With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.
We all know that biking to work is a great way to cut back on carbon emissions. But in case a trimmer waistline and a lighter footprint isn’t enough motivation for busy commuters, a growing number of companies are sweetening the deal with perks and incentives designed to get employees pedaling. Here are five of our favorites.
1. Clif Bar
Clif Bar, which employs more than 300 employees at its Emeryville, Calif. headquarters, takes bike-to-work incentives to a whole new level. The company’s Sustainability Benefits Program includes an incentive of up to $500 to buy or repair a commuter bike. Employees who walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation to work can also earn points for each trip — redeemable for rewards like cash, massages and Clif gear.
2. New Belgium Brewing
Cars are a rare sight to see at New Belgium Brewing‘s flagship brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. It will likely be the same story at its new location in downtown Ashville, N.C., and it’s not hard to see why.
After a year on the job, each New Belgium employee receives a free limited release Fat Tire Cruiser bike, in honor of the company’s best-selling Fat Tire Amber Ale. Employees can also borrow a cruiser for local errands and lunch breaks.
3. Honest Tea
Headquartered in in Bethesda, Md., organic beverage maker Honest Tea gives its employees who either bike or walk to work $27.50 extra in their paychecks monthly. In addition, in the summer of 2007, the company bought each of its then 52 employees Jamis bikes.
The company’s president and ‘TeaEO’ Seth Goldman bikes about a mile to work every day, so he understands the perils of the bicycle commuter. When the company moved into its current office building back in 2007, Goldman insisted on having showers installed in the bathrooms — an unsung perk we’re sure his bike-to-work employees (and those who share their working spaces) are eternally grateful for.
Patagonia’s Drive-Less program provides a monetary incentive for employees to bike, walk, carpool or take public transit to work. It pays all U.S. and Canadian employees $2 per trip, up to two trips per day. Each employee can earn up to $500 (pre-tax) per year.
In the first year of the program, more than 900 employees participated. As a collective result, in that first year Patagonia employees drove 690,000 fewer miles, cut CO2 emissions by 500,000 pounds and saved 25,700 gallons of fuel.
5. Jamba Juice
Also headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., Jamba Juice provides some pretty sweet perks for peddlers. The company offers a set of bright orange loaner bikes for employees to use for errands and lunch breaks, as well as plenty of space for bike commuters to park their own rides.
The company has also developed an extensive wellness program that includes health insurance premium discounts in exchange for completing challenges — including participating in Bike to Work Day, attending a bicycle repair class or going on a practice ride. Jamba Juice has become known in the area for its bike-friendly ways and was named as one of the most bike-friendly businesses of the year by local advocacy group Bike East Bay.
Images courtesy of Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line blog
Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is an editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared on the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.