Sustainability has become such a huge topic in the world today, and for a good reason. Every responsible individual and corporate organization has to be careful not to add to the climate catastrophe that’s already choking the life out of our planet. It is now critical that we all seek out ways of reducing our impact on the environment, which includes companies and businesses investing substantially in corporate sustainability.
What is corporate sustainability?
Corporate sustainability is a collection of strategies that businesses and companies deploy in order to exist and operate in an environmentally sustainable manner, while still supporting their economic growth. It emphasizes corporates adopting sustainable manufacturing, packaging, and product/service delivery methods. Companies that implement corporate sustainability strategies commit to using natural resources responsibly, which includes shifting to renewable energy and sustainable mobility.
Why Employees’ Mobility Is Key to Corporate Sustainability
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for at least a quarter of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US. No other sector comes close in terms of GHG emissions’ contribution. Clearly, the most significant contribution any company can make to environmental conservation is to cut down on its transportation-related GHG. One way employers can significantly mitigate their transportation-related GHG and enable climate-safe cities is by empowering their employees to embrace sustainable mobility.
How Companies can Encourage Sustainable Employees’ Mobility
Fortunately, there are tons of ways that employers can encourage sustainable employee mobility. Let’s point out a few:
1. Facilitate active transport
Active transport (or people-powered movement) is an umbrella name for biking, walking, and jogging. Your employees may not be too excited about active transport because of the inconveniences associated with it. Everyone knows how sweaty and stinky active transport can be. Finding parking spaces for bikes is also quite a challenge in most cities. You can, therefore, convince employees to make the shift by creating protected bike rooms in the workplace, showers, locker rooms, and everything they may need to make themselves work-ready after a sweaty commute.
2. Encourage teleworking
For employees who don’t need to be under constant supervision, employers should encourage and facilitate them to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint. There is also the option of employees working from coworking spaces near them, such as these office spaces in Los Angeles, as opposed to commuting to the head office. These spaces offer everything your employees need for optimal productivity, including elegantly designed and furnished offices, high-speed internet, meeting rooms, printers/copiers, etc.
3. Discourage employees from driving to work
Companies have for the longest time made driving to work look prestigious and convenient. They have done this by providing employees with either adequate parking spaces or parking subsidies. You can reverse this dangerous trend by, for example, cutting the number of on-premise parking spaces. Another strategy would be to start charging employees high parking charges and then using the additional revenue to buy bicycles for employees and to facilitate active transport as a whole.
4. Encourage employees to use public transportation
Enhancing public transportation will reduce the number of employees who drive to work. You can do this by financing your employees’ public transport passes, fully or partially. For employees living in neighborhoods that don’t have a reliable public transportation network, you can encourage them to relocate by offering them relocation subsidies.
5. Enroll employees in bike-share or car-share memberships
Employees would appreciate discounted memberships to bike-share or car-share organizations, which would in turn encourage sustainable transport use. Such memberships give employees easy access to a car any time, any day, and for any purpose, including going to their kid’s soccer game or a doctor’s appointment. That eliminates the need for a private car.
What do Companies Stand to Gain by Shifting Employees’ Mobility Behavior?
Companies have a lot to gain from implementing employees’ sustainable mobility and other corporate sustainability strategies. Among other benefits, employees’ sustainable mobility:
– Helps employers and their staff to lower transportation costs.
– Boosts employee productivity. Active transportation, for example, keeps employees fit and healthy, which in turn enhances their performance.
– Enhances a company’s brand reputation. Potential customers and employees want to be associated with environmentally-conscious businesses.
The mobility options that the world had embraced for centuries have had a significant economic cost for corporates and too many negative effects on our planet. The future of mobility, notably employees’ mobility, has to be anchored on sustainability if companies are to achieve corporate sustainability and consequently counter the negative effects of their carbon footprint.
Written by Josh Levinne.
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