About Smarter Travel Workplaces
Smarter Travel Workplaces is a behaviour change programme working with large employers to implement voluntary Workplace Travel Plans that promote and encourage sustainable and active commuting.
A growing number of Irish employers are engaging in Smarter Travel, working with their employees to facilitate travel choices in favour of more sustainable transport – resulting in reduced costs, enhanced employee wellbeing, better access, and more effective parking management.
You can see a list of our Smarter Travel Workplace Partners as well as a selection of Success Stories by visiting Smarter Travel Workplace Partners.
What is a Workplace Travel Plan?
A Workplace Travel Plan is a package of measures aimed at reducing the need for an individual to travel alone by car. The travel plan comprises actions to promote walking, cycling, public transport, carpooling, car sharing, and 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;
- Compliance with planning permission conditions;
- Reduced absenteeism and
- Reduced employer’s PRSI payments (through Cycle to Work and Taxsaver 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, Ireland’s Best Workplaces, Green Awards and Chambers Ireland Awards.
Internationally, Workplace Travel Plans have been shown to reduce single-occupant car use by 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 can be focused on ‘softer’ measures (e.g., promotion, marketing, events). Many of the actions in these plans are low-cost, but highly visible, and contribute to a culture of sustainability within the organisation.