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Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program

Culture | Posted on May 31, 2012 by Madeleine Lee

Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality

Just some of the Softchoice green crew who bike to work every day.


In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting.

But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public transit to using their own two feet – all part of our company incentive program that encourages employees to travel green.

Long-time Softchoice employee, Joseph Byer, takes advantage of the Green Commute program almost every day. “I often wish my trip was longer,” he says. “When the weather is nice, I purposefully take the scenic route. I also like taking my bike out over lunch and getting some extra fresh air.”

Softchoice isn’t the only one. Many companies also support ‘greener’ commuting through providing various programs, including:

  • Incentive rebates on public transit passes or the sale of discounted transit passes for employees.

    Softchoice bikers (l to r) Joseph Byer, Melissa Alvares & Andrew Moore

  • Guaranteed Ride Home programs in the event of an emergency or sickness.
  • Events like “Car-Free Day” and “Carpool Week”, educational workshops and lunch & learns
  • Sheltered bike racks, showers and change facilities for those biking to and from work

Smart Commute programs are win-win situations for everyone. So, if your organization doesn’t offer any, here are some reasons to help you make the case.

1)      Employee wellness

Employees who ride their bikes or walk to work will benefit from the physical activity. Keeping fit can increase energy available throughout the day and reduce the chance of developing illnesses. Also, providing employees with a susibdy may encourage them to take transit, and bring you employees who arrive at work energized versus stressed from sitting in rush hour traffic for hours!

2)      Recruitment and retention

Employees of all ages are becoming increasingly concerned about their work environments.  Many potential candidates are looking for environmentally-responsible employers, so offering this as part of an overall environmental stewardship program can help attract, engage and retain top talent.

3)      Cost savings

Employees will appreciate the savings from not driving to work, including car maintenance, gas bills, and parking. Also by reducing employee stress-related illnesses, you could reduce your company’s loss-time costs, increase workplace productivity and reduce recruitment and retention costs. Less individuals driving to work may reduce parking costs by freeing up demand for additional space.

4)      Environmental impact

Transportation is the fastest growing cause of greenhouse gas emissions and the leading cause of climate change.  So, not only does taking cars off the road ease traffic congestion, but goes a long way in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.

Check out our GreenCommute program here at Softchoice. How can a green commute program support your own company’s mission statement? 



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