The government has recently announced a plan to reduce energy consumption across the country and improve the nation’s carbon footprint. Amongst these plans are incentives for those who produce energy for the national grid, and other measures to encourage people to insulate their homes effectively.
One of the major producers of pollution in this country is transport, and the most common journeys are those we take every day when we go to work. It is often thought that the decision to cycle or walk to work rather than drive is one that is made in the minds of the workforce. Whilst this is broadly true—no one is going to walk if they don't want to—at the same time companies have a responsibility to make it easy for their employees to take alternative means of transport to and from work.
If we are to significantly reduce the amount of energy we use as a nation, our employers have to help. Simple measures such as making sure that there are shower and changing facilities in the workplace for those who cycle or walk, as well as facilities for staff to lock away their bikes in a safe place and vital if people are to be encouraged to leave their cars at home.
Another idea that could be particularly effective is one that Kwik Fit Insurance (for more info on their car insurance policies visit their website) has recently introduced. They commissioned an in house survey to check postcodes and gauge the viability of introducing a car share scheme, as well as matching up those employees who declared an interest. Not only, in fact, is this a good idea for the environment, but by people using their cars less regularly they also save on all sorts of things ranging from fuel to car insurance premiums.
Saving is at the very heart of the environmental issue. It is impractical to suggest that people will make fundamental changes to the way they act unless they are given a large enough incentive. For employees it might be saving money on transport costs, for companies it is saving huge sums of money from simple things like ensuring that computers are turned off at the end of the day, or that printers are default set to double sided printing.
Ultimately, the choice is down to the individuals—some will choose to drive no matter what—for the majority, however, being environmentally friendly is important, but it is a matter of ease and convenience and for that reason if a genuine impact is going to be made then the buck rests with the businesses to make the changes necessary and lead the way.