The Met Office encourages green travel. Car sharing is encouraged, as is walking to cycling to work. We have a fleet of modern, low-emission pool cars known as the White Fleet.
When we moved to Exeter, a Staff Travel Plan (STEP) was produced in conjunction with Devon County Council.
We did not want our workforce, which is in excess of 1200, to have a detrimental impact on the existing transport network. The associated GHG emissions were also considered.
We encourage sustainable transport. Staff who leave near each other are encouraged to car share; leading to reduced travel costs and GHG emissions.
Car sharers are given permits for parking spaces which are closer to the entrances.
We have a pool of 35 vehicles that form our white fleet. These are modern, low-emission vehicles, leased for periods of 3 years.
Staff are encouraged to use these for business travel. If a White Fleet vehicle is not available then staff are encouraged to use a hire car.
Staff normally only use their own cars as a last resort but staff with modern, fuel-efficient cars can gain approval to use their own upon proof of their vehicle's emissions.
We promote cycling to work, it is better for the environment and also leads to healthier staff.
The Met Office supports Cyclescheme. Staff can chose a bike and accessories up to the value of £1,000.
We buy the bike and loan it to the employee as a 'hire agreement'. The cost is deducted from the employee's gross salary over a period (typically 12 months).
Some of the pool bikes
At the end of this term employees have the option to buy the bike for a fair market value. A number of staff across the UK have taken advantage of this scheme.
We have a number of pool bikes at HQ and staff can borrow a bike to try before they decide to purchase their own. The bikes were replaced in January 2012. The bikes come in different sizes, for ladies and gents. We even have an electric bike and a fold up bike.
It is hoped that the fold up bike will be used on some business trips; it is easy to collapse and carry. The new bikes have been provided on a lease basis, which means that as well as being maintained regularly, they will be replaced each year.
We have a Met Office Bicycle Users Group (MOBUG) group which organises social trips at weekends.
People gives other examples of how our staff benefit from salary sacrifice.
At the Met Office we are proud to be working with Capita Business Travel.
We appointed Capita to achieve the following objectives:
We are dedicated to cutting our air miles
One of our targets for FY 10/11 was to reduce emissions due to air miles by 2% and we actually achieved a 21% reduction.
Staff are encouraged to look at alternatives to air travel.
In August 2011 a graduate summer placement student ran a campaign called Question, Avoid, Reduce.
This campaign encouraged staff to think twice about business travel options. Could an alternative means of transport be used or is the trip even necessary?
Video conferencing is an alternative which allows face to face contact with our customers etc.