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Living our Values: Sustainable Commuting

 

A favourite sight of mine at Momentum is a full rack of bikes in our indoor bike storage. We have several avid cyclists at Momentum, including a few hard-core year-round cyclists over the years (such as our founding Executive Director, Walter Hossli!).

One of Momentum’s core values is sustainability, which for us means that we consider social, economic and environmental factors in how we live and work. One way that we try to live out our value of sustainability is to promote and support staff to sustainably commute to work – by cycling, walking, car-pooling or taking transit. Since 2016, Momentum staff who commute sustainability receive a $5/day bonus to encourage sustainable choices. The commuting bonus also balances the benefit that many staff receive for free parking. In 2018, 42 out of almost 70 Momentum staff received a sustainable commuting bonus with a total of 2,203 sustainable commuting days.

We also try to encourage sustainable commuting by celebrating our efforts. For example, we hosted the ‘Green Way My Way’ awards that provided an opportunity for staff to highlight the good, bad and just plain boring ways to commute by walking, riding or taking transit.  The Green Way, My Way awards allowed us to celebrate the challenge of commuting sustainably since it is not always easy to take transit or bike to work in Calgary – like cycling to work in 100 km/hr wind or on the hottest day recorded in our city’s history. To participate in the awards, Momentum staff simply had to share their interesting, mundane and difficult sustainable commuting stories by photo, video or write-up to be eligible for a monthly draw prize over the summer.

We recognize that everyone can’t commute sustainably to work – especially not all at time. Personally, I’m a fair-weather cyclist and the level of extra-curricular activities for my kids makes it hard to ride my bike as much as I would like now. However, we believe it is important to try and that by encouraging sustainable choices we make a difference in our organizational carbon footprint (or reducing our organizational Green House Gas emissions).

Earlier this year, we were pleased (honored) to receive recognition for our sustainable commuting efforts as a finalist for an Emerald Award. The Emerald Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding environmental achievements across all sectors in Alberta. We are striving to become a leader in supporting employees to sustainably commute to work and we appreciate the recognition from the Alberta Emerald Foundation that we are on our way.  Thank you to all our staff who choose to commute sustainably and thank you to the Alberta Emerald Foundation for your environmental leadership!

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