Transport continues to be the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. and for businesses looking to step up in the fight against climate change, it’s the perfect area to start reducing in.
There are plenty of options, from upgrading your fleet to electric to switching to home-working. Yet, these aren’t possible for all businesses, and they can still struggle with high transport emissions simply from employees commuting to and from work.
The good news is there are plenty of steps you can take to encourage and incentivize your team to change the way they get to work and use walking, cycling, public transport, or even car-sharing instead.
Improve Your Facilities
One of the main barriers to ‘active transport’ (biking, walking, jogging, etc.) is the lack of facilities available at the workplace. Providing access to protecting bike rooms, showers, lockers, and other similar amenities can go a long way towards fixing this.
It allows for an easier transition from the commute to the workday without having to worry about finding a safe place to put their bike, a clean place to get themselves ready, or somewhere to put their running shoes.
Of course, this can be expensive, time-consuming, and only really works if your employees live close by. Still, the investment is often worth it.
Make It Cheaper
Another huge barrier to active and sustainable commuting is that driving to work and parking at the office can actually be more cost-effective.
Car use can directly be reduced by eliminating parking subsidies, cutting the number of spaces, or increasing parking prices. This additional revenue can then be channelled into making sustainable transport more accessible. For example, sponsoring discounted memberships to bike-share organisations, or subsidising public transport.
Most public transport providers also have programs already in place that allow employers to provide discounted or pre-tax fare cards to their employees.
In addition to making public transport cheaper for employees, many employers are able to reap tax benefits by participating in these programs.
Some workplaces are just not suited for active transport and don’t have good public transport links. In these instances, one of the best ways to reduce transport emissions is by encouraging and fostering a carpooling program through sign-up sheets in the cafeteria or on the company’s intranet.
Car-sharing can also help employees who prefer to take public transport or bike to work but require access to a car for emergencies or for mid-day trips, such as a meeting off-site, a doctor’s appointment, or a visit to their child’s school.
With access to car-share programs, employees can still bike or take public transport to work with the reassurance that they have access to a car, should the need arise.
Change The Culture
It doesn’t have to cost the Earth to reduce your transport emissions. Instead, it’s about fostering a workplace culture that supports, encourages, and rewards its staff for choosing sustainable travel options.
One easy way to do this is to sponsor a sustainable or active transport month, set a goal and galvanise your workforce to achieve it, or even make it into a competition between different departments.
You could also create a sustainable transport task force whose goal is to develop informational materials and advocate for sustainable transport around the office, potentially even offering personal travel advice to members of staff.
A huge way to make a difference (and improve employee satisfaction) is also to encourage and be open to more flexible schedules. This will allow staff to avoid rush-hour traffic, and be more empowered to use other forms of transport without stressing about timing.
With all these ways to encourage and help staff use sustainable transport, there’s sure to be one that works for your business, and no good reason to not start reducing your transport emissions today.
Of course, becoming a sustainable business won’t happen overnight, but Play it Green are dedicated to helping on every step of your journey.
Our Net Zero Framework is free to access for all our business members and allows you to review, plan and set actions in 9 key programme areas that will ultimately take your business to Net Zero: Governance, Energy and Emissions, Food, Procurement, Transportation, Venue, Resource Use and Waste, Water, and Projects and Workforce.
Find out how Play it Green can help your business