Many businesses, whether by legal mandate, internal desire, or to save money, are seeking creative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Offsetting and making improvements on your facility are a great move, but then there’s the human component: You and your staff, how and where they work, and how they get there. Inevitably, bicycling to work is mentioned as an option.
Biking to work is a good idea. In theory. The reality can be much less appealing. Depending on your location, there may be minimal or no bike parking. You arrive to work sweaty. You may find your bike stolen at the end of the day. Your coworkers snicker behind your back.
Ok, perhaps not the last one, but the others are a real concern for most people, and a hindrance to more opting for this choice that’s beneficial in so many ways: reduced road traffic, emissions, space needed for parked vehicles, and health care needs of those who are doing the biking.
Brisbane Australia’s Penny Farthings has come up with an intriguing solution to all of these problems:
The Green Pod. In roughly the same space as one parking spot, this structure can hold 10 bicycles, 10 lockers plus spaces to shower and change, or 20 lockers, 2 showers, 2 changing spaces, no bikes.
It’s configured to allow for solar panels to be installed on the roof to power it, has a solar hot water heating system, card activated locking, motion sensitive LED lighting, a grey water treatment unit that can then discharge the water into areas it can be put to use, say irrigating plants or lawn on site.
And it even cleans itself. I’m curious what with, if that too is consistent with its sustainable approach.
In designing a facility that accomplishes so much with so little space, with the ability to be freestanding, no need for outside power, it allows for flexibility of placement without requiring additional construction resources/integration with other structures, save for the water supply.
And if your company uses a commercial parking lot, it doesn’t monopolize space that might be otherwise profitable to the parking lot operator. The worst you’d need do is pay for one parking space monthly. A small fee for an all around beneficial choice being made much more easy to choose.
The only hindrance to this is that it’s currently out of Australia, far from many places where it would most benefit. Partnerships in other countries perhaps?
Readers: What other innovative, efficient ways are you seeing for companies to become more sustainable?
Additional bike to work resources:
How to Bike to Work (Or Anywhere Else)
But Won’t I Stink if I Ride My Bike To Work?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media. Who he has and wants to work with includes consumer, media, clean tech, NGOs, social ventures, and museums.