Encouraging eco-friendly business travel at your firm
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Today we like to think of ourselves as more environmentally aware than previous generations; recycling collections with normal refuse pick-ups are now commonplace, electric and hybrid vehicles have gone from strength to strength, and there is increased interest in renewable energy sources.
We should also admit however, that there is a lot more to do, and one area in which this increase in awareness has sometimes failed to reach is the workplace, particularly when it comes to the commute.
One way that car drivers can cut costs whilst also helping the environment is car-pooling.
In the US this practice is actively encouraged through HOV lanes. The same goes for places like Australia and Canada, but in Europe the practice (and lanes) are rare. The advantages of car sharing are numerous; a lower fuel cost per person, sharing the stress of driving (if passengers have the ability to swap driver) and of course the environmental benefits of less emissions per person.
Something that firms with large amounts of vehicles in their fleet could introduce is vehicle tracking. Installing tracking gives companies many benefits, including extra protection against and easy recovery of stolen vehicles, better routing and the ability to notify customers/clients of arrival times and expected delays.
The environmental benefits of the technology come from the reduced fuel costs that arise as a result of improved navigation, and also more efficient driving from employees (many tracking systems can notify managers about harsh braking and speeding, two of the main reasons for fuel wastage and also responsible for early wear and tear on vehicles).
If travelling from the office on meetings and business trips, there are a couple of ways to be kinder to the planet. Taking public transport wherever possible will avoid having to use cars – as well as reducing stress from travel and very often getting you there quicker, particularly in busy cities. Avoiding air travel will also help, and if it’s absolutely necessary then stumping up for the carbon offset tax if it’s voluntary will make the journey effectively carbon neutral.
In many regions cycling is a much superior alternative to driving in both cost and time. Bikes are cheaper, good exercise, require no fuel and in congested cities are often quicker from A to B. A good way to encourage employees to use bicycles is to offer interest-free loans for bicycles, which staff can pay off via their wages. Making sure that there are suitable facilities available – bike racks or lock-ups, and even a shower room – will also help uptake of these kinds of schemes.
Daniel N is a UK-based blogger who writes a wide-variety of subjects including business and marketing. He is currently working on behalf of vehicle tracking firm Remote Asset Management.
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