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TR2Incentives for SBC's staff sustainable commuting

Progress

On time
  • Discussion
  • Not started
  • Initial scoping
  • Planning stage
  • Underway
  • Continuous
Decarbonising SBC's transport-related emissions includes reducing carbon emissions from business travel (such as those from the grey fleet used for operational purposes), and the modes of commuting of its workforce. Staff commuting refers to the transportation of employees between their homes and their workplaces. It includes various modes of travel, such as private, shared or hired cars, buses, trains, bicycling, and walking. Organisations usually track emissions related to employee commuting as part of their environmental impact assessments. The environmental impact of staff commuting is considerable, primarily due to emissions generated by individual vehicles, contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, organisations may start including and reporting emissions from employees working remotely.

Description

In attempt to reduce the carbon emissions generated by commuting, the Council has implemented various initiatives for staff. In addition to this, SBC ongoingly explores further potential initiatives or measures that could be taken to reduce emissions where possible. The Council has a Workplace Travel Plan 2020-2025 aiming to reduce car use by encouraging staff and councillors to use alternative modes of transport.

Currently, SBC has implemented the following schemes to promote sustainable commuting:

  • Smart Go Benefits - The Council is a member of SmartGo Stevenage which is a scheme which helps employers to encourage low-carbon transport for their staff, providing discounted workplace travel via several benefits. SBC staff can access discounts and incentives to help make commuting cheaper, easier, or healthier, including discounts on seasonal rail and bus tickets, bus passes, railcards, and offers to buy bicycles.
  • Cycle to Work Scheme - SBC also provides a bicycle salary sacrifice scheme, provided by the Green Green Commute Initiative. This enables staff to get a voucher for a bicycle or e-bike, and accessories, for up to £3,600, spreading payments over up to 36 monthly salary deductions from their gross pay.
  • Bike Storage & Maintenance Facilities - The Council provides bike storage at Daneshill House with space for 6 bicycles and additional storage at Cavendish for staff that commute to work, alongside showering facilities to promote cycling commutes. Six maintenance stands have been installed within Stevenage to ensure those who are cycling have access to tools needed to complete any repairs whilst cycling.
  • In attempt to encourage sustainable commutes and generate income, SBC has limited staff car parking at St George’s MSCP only. The 2023 Staff Travel Survey has also assessed staff views on reducing the number of free car parking days in line with their working patterns.

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Tasks

What are we doing?

  • Todo05/2024

    SmartGo Stevenage Membership

  • Todo07/2024

    Cycle to Work Scheme implementation

What has been done?

  • Done05/01/2024

    Conduct a staff survey to assess commuting baseline

    Assess the current scenario of SBC staff travel for council business and commuting via a newly updated Staff Travel Survey. The survey results will demonstrate how often officers travel on council business, chosen modes of transportation for doing so, and the reasoning behind that choice of transportation. The survey will also allow us to assess staff commuting frequency and modes of transport. Altogether, the results will input analyses for updating SBC current incentives for sustainable travel.

  • Done31/12/2019

    Produce a Workplace Travel Plan 2020-2025

    This plan aims to reduce car use by encouraging staff and councillors to use alternative modes of transport. As a large employer in Stevenage, the Council is keen to minimise the negative impact that over-reliance on car travel by its officers and councillors can have on the environment. An initial staff survey revealed that over three quarters used a car to get to work. As the majority of staff do not live far from the office there is considerable scope for an increase particularly in the proportion of people walking and cycling. Through this plan, the Council aimed to demonstrate what benefits moving to alternative modes of transport can bring and take some simple actions to make these choices more attractive.

Summary and contacts

Timeline

Continuous

Portfolio Holder

Strategic Themes

Engagement type

Information updated 05/07/2024