly on Improve measures (52% of all measures). Shift and Avoid measures account for 38% and 10% respectively.

The ASI framework calls for:


ASI infographic_2021.06.08_Avoid

Avoiding unnecessary motorised trips based on proximity and accessibility.


ASI infographic_2021.06.08_Shift

Shifting to less carbon-intensive modes – that is, from private vehicles to public transport, shared mobility, walking and cycling, water-based freight, electrified road-rail freight, and cargo bikes for last-mile deliveries, among other.


ASI infographic_2021.06.08_Improve

Improving vehicle design, energy efficiency and clean energy sources for different types of freight and passenger vehicle.

Refocusing Process

The narrative of sustainable mobility has evolved over the decade  since the creation of the ASI concept; in response, SLOCAT has established a collective multi-stakeholder process to strengthen the ASI framework by:

  • Catalysing Avoid measures,
  • Accelerating Shift transitions, and
  • Broadening Improve scope.

The process:

  • Takes into account current climate and transport issues and to set sustainable low carbon transport policy priorities in the COVID-19 context.
  • Hosts theoretical discussions with an emphasis on practical implementation in the Global South.
  • Recognises context sensitivity and the need to build narratives around the application of the ASI framework.

We are gathering the most up-to-date and relevant inputs for:

  • A renewed ASI Diagramme
  • ASI resource hub
  • Adoption of an ASI Declaration

For more information about the process, please see the Strategy Note or contact Liza Castillo, SLOCAT Senior Adviser.

Other Resources


SLOCAT Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report

Section 1.1 Global Transport and Climate Change

This section includes a quick overview on the ASI Framework. Growing evidence shows that Avoid and Shift strategies can account for 40-60% of transport emission reductions, at lower costs than Improve strategies.