It’s probably no surprise to you that kiwi commuters are collectively driving around the planet over 40,000 times each day. With the Government's announcement of a 20% reduction in light vehicle use by 2035, the pressure to reduce is on.
This reduction is no small feat. Getting there will require transformational and coordinated action. Whether you are in government, a organisation or an individual, we all have a role to play.
Organisations play an important role in determining the mode of transport one chooses to get to work. The location of a organisation's premises and their working from home policy can be key determinants in an employee’s options and decisions. Because of this, organisations have a responsibility to encourage and enable employees to move toward more sustainable modes of commuting. The argument that it’s up to the individual to take full responsibility for the commute is an argument of the past. Being a sustainable business is all about taking account of all the activity required to run your business. Without a staff commute you wouldn’t have staff coming to work, so it’s important to properly measure, report and reduce commuting emissions!
Many workplaces are early in their sustainability journey, but it’s important to not let commuting fall by the wayside. If you’re stretched for time, money and resources, we've prepared some key tips below. These will help you get started with a workplace mobility programme on a budget.
Begin with good data
Any effective reduction strategy begins with good measuring and reporting. If you’re limited on time and resources, trust us, good measuring and reporting is important, it will help you invest where it counts. We see many organisations making the mistake of missing out this step, and making broad brush assumptions around how their people get to work. They then invest in the wrong initiatives and consequently these don’t deliver on intended benefits. If you’re thinking about doing this process in-house, make sure you:
consider using the relevant government emissions factors
carefully consider what data you’re collecting and why. Make sure you’re complying with the NZ Privacy Act
include a survey disclosure
bring your employees on the journey. It’s important to clearly communicate what you’re doing and why it's important
Hitch has a very affordable offering that helps you with this. When you’re short of time, it takes away the hassle. Our offering is much cheaper than doing it in house. Our data will set you up with good lifelong data practices as it follows the MfE guidelines and is certified by Ekos. Book a call with us today to discuss options.
Bring your people on the journey with strong change management and comms
Data alone does not reduce commuting emissions. Reduction fundamentally requires behaviour change. This will require educating, engaging, nudging, and enabling. Start with a good set of comms. Make sure you have your key messages crystalised, and that they tell the story to engage employees. Tie in your sustainability values. You should also think about other ways to engage employees. Hitch does this through offering survey respondents an individual report detailing their emissions and details tailored changes respondents can make and what impact they would have. We also conduct employee interviews, sustainable travel workshops, run competitions, and have an employee engagement app called Accelerate.
Promote public transport
With the rising fuel costs and half price public transport fares, it's a great time to promote public transport use. Try to quantify the monetary benefit to people in your comms. You could also run some analysis to understand how people in different suburbs are commuting and overlay the availability of public transport over this. From this, you can run more targeted change management and comms in your organisation.
And finally, just get started!
The hardest part is getting started. Don’t over complicate it. Keep it simple. We all know there's no time to waste with climate change and with kiwi commuters collectively driving around the planet over 40,000 times each day, this is a hugely important area to address.