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    Here is how a digital permit management system can help you encourage your staff to practise more sustainable travel!

    Incentivising behaviour change

    Sustainability has become an imperative for many organisations, and there are countless ways to make changes and become more eco-friendly. 

    As transport is one of the main causes of carbon emissions, staff commuting can have a significant impact on the overall sustainability status of an organisation. Ultimately, reducing the collective commuting emissions of your staff can help your organisation meet its sustainability goals. 

    An effective way to do this is by incentivising sustainable travel options, such as car sharing, public transport, and walking/cycling whenever possible. This would reduce the number of employees regularly driving their car to work, thus lowering travel emissions. 

    Benefits for employees

    Incentivising sustainable commuting doesn’t only help you as an organisation, it also brings a number of benefits to your staff: 

    • Car sharing can be a social activity that enables staff to get to know their coworkers and socialise on the way to work. 
    • Walking and cycling (either to the nearest train station or all the way to the office, if distance allows) are great forms of exercise that can improve physical as well as mental wellbeing. 
    • Working for an organisation that empowers employees to make more sustainable options can create a positive company culture and offer staff the satisfaction of contributing to the bigger picture. 
    • The potential cost savings that come from switching to public transport, car sharing etc. should also not be underestimated. 

    How a digital permit management system can help

    How can you incentivise sustainable travel using a digital permit management system? 

    The basic concept is simple: during the parking permit application process, your permit management system can empower you to filter and approve permits based on a sustainability score. 

    The sustainability score is a configurable view that helps you classify parking permit applications through a number of criteria. 

    For example: when a member of staff applies for a parking permit, your permit management system should automatically evaluate the application according to your configured criteria, and calculate a sustainability score.

    When considering a large number of permit applications, your software should then give you the option to auto-approve/bulk-approve/bulk-reject the permits, depending on your required score and rules around available parking spaces. 

    Thus, staff who have a higher sustainability score could receive a permit, and those with a lower score may not. Tips should also be communicated to applicants throughout the process on what they could do in order to improve their score.

    Examples of sustainability criteria

    There are a number of criteria that can help you promote behaviour change, and these are some of the ways in which Octopass helps you achieve this goal: 

    Vehicle CO2 emission 

    This refers to the ability to score a user’s vehicle emissions based on a configurable threshold. The approval process can favour vehicles which emit fewer emissions.

    Electric Vehicle (EV) permits

    Additional permit types can be created for EVs. If a user can be incentivised by price or designated parking bays to use an EV, this can further reduce emissions. 

    Public Travel Time 

    When the ‘public travel time’ feature is enabled, the system will utilise the user’s home address and end destination to calculate the total journey time that would be spent if the user’s commute was based on using public transport. A threshold can be set which will score if a journey is less or more than a specific amount of time.

    Distance to work 

    When the ‘distance to work’ feature is enabled, the system will utilise the user’s home address and end destination to calculate in miles the commute distance. A threshold can be set which will score the journey if it is less or more than a preset value, which can assist in the administrators approval process.

    Personal Travel Plan 

    Before applying for a parking permit, users have to complete a personal travel plan. All sustainable travel modes are presented to the user at the beginning of the process and can therefore encourage behaviour change. 

    For example, if a user has a bus/train route, cycle route, or is within walking distance of the office, the score will reflect this and this user will be unlikely to receive a parking  permit, thus encouraging the more sustainable travel options. 

    Car share permit

    Users can apply for a carshare permit type which can be incentivised by reduced cost or allocated bays. The number of shared car rides is visible to the administration team to ensure the users are meeting obligations set by the organisation – i.e must carshare at least 3 times a week. If obligations are not being met, permits may be cancelled, depending on the policy.

    We hope this article was a helpful tool for you to discover another way in which your organisation can become more sustainable. 

    Sustainability is one of our core values. Apart from helping our clients through features such as the ones mentioned above, we also practice sustainability in various other ways:

    • We are a paperless company
    • We are an Ecologi partner              
    • We are actively engaged and working with various local eco-friendly charities
    • We are a Social Enterprise UK supporting member

    If you’d like to learn more about how Octopass can help you meet your sustainability goals, please contact us and we’d be happy to have a chat!