The National Business Travel Network (NBTN), created by the Department for Transport (DfT), promotes sustainable travel plans as a way for businesses to address the challenge of tackling climate change while maintaining profitability.
The network is part of the cross-Government climate change campaign, Act On CO2.
According to the DfT, transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and commuter and business travel constitute nearly 40% of miles driven by car.
An effective travel plan, it says, can reduce commuter car travel by up to 30%.
“Smarter alternatives and flexible working practices can help alleviate congestion on our transport network by taking cars off roads while significantly reducing companies’ carbon emissions,” said David Frost, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce.
“Our annual transport survey shows that many businesses are already engaged in smarter and more sustainable transport solutions, either through flexible working or the use of technology to allow remote or home working.” Many NBTN companies have seen an enthusiastic response from employees.
Financial giant HBOS has negotiated a rail discount for its employees, as well as encouraging other green initiatives such as car sharing and teleconferencing.
Ian Roe, senior corporate responsibility officer at HBOS, said: “The scheme is proving particularly successful.
“Green travel is something we’ve focused on for some time, since the 1980s, and it’s something we’re going to concentrate on in the future.”
Energy provider E.On has seen 15% of employees travelling to work by public transport and a further 27% via car sharing schemes after offering the incentive of cash rewards for sustainable travel.
However, so far the DfT has been unable to provide figures supporting the reduction of CO2 output as a result of the NBTN initiative.