Employer Options for Reducing Commuter Energy Consumption
As an employer, you can't operate without your employees. Unfortunately, their commute has an energy and environmental impact, and if you are working to improve your business' environmental footprint this is one area that may feel hard to address. Fortunately, you have several options available to reduce the amount of energy – and resultant environmental impacts - of how they come to work every day through smart planning, incentives and educational programs.
One place to begin is to examine your parking …
Does your facility/parking currently …
- Encourage carpooling with premium spots?
- Have good & safe access to nearby public transit?
- Provide safe & secure bike parking?
- Prevents a heat island effect (thereby decreasing your A/C needs)?
- Slows run-off and allows for infiltration during rain events?
- Have full-cut-off light fixtures to prevent light trespass?
- Have landscaping to prevent reflections onto the building from vehicles?
If you can't answer Yes to all the above, that means you have some opportunities for improvement, keep reading below. And if you can, you still may want to check the PA Commutes website for more great options!
You have opportunities - By creating special parking for carpoolers and alternative fuel vehicles – shady spots or those closest to the door – and providing educational materials for your staff about the benefits, with little cost you can encourage staff to change their driving habits and choices. If your site has nearby public transit, offering pick-up service by staff that are already on the way by can help with concerns about inclement weather. Next, look at PA Commutes…
You answered all "Yes" – The "PA Commutes" website is your central location for information about rideshare, shared-ride, public transportation, biking and walking. There you can also link to your local Transportation Management Association (there are 18 throughout the state) who can provide travel analysis for your staff, connect you with transit checks - an incentive you can offer employees and either subsidize their public transit use OR allow them to fund via pre-tax dollars, and more.
Other parking energy and environmental issues – Parking lots contribute to both energy usage and environmental problems. Check out the building envelope page for information on reducing heat islands. Go to our lighting page to find information to reduce glare and wasted energy while increasing safety of your staff. And take a look at our water program pages for best management practices to reduce stormwater runoff.