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FEATURE


GREEN BUSINESS


WHAT CAN I DO AS A BUSINESS LEADER? Businesses can demonstrate their commitment to tackling climate change and improving air quality by joining calls for increased investment nationally and locally in cycling and walking infrastructure. There are also a number of practical things a business can do to


support people to cycle and walk. Research has shown that having more active employees leads to reduced absences, increased productivity, lower turnover and higher morale.


‘Provide travel directions to your office in the healthiest order, cycling and walking first to encourage new staff and visitors to travel more actively’


Promoting active and sustainable travel in the workplace is a


good return on investment for the employer and its workforce. You can do this by:


• Finding out how staff travel to work – carry out a survey to get a clear understanding of people’s travel choices and any barriers preventing people from walking and cycling


• Do a workplace site survey – build up a picture of how easy your workplace makes it for those who want to walk and/or cycle and identify areas for improvement


• Review your policies – clear company guidelines offering support for staff to walk and cycle are crucial in changing organisational culture


• Map the route to work and provide information - provide travel directions to your office in the healthiest order, cycling and walking first to encourage new staff and visitors to travel more actively


• Encourage bike buddying for new cyclists – help staff to set up bike buddy programmes where an experienced cycle commuter shows a new cyclist the best way to get to work


• Cycle training and bike maintenance at work – organise cycle training, bike maintenance sessions and group rides


• Consider financial and practical support – register for the Cycle to Work scheme to help your staff spread the cost of a new bike over 12 tax-free instalments


• Appoint staff travel champions – staff who are keen walkers and cyclists are assets, invest in these people and encourage them to spread the word to colleagues


Being supportive of measures to increase the numbers of people cycling and walking to work in our towns and cities is good for individual businesses and good for the region’s economy. Having more employees that walk or cycle also means healthier, more productive staff, reduced costs, less congestion, reduced carbon emissions, better air quality and is increasingly an important part of attracting and retaining talent. What’s not to like?


62 business network April 2020


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