Commuting

Staff commuting behaviours are often a significant component of the carbon footprint for an organisation. There are a range of ways in which you can help staff to reduce the carbon footprint of commuting.

The use of walking, cycling and public transport are an obvious place to start. Inevitably, there will be variations in the accessibilty of public transport depending on the location of your practice. For example, a practice in a rural location will likely have much less access to public transport services than a practice in London. However, national average figures do give you a useful idea of how you perform compared to other places of work.

The average person in the UK uses public transport for around 22% of their journeys to work, and walking or cycling for around 2.5%. What's the figure among employees within your practice?

Public Transport and walking

  • If practical, you could look to offer discounted public transport cards – or a loan for yearly passes at zero interest deductable from the weekly or monthly payroll.

  • Promote timetables/major details on the intranet and keep updated as well as leaflets and posters;

  • Provide a map of walking routes  around your Practice.

Cycling

Cycling is a practical option for commuting for many, and carries clear health and financial benefits also.

One of the major barriers to employees cycling to work is cost of buying a bike.  You could choose to involve your Practice in the “Cycle to Work Scheme”[1]. This allows the practice to purchase cycles and cycle safety equipment tax free, and loan these to employees or reclaim the costs through a salary sacrifice scheme. Some other actions you could take to encourage cycling include:

  • Ensuring that there is secure and sheltered cycle parking;

  • Making facilities for showers, changing and storage of personal gear available

  • Providing maps and other information about local cycle routes[2]

  • Providing cycle training for those who are not confident cyclists;

  • Introducing a staff bicycle user group (BUG) to encourage cyclists;

  • Introducing incentives and events to cycle e.g. monthly free breakfast to employees who cycle to work.

Private motor vehicles

For those whom driving a car is a necessity, there are a variety of options you can pursue to try and limit associated carbon footprint.

There may be opportunities for staff within your practice to car-share if they have similar journey's to work, and the practice could actively promote this possibility to staff.

Alternatively, a range of free websites exist which connect people who want to share the burden of driving to work, including National Car Share and Lift Share.


The 10:10 website has a range of additional suggestions for reducing the impact of car travel.

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