About Smarter Travel Workplaces
Smarter Travel Workplaces is a public awareness programme working with large employers to implement voluntary workplace travel plans. A growing number of Irish employers are engaging in Smarter Travel, working with their employees to facilitate travel choice in favour of more sustainable transport, resulting in reduced costs, enhanced employee wellbeing, better access and more effective parking management.
If your organisation would like to find out more about implementing a workplace travel plan, you’ll find some useful resources on this site, as well as Partner Success Stories and information on our Partner Package offered free of charge to Partner workplaces.
What is a Workplace Travel Plan?
Workplace travel plans are a package of measures aimed at reducing the need for an individual to travel alone by car. They comprise of actions to promote walking, cycling, public transport, carpooling, the use of technology instead of travel, or flexible working practices.
Why are Workplace Travel Plans relevant for my Organisation?
Employee travel can often be an invisible cost for an organisation, in terms of both time and money.
Workplace Travel Plans consist of a package of measures which, if implemented, support more sustainable and cost-effective travel habits among employees, clients and visitors. These plans usually focus on employee commuting, but can extend to business travel, fleet management and freight transport if these are significant activities for an organisation. There are a number of benefits to an organisation implementing a Workplace Travel Plan, as outlined below.
Making the Business Case for a Workplace Travel Plan
There are significant benefits for an employer effectively promoting more sustainable travel, including:
- Reduced costs associated with providing car parking for employees or visitors;
- Reduced business mileage costs;
- Reduced staff downtime spent travelling on business;
- Reduced pressure on parking spaces so they are available to those with most need;
- Enhanced employee wellbeing and teambuilding opportunities;
- Reduced carbon emissions associated with travel;
- Land formerly under parking released for more productive purposes;
- Safer and more fuel-efficient fleet driving;
- Increased accessibility to the employer’s site for employees, visitors and suppliers;
- Enhanced corporate image and ‘Green’ profile;
- Compliance with planning permission conditions;
- Reduced absenteeism; and
- Reduced employer’s PRSI payments (through Cycle to Work Tax Saver ticket for public transport schemes)
Workplace Travel Plans make business sense, with some of the biggest employers in Ireland, the UK and internationally undertaking them as a core business management strategy. These organisations are market leaders, and regularly receive accreditation and awards recognising their achievements in this area, including for example, ISO14001, Best Workplaces in Ireland, Green Awards and Chambers Ireland Awards.
Internationally workplace travel plans have been shown to reduce single-occupant car use by 10-24%, with the reduction depending on the extent of the travel plan and site-specific issues. This reduction in car use can represent significant cost savings to an organisation, in terms of both money and employee time.
While workplace travel plans can include some ‘hard’ measures (e.g. infrastructure such as cycle parking, cycle lanes, showers or lockers), they are primarily focused on ‘softer’ measures (e.g. promotion, marketing, events). Many of the actions in workplace travel plans are low-cost, but highly visible, and contribute to a culture of sustainability within the organisation.
Read more about implementing a Workplace Travel Plan.
Even if employees makes a change for just one day every week, this represents a 20% drop in the employer’s parking requirements.