Event to help Scots businesses reduce their travel carbon footprint

Stirling Next Bike hub
Stirling Next Bike hub
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How can low emission transport help you reduce your carbon footprint?

This is the theme of a free event designed to help businesses in Scotland and their employees reduce their impact on the environment.

Registration and breakfast opens at 8am, with the event running to 11am.

To book your free place, visit https://bit.ly/2JKXAV9

Organised by the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards, in partnership with Green Business Fife, the business breakfast on 11 July at DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry Crossing, will feature real case studies, practical advice and sources of business support and funding.

“In Scotland, 37 per cent of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for by transport,” says Ellie Grebenik, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, which offers free energy saving advice and is a VIBES partner.

“Organisations and their employees can play a vital role in reducing this by switching to electric or hybrid vehicles and encouraging sustainable transport choices including walking, cycling and car sharing.”

Energy Saving Trust’s sustainable transport coordinators have provided bespoke transport advice to more than 3,600 organisations in Scotland.

As part of this advice offering, large organisations can request a sustainable transport review.

This free and impartial expert review of an organisation’s fleet and transport needs identifies, on average, annual savings of more than £95,000 and 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per organisation.

The business breakfast, entitled Cleaner Business Fleets: Reducing Your Transport Emissions, will hear from previous winners in the VIBES ‘Sustainable & Active Travel’ category, which recognises businesses that have achieved a significant, measurable reduction in their environmental impact through the introduction of sustainable transport practices.

These include Edinburgh-based sustainability consultancy Beyond Green, which has developed a sustainable travel policy to encourage active travel to work and to clients where possible.

“We reimburse staff for cycle mileage where they’re travelling for business and offer flexible working hours to accommodate travel requirements,” explains Oliver Byrne, sustainability advisor at Beyond Green.

“We have an office pool bike and bike storage and also offer bicycle repair kits and route maps. Instead of using personal cars, staff can hire cars for longer trips through Enterprise Car Club, with electric vehicles being prioritised if available.”

Another previous VIBES winner is Lothian Buses, which is improving the quality of its fleet through a fleet replacement programme.

“Lothian is committed to sustainable transport and our Bus2020 strategy sets out our plans to cut our emissions to reduce our impact on the environment, whilst ensuring we meet the Scottish Government’s 42 per cent climate reduction target,” says Lothian’s Environmental Officer, Claire McVicar.

“Since 2011, we have seen substantial emission reductions through the purchase of over 300 vehicles and the disposal of older vehicles. By the end of 2020, Lothian Buses will have removed 12,219 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 307 tonnes of nitrogen oxide emissions from the local environment.”

Travelknowhow Scotland (www.travelknowhowscotland.co.uk) is a free online resource which offers organisations across Scotland easy access to a wide variety of travel planning solutions to develop and implement workplace Travel Plans and to engage with employees to start changing travel behaviour within organisations.

“Encouraging your employees to use more active and sustainable travel methods as part of their daily commute will not only reduce your organisation’s impact on the environment, it also makes good business sense,” says Travelknowhow Scotland’ spokesperson Shona Drummond.

“Reducing reliance on the car and supporting more active and sustainable travel to and from work will help cut congestion, save the business and the individual money – and help to improve the overall health and wellbeing of your employees.”

Organisations presenting at the Cleaner Business Fleets event include the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, which promotes and develops Scottish expertise in fuel cells and hydrogen technologies, and TechnipFMC, an oil and gas technology specialist which prioritises sustainability across its business.

The event is part of the 20th anniversary year of the VIBES Awards.