Twenty businesses have been celebrated for inspiring thousands of people across Greater Manchester to opt for more sustainable journeys to work.
The companies picked up gold, silver or bronze certificates from Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) Travel Choices team for encouraging employees to walk, cycle, car-share or take public transport.
Firms and organisations presented with gold certificates at the ceremony included intu Trafford Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Thales and Wigan Council.
Stephen Rhodes, Customer Operations Director at TfGM, said: “Thanks to the enthusiasm of organisations across the region, and our great team at TfGM, we’ve made great strides in encouraging more people choose more sustainable ways to travel, such as public transport, cycling or walking.
“We now have hundreds of members signed up to our Business Travel network, making a real impact on improving air quality, tacking congestion and increasing the health and wellbeing of those who live and work in Greater Manchester.”
Adopting policies such as flexible and agile working, and encouraging sustainable travel use, can help businesses save money and encourage healthier, more productive workforces.
There are now more than 600 businesses signed up to the free service, which also offers travel grants to pay for facilities or equipment, regular training workshops and one-to-one advice from an expert travel adviser.
Two additional awards were given on the day to organisations which have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, and increase, sustainable travel.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust received the Active Travel Award as they have seen the use of sustainable travel for the daily commute increase by 9%, to a point whereby nearly half of all staff travel to work sustainably.
Meanwhile, The University of Manchester won the Champion of Champions Award after carbon emissions for commuter travel dropped by 35% in the last five years, cycling and walking increased by 7% and student public transport use reached 45%.
Julia Durkan, Sustainable Campus Officer at The University of Manchester, said: “We’re really proud to have been awarded the Champion of Champions trophy.
“We’ve been implementing sustainable travel initiatives for over 15 years and have developed a package of incentives to encourage sustainable commuting behaviour, responsible business travel and reducing the impact of our fleet.
“We’ll continue to influence change, looking at flexible working and travel options, the impact of our travel and electric vehicles.”
Debbie Bell, Buildings Manager at HOME, which hosted the awards event and was awarded gold accreditation, added: “HOME is proud to have received the Travel Choices gold award. Through collaboration with the TfGM Travel Choices team and our staff we’ve been able to offer more sustainable options of travel, improving staff wellbeing and reducing our travel carbon footprint.”
The Travel Choices team was set-up five years ago to help organisations promote sustainable travel, resulting in business benefits and reducing the negative environmental impact of employee commutes and general business travel.
To find out more about Travel Choices’ offers to businesses and to sign-up to the network, go to www.tfgm.com/travel-choices/