Arup recently featured in a Business in the Community report, showcasing their excellent work to promote more sustainable travel to and from site. Their case study is summarised below.
Awareness Raising – A key part of Arup’s strategy on sustainable travel is raising awareness of the options available to staff. An internal Bike User Network hosts useful and interesting content for cyclists and cycling maps have been created around all of Arup’s offices. Walking routes have also been mapped to encourage active lunch times, in addition to the promotion of a number of Slí na Sláinte walking routes.
Facilities and Equipment – Arup provides a range of facilities which support active employee commuting. These include shower and changing rooms, lockers and clothes hanging facilities, a drying room and a daily supply of fresh towels.
Limited car parking facilities are available while 76 spaces are in place for bicycles. Five office bicycles are also available for staff use in the Dublin office, complete with a lock, helmet and hi-vis jacket, lights, panniers and drawing tubes.
Incentives – Incentives form an important part of the overall strategy with Arup enhancing the annual public transport tickets by 50-60% for staff above the government offering and the cycle to work scheme by 80% above the government scheme.
Activities – As a partner in the Smarter Travel Workplace programme, Arup has participated in a number of the activities which it promotes including the annual Pedometer Challenge and the ‘10 Minute Cycle Challenge’. As part of National Bike Week June 2012, Arup took part in the Cycle to Work Day, supplying a free breakfast for those that cycled in on the day and also linking in a travel survey on the day. In addition the Dublin office arranged for a bike servicing company to come on site to service staff members’ bikes.
Work-related travel – Efforts around work-related travel have centred on reducing the need to travel. Video conferencing has been a key tool here and Arup recently invested in an upgrade of all video conferencing units in their Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway offices. With nine video conferencing units across its offices, the capability is now in place to provide video conferencing with both high definition picture and sound quality. Live Meeting is also used in all offices to enable staff to collaborate online with colleagues and clients in real time, between either individuals or large groups.
The link between sustainable travel options and wellbeing is an important aspect for Arup. In support of this, the company runs a bi-annual full medical screening for all staff to identify silent illnesses (cancer, diabetes etc.) and increase wellbeing awareness among staff members. In addition, in recognition of the fact that the Dublin office shares the building with the Irish Heart Foundation, blood pressure screenings have also been offered.
Monitoring Success – Monitoring progress in green travel initiatives is very important to Arup and is done through undertaking travel surveys and by measuring the carbon footprint. Recent travel surveys have shown the overall mode share of Arup’s offices was very positive with 72% of employees using non-car based modes of travel already surpassing the targets from the Department of Transport policy document (Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future). In the Dublin office cycling was the main mode of travel for employees, with 28% of staff cycling to work on a regular basis. Approximately 28% of staff drive to work and 38% use public transport.
As part of the Arup Global Sustainability Strategy and the Arup Europe Region Sustainability Plan, all offices are required to measure their carbon footprint (including emissions from business travel). At 2.97 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced per employee per year, the Irish offices were below the European target of 3.5.
Future Plans – Arup intends to build on the success of its sustainable transport initiatives by constantly exploring new activities and initiatives; these include promotion of the Dublin Bikes Scheme when the station adjacent to the office becomes operational and staff trials of GreenAer electric bikes.