Do you have workplace programs to reduce environmental impact, like saving energy and water, or reducing waste? How your employees travel to work also contributes to your organisation’s environmental footprint.
A study found that the amount of energy used by employees travelling to and from a building was greater than the energy consumed in the building for lighting, heating and cooling and appliances. Work-related transport also emits air pollutants and greenhouse gases and building and operating transport infrastructure like roads affects biodiversity.
Workplaces have a role to play
Increasingly, organisations are recognising they have a role to play in reducing the environmental impacts of how people travel to and from their site. Employers can have a real influence on the way staff travel through implementing a range of measures such as infrastructure, incentives, education and policy that supports active travel.
Many people seek and prefer working for employers with environmental credentials. A demonstrated commitment to sustainability can attract and retain motivated employees.
Including transport in office greening programs or carbon reduction schemes can also be a way of engaging employees. Transport is one area where staff can make a difference. Many sustainability initiatives happen behind the scenes (procurement decisions, infrastructure), but everyone makes choices about how they get to work or appointments. Supporting employees to choose sustainable transport options can be a good way to gain engagement with workplace sustainability initiatives and improve environmental performance.
If your workplace already has a green team, sustainability program or other environmental group, connecting with them is a good place to start. The green team may have other members who are interested in transport impacts, and they may be able to support Your Move activities in your workplace.
If there isn’t a green team in your workplace, consider starting one. You could invite people to join a working group through the staff intranet, email or posters, and then get together to decide how the group will work. Check out this great resource by City Switch for more details on starting a green team.
Here are our top five ideas for reducing your organisation’s transport footprint:
- Hold event days to encourage staff to walk, cycle or catch public transport to work. You could link these with Earth Day or World Environment Day or theme them as Fume Free Fridays.
- Promote active commuting through internal communications, like your intranet page, staff newsletter or kitchen posters, as a way for staff to boost their health and that of the planet.
- Think about what language will work best in your organisation. Words like sustainable, environmental or green are not always meaningful for everyone. Choose the message that is right for your workplace.
- Survey how employees travel to and from work, using the Your Move survey tool. Use the results to estimate your workplace’s transport emissions and show employees how changing a few trips could make a big reduction. Feature this on your intranet.
- Promote your workplace transport initiatives as part of your organisation’s environmental commitment. They could be profiled in corporate sustainability reporting or on the environment page on your website.
You can be a champion for active, sustainable transport in your workplace. Contact the Your Move team if you we can help you with greening your workplace through Your Move.