Travel to work guide for employers

Below are some ideas on how you can help your organisation and employees to make greener transport decisions

Wheel of fortune

Although only 18% of the ‘Travel to Work’ survey respondents used a bike as their main method of getting to work, cycling continues to grow in popularity year on year, with more people keen to commute by bike once they return to the workplace. And why not? It’s a quick way to cover distance (especially on an e-bike!), it’s healthy and the impact to the environment is minimal compared to other forms of transport.

To encourage more employees to commute by bike, implementing a Cycle to Work scheme is a great and easy way in which businesses can support their employees to make greener transport choices and can be used for push/manual bikes and e-bikes.

Through the scheme, employers can loan employees the money to buy a bike, which the employee then pays back through their salary (salary sacrifice). Alternatively, businesses could choose to buy a fleet of bikes that can be loaned to employees for work-related business through a Pooled Scheme. Whether you choose to loan a bike through the Cycle to Work scheme, or purchase a bike or a fleet of bikes through a Pooled Scheme, both are tax free as long as the bikes are primarily used for work. 

Further information about the Cycle to Work scheme can be found on the government’s website and here in Bristol, Eco Move, who specialise in e-bikes, can support the process with their partner, Green Commute Initiative.

Fleet first

We now know that the Clean Air Zone will be implemented in Bristol in summer 2022, and with this, both businesses and residents will be supported to switch to greener vehicles with a range of financial help that will be announced in the autumn.

With fleet cars and vans being replaced every few years and no new petrol and diesel cars available in the UK beyond 2030, there’s never been a better time to switch your fleet to electric. And when you consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an electric fleet, rather than purchase or hire price, there are savings to be made. ALD Automotive, one of our partners, has put together a short guide on using a TCO framework for your fleet.

If you decide to transition your fleet to electric, you’ll also need to think about how the vehicles will be charged. In a survey of 200 UK businesses conducted by Centrica Business Solutions earlier this year, more than a third revealed they had already installed charging infrastructure at their sites and just under half said they plan to install chargers in the next 12 months. To help with this, the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme can fund up to £14,000 for a maximum of 40 sockets in the workplace. Elmtronics, one of our collaborators, are experts in charging infrastructure for both homes and businesses, including fleet, and can advise on the right solution for your business and the funding options available.

If the energy to power your electric fleet is sourced from a 100% renewable source, such as Good Energy, transitioning will reduce your business’s carbon footprint and support your existing CSR policy too.

Remote control

Even when final lockdown measures ease, 57% of Bristol employees who responded to the ‘Travel to Work’ survey are expecting to work from home more than they did prior to the pandemic. Working from home has resulted in positive improvements for many and an increased number of businesses are considering flexible working arrangements that suit both employees and employers.

For businesses, a reduced onsite headcount can result in considerable cost savings and a lower environmental impact too. Replacing physical meetings with virtual just one day a week could result in a daily saving of over £100 on travel costs, in addition to the environmental benefit of less vehicles on the road, thereby reducing an organisation’s carbon footprint.

ALD Automotive have put together a couple of guides to help businesses work out the overall savings they could make each year on their fleet costs through remote working.

How can fleets benefit from home working?

Changing business travel