With climate high on the agenda at the G7 summit in Cornwall, the government has launched a plan to get small and medium-sized businesses in on the journey to net zero.
The ‘Together for our Planet’ campaign calls for SMEs to pledge their commitment to net zero by 2050 or sooner. And with changes in work commuting patterns brought on by the pandemic, investing in a cycle to work scheme might just be one of the tickets to reaching net zero.
Electric Bike Access has released a new study on what switching to a cycle to work scheme could mean across the working life of the average UK employee. Whilst not everyone has the luxury of living close enough to work to cycle, those who do can see massive savings over a period of time. And companies also reap the benefits of financial and emissions savings, as well as a more energised workforce.
In the study, it was found that driving commuters generate 4321.77kg of CO2 over the course of a working life (39.4 years according to the World Economic Forum). Cyclists on the other hand would only generate 20kg of CO2. Rail commuters would generate 588kg of CO2, and bus riders 244kg of CO2.
And that’s just the savings on the individual carbon footprint, without factoring in the cost of building the infrastructure and vehicles themselves. However, it would take a cyclist less time to recoup the footprint generated by their bike, whether electric or not.
Ed Pegram, Business Manager at Electric Bike Access, remarks on the findings:
“The pandemic has brought in major shifts in the way we work and the way we think about the daily commute. Not only does cycling to work encourage staff to put their health and wellbeing to the forefront, it can also help businesses meet environmental targets and make other savings. With the launch of the government’s Together for our Planet campaign and offices opening up to full capacity once again, we expect a marked pick-up of cycle schemes across the country, redefining the daily commute and business savings.”
Sarah Jordan, CEO at Y.O.U. Underwear, says of the government’s plan:
“We recently pledged to be Net Zero by 2030 via the SME Climate Commitment on the UK Business Climate Hub – but are hoping to achieve it much sooner than that! As a sustainable business it’s so important to us to take action against climate change and reduce our own environmental impact.”
“Our staff are already passionate about the environment, so we’re all quite eco-friendly in our WFH life including not printing, reducing car journeys and finding more sustainable forms of travel where possible. We are also planting trees and supporting offsetting projects in conjunction with working on our supply chain and digital sustainability. We want to make real, actionable change in our business beyond the more high-level work the government currently recommends.”
The study also delved into the other savings cycling commuters gain compared to their colleagues in terms of time and physical costs. A whopping 284,335 hours were wasted in delays on UK rail in 2019/2020! Drivers lose 2 hours on motorways and 10 hours on A-roads across a given year.
For more information on the hidden benefits and savings of cycling to work, please read the EBA blog: https://ebikeaccess.co.uk/blog/cut-smes-carbon-footprint