Encouraging low-emissions employee commuting

Insights from sustainability expert Nina Griffith

Mission Zero hosts numerous climate change workshops throughout the year. In May 2024, our first Behaviour Change session featured several round-table discussions led by professionals experienced in sustainable transport, energy, waste, and procurement.

In her former role as HealthPost‘s Impact & Sustainability Lead, now independent consultant Nina Griffith was instrumental in helping the organisation achieve B-Corp certification in 2023. This major transformational process included significant behaviour shifts in the way staff commuted to work. We invited Nina to steer the workshop’s round-table discussion on Employee Commuting.

Nina highlighted the importance of data capture as a starting point for reducing emissions from employee commuting. Facing the complexity of disparate work sites – with HealthPost having 70 employees in Collingwood and 20 in Auckland – Nina leveraged existing infrastructure to survey staff. By adding a ‘commute-related’ question to daily timesheets, she was able to accurately track commuting patterns over time and generate meaningful reports.

She then focused on meeting employees where they were, promoting several alternatives to driving, such as:

  • Flexible work-from-home days
  • Carpooling
  • Public transport
  • E-biking
  • Collaboration with other existing business partners – e.g. she looked into options for sharing e-transport charging infrastructure with NZ Post

Workshop attendees shared additional strategies, including:

  • Awarding a $25 per week allowance to ‘active travellers’ (employees who walked or biked to work)
  • Providing ongoing encouragement to work from home

Nina’s initiative, and HealthPost’s swift adoption of lower-emissions commuting practices, took about six months to implement and resulted in a significant reduction in the company’s Scope 3 carbon emissions within the first year.


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