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5 ways to help staff reduce their carbon footprint from commuting

By Lucas Taylor, 5th September 2022

In this article, Travelife for Accommodation provides some ideas for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from employee commutes.

At a time when many employers are rethinking their ways of working, consideration should also be given to reducing your team’s carbon footprint when travelling to and from their place of work. Businesses can encourage teams to adopt lower impacting travel alternatives on their work commute, and we’ve put together five suggestions to help get you started…

Encourage walking and cycling

For those that can, walking or cycling to work is a great way to get active whilst reducing the environmental impacts of transport, potentially easing congestion in your location at the same time. Employers can encourage their teams to walk or cycle by providing information on local routes and paths, and guidance on where to purchase affordable bikes. To make cycling desirable to your teams, make sure your business has the adequate facilities such as safe bike storage, showers and changing rooms. Studies show that exercise and improving commutes boosts productivity and employee satisfaction, so encourage your team to get up and get moving!

Offer cycle-to-work loans and public transport travel passes

Many employers offer benefits to financially support their teams getting to and from work. Interest-free cycle-to-work loans help employees purchase bikes and equipment at discounted rates, paying back through managed salary sacrifices. Similarly, employers with well-connected transportation options can encourage their teams to use public transport by offering travel pass loans or season tickets.

Set up a work bus service or carsharing programme

Motorised transportation is one of the largest emitters of CO2 worldwide, with road travel at the top of the list. Setting up a work bus service or carsharing programme minimises your employee’s environmental impact and offers affordable transport alternatives.

Carsharing: Your business may require teams to travel to and from multiple sites, and carsharing is an easy way to reduce costs and lower emissions. Create your company carsharing service by speaking with your teams to coordinate drivers, pick-up times and locations. Set up a social media page, WhatsApp group or post a timetable on your company intranet or bulletin boards. Some businesses may choose to subsidise the cost of fuel on carsharing journeys to incentivise the service.

Bus Services: If your business is poorly connected to public transport networks, your teams could benefit from a work-run bus service connecting them to the nearest transportation hub. Providing an affordable transport service designed around their core working hours will encourage your employees to rethink their transport options. If you do not have the facilities to set up your own service, look around and speak with local providers – it could be a good opportunity to develop new business relationships!

Plan ahead

As many businesses adopt a hybrid working structure, teams no longer need to travel to their workspace as frequently. Consider the way you plan your team meetings and on-site events to capitalise on the potential to reduce emissions. Here are a few things to consider:

Work with your local authorities

Businesses are responsible for reducing their team’s carbon footprint in and around their workplace. By working with your local community, businesses can help to improve infrastructure and the transportation offering around their place of work. Reach out to your local authority and other businesses around you to find out more about responsible travel alternatives. 

Finally we recommend you incorporate these measures into responsible travel policies and guidance for your staff, perhaps setting some measurable targets for reducing your carbon footprint from commuting over the next few years.  Make sure you communicate your policy and targets, as well as keep staff informed of progress.  Actions like these should encourage your teams to continually consider alternative options and reduce their day-to-day carbon footprint.

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