Whether you are a small business or a large multi-site company it’s a good idea to create and implement a travel plan for your company. With a limited outlay, such as installing bike shelters or well-lit walkways, it is possible to create a sustainable travel plan that also contributes to recent legislation to reduce business carbon footprints. From April 2019 any publicly listed company with more than 250 employees must report their energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and energy efficiency measures in their annual reports.
A well created and thoughtful travel plan can potentially reduce the number of staff driving to work by 15%, which may not sound much, but for a firm with 1000 staff can reduce the number of car miles commuted by 500,000 a year! When surveyed by the AA, about half of drivers stated that they wished that they could drive less and a third answered that they were trying to reduce their car use. So, you already have a captive audience.
Create easy alternatives
By creating easy alternatives to driving, businesses can automatically encourage some car users to switch their method of transport. From discounted public transport tickets to cycle hire schemes and bike shelters, a tangible alternative to 4 wheels will hopefully encourage that third of drivers to make the leap to a more sustainable form of transport.
Lead from the top
For many in business, a car is a symbol of success and seniority. While it’s understandable that there are times when senior staff will need to use cars for meetings, there’s nothing better than to see the CEO arriving on their bike. Encouraging senior management to lead the way with a green travel plan will begin to create a green mentality within the workforce.
There are many ways that this can be done including removing allocated parking spaces and creating a sharable company carpool instead of assigning cars.
Get the workforce to buy-in
In order to ensure that your travel plan reaches its potential, it is important to get wider support from your workforce. The best ways to do this are to provide them with evidence that the business takes the travel plan seriously and that it isn’t just a flash in the pan and that you explain to them exactly how they will benefit from it. The benefits can range from improved health and wellbeing to more money in their pockets. Additionally, the plan needs to be fair. Some people won’t be able to change their mode of travel because of their circumstances and shouldn’t be treated negatively as a result.
Find organisations and schemes that can help
Get Smarter Travel MK has been designed to help people make smarter, more sustainable travel choices around Milton Keynes. The transport team are there to help businesses and organisations to create travel plans and encourage their staff to leave their cars at home. Contact the team for help.
Sustrans is a national charity who work to make cycling and walking an easier option. Their website is full of useful information, tips and advice.
Encourage your team to sign up to Modeshift Stars, and work together to gain recognition for your organisation’s promotion of sustainable travel options.