Businesses are under increasing pressure to be more socially responsible, and one of the main focuses is minimising the environmental impact they have. This can include anything from encouraging the eco-commute, recycling, to fitting energy saving lighting, many such initiatives have a positive effect on your bottom line (usually after an initial pay back period).
One of the growing areas of activity in Wiltshire is the eco-commute. Encouraging your staff to be more environmentally aware in how they get to work as well as in what they do at work has many benefits to both you, your staff and the world (Every little really does help!).
- They save travel costs
- You need to provide less parking
- If they cycle to work they will usually become fitter and healthier
- You’ll help the environment by reducing the carbon footprint
- Car sharing can provide better social interactions for staff (we’ve all seen Peter Kay’s Car Share!) which generally will happier, therefore more productive staff.
- Reducing congestion on our roads – especially at rush hour is a universal benefit, which will result in better air quality and lower carbon emissions, due to reduced traffic fumes
So as an employer what should I do to encourage the eco-commute?
- Look at your staff, where they live and how they get to work.
- Think about how you could encourage staff to get to work in an eco-friendly way…
- Cycling, walking or running to work- can you provide showers, somewhere to lock bikes up.
- Car sharing- if you are big enough you could start your own car share scheme, or publicise your local council run scheme, Swindon Borough Council has set up a car-sharing scheme for Swindon. Or Join My Journey is another company that has invested in a sustainable solution for the future of getting to work at Aztec West Business Park (anyone who has hit that area at rush hour knows the problems too well).
- Encourage use of public transport- you could offer season ticket loans to help with fares, and offer flexibility around start/end times to fit in with bus and train times.
- There are also many more options like car clubs, where people can ‘rent’ a car for specific journey’s- more details can be found on Connecting Wiltshire. These schemes often have preferential parking spaces in city centre locations which is an added benefit.
- Educate, publicise and promote- change takes time, you’ll need to lead from the front and run a campaign to get people thinking about their individual carbon footprint as well as the Company’s.
If you need help developing your Corporate Social Responsibility or Environmental Policy then get in touch, and your local consultant will be more than happy to advise on the options.