Employees who travel to work in more active ways such as walking or cycling - or even taking the bus or train which usually includes a walk at the start or end - tend to be both physically and mentally healthier.
Lower turnover rates and reduced absenteeism. Research shows staff who regularly cycle to work take 27% less sick leave, are 45% less likely to get cancer and 46% less likely to get heart disease.
Good staff health and mental wellbeing is not only good for productivity, it improves employee morale and creates a more enjoyable workplace for all.
Tackling traffic congestion will minimise environmental pollution, enhance travel efficiency and safety, reduce morbidity and premature deaths, especially among people living or working near the major roadways and improve sustainable health and well-being in urban areas.
Many people want to work for a business that makes a social impact. This could be one way of attracting great talent. Younger workers want business leaders ‘to take the lead in solving the world’s problems'.
Recruitment of the right staff is always a challenge. By offering more travel options and not forcing staff to drive, you will be widening your choice of potential recruits.
As fuel prices rise and the cost of living forces your staff to tighten their belts, they may look to move job if the cost of driving to work everyday becomes a struggle and there is no alternative. By offering good, sustainable travel options, such as introducing a car share scheme, you can bring great benefits to your staff which could be the deciding factor in whether they stay.
Improving the facilities (e.g. cycle storage, showers) helps to encourage cycling to work, enabling employees to save money they would usually spend on commuting by car or public transport. And it often saves them time too.
Wherever your business is located, there are likely to be local residents or other businesses that are affected by the travel habits of your staff and visitors - the impact on air quality and congestion of the journeys generated not just by staff but by customers and delivery services too.
Increasing options for sustainable or active travel can have wider benefits for your neighbourhood. For example collaborating with a local bus operator to increase services (especially if subsidising them) so staff can travel to and from work easily can improve public transport options for your neighbours too.
Promoting active and sustainable travel in the workplace is a good return on investment for the employer and its workforce. Even small changes can help organisations and individuals save money. For example, enabling short trips for business travel to be made by bike can save businesses more than half on car mileage. And by offering a cycle to work scheme, both the employee and the employer can make savings through salary sacrifice.
The costs of maintaining car parking spaces are high. By taking away some spaces, employers can put in improved cycle storage, and it also gives the chance for more green spaces to flourish. By offering more travel options and incentivising car sharing, Next plc were able to reduce demand for parking spaces and convert a large area into other facilities such as a photo studio.
Providing more options for travelling to work and reducing the demand for parking spaces, also means it is more easily available for those staff and visitors who really need it.
Employees who cycle regularly take 1.3 fewer sick days, which is worth an estimated £128 million to the UK economy.
Did you know transport is the largest source of carbon emissions in the UK - and the fastest growing? It's also one thing we all do that we all can do something about - even if it is just changing one trip.
As many businesses and organisations strive to work towards Net Zero, it is essential to look at transport habits to, from and within the workplace as there can be some easy wins.
Commuter journeys are by their nature repeated and done as a habit - same route, same mode of transport as you have always done, even if a better option becomes available. Helping staff to transition to better travel habits will have a long lasting, repeated impact.
Whilst many businesses nowadays are measuring Scope One or even Scope Two emissions, in future there will be a need to measure and address Scope Three emissions. These are the greater, wider, most impactful emissions from an organisation and include commuter journeys to work. By measuring and addressing these early on, you will get ahead with your Net Zero and carbon reduction achievements.
Businesses should prioritise reducing emissions over using emission offsets (such as through tree planting); ultimately offsets should only be used for areas where emissions are not avoidable due to a lack of technical alternatives.
Action to encourage sustainable transport, which may involve reducing the space taken up by cars, can provide potential for more tree planting and green space. This can increase the resilience of urban areas to heatwaves and also increase absorption of heavy rainfall, thus reducing flooding.
Active travel can be a key part of an organisation’s corporate social responsibility strategy as it also reduces congestion and carbon emissions in the community. Everyone wins!
Business travel is such a prime area to put CSR concepts into action. When your corporate travel policy includes measures designed to reduce those emissions, that’s an actionable step that can deliver real results.