Four simple ways to encourage employees to bike to work!

biking to work

Joseph Byer leading the pack to celebrate Softchoice’s 2012 listing as one of Canada’s Greenest Workplaces by Maclean’s magazine!

It’s no secret that in North America, more and more commuters are choosing two wheels instead of four, or giving up their transit pass to avoid the crowded subways and busses. There are many more reasons than just traffic frustration as well including health benefits both physical and mental.

Aside from the reasons on the personal level, there’s no shortage of reasons for companies to promote the use of the bicycle as an efficient means to get to work every day.  For that to work, there are some things to consider that will encourage those would-be cyclists to drop the excuses and start pedalling!

As a year-round bike commuter, I’m lucky to to work for a company that not only provides shower facilities but also has a very casual dress code for regular in-office work days. Occasionally I may have to “suit up” to meet clients, but for the most part jeans and a T-shirt are perfectly acceptable.

So what can other business do to make it easier for employees to choose the cycling option?

[Read more…]

Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program

Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality

Just some of the Softchoice green crew who bike to work every day.


In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting.

But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public transit to using their own two feet – all part of our company incentive program that encourages employees to travel green.

Long-time Softchoice employee, Joseph Byer, takes advantage of the Green Commute program almost every day. “I often wish my trip was longer,” he says. “When the weather is nice, I purposefully take the scenic route. I also like taking my bike out over lunch and getting some extra fresh air.”

Softchoice isn’t the only one. Many companies also support ‘greener’ commuting through providing various programs, including: [Read more…]

CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.

Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy.

Just like the hard-working beaver, employee commitment makes a huge difference in the environment!

This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the list, but employee involvement is driving the success of their sustainability programs.

This isn’t surprising. As with many workplaces, engaged employees are the internal change agents, fueling innovation and success of many programs. According to GreenResearch’s 2012 Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, staff engagement is one of the top two sustainability trends for 2012 – simply because “engaged employees make things happen”. They are the “make-it-or-break-it” factor. [Read more…]

It just got easier to bike to work!

Want to bike to work. but worried about the safety of your bike? Well, today the Liberty Village Business Association released their new Bike Here! program which launches twelve new bicycle racks, and three clusters of secure storage lockers, to make Softchoice’s neighbourhood friendlier to cyclists.

The twelve new bicycle racks are far from the ones you are used to, they are artist designed pieces, reflecting the creative spirit of the community. The designs were submitted late last year to the Bike Here! Committee, and those designs are featured on the central panels of the new racks.

[Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 5: Adventures on the TTC

Congratulations Softchoice! We have reached the fifth and final day of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we have done very well! Today we’re going to go over the most infamous yet the most popular way of  commuting in the city of Toronto: The TTC. 

It’s rough and tough, all over the media, and people complain about it more than anything in this city. However, the TTC gets us from point A to point B and back seven days a week. It moves millions. Drivers work to ensure passenger safety and work as a team to keep passengers fully aware of any delays and problems. With an operation so large, it’s no doubt that there will be problems.  Today we talked to Adam Wolfson, Jay Lee, and Heather Reilly about their adventures on TTC.

Adam takes the TTC everyday for approximately 30 minutes to work each way which comes to about 300 minutes a week!  “I don’t really enjoy much about the TTC to be honest, but the fact that it’s an environmentally friendly way to travel around the city makes it well worth it.”

Heather takes the TTC daily as well and thinks it carries some benefits for it’s riders. “The expense of a monthly TTC metropass is much less than the total cost I would have had with a car: parking costs at my apartment, car lease payment, insurance, gas and maintenance costs for a car,” she says. “If you’re able to commit to public transit or carpooling to get to and from work, it’s an easy way to make an environmental impact and help lower the amount of pollution a single car can emit.”

[Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 4: Let’s Carpool it

Alright Softchoice, today is day four of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we are simply rockin’ it! Everyday this week we have been featuring a radical new way to get to work and save the environment at the same time. So far we’ve covered walking, biking and taking the GO train. Today we’re going to tell you about the option of carpooling, featuring some of our very own carpooling superstars: Ben Ball, Jeff Parmenter, Sonya Vasdev, and Esha Kumar.

Since the gas prices have gone up dramatically in the past few years, carpooling has become a much cheaper and environment sustaining option for many people. Ben and Jeff carpool together everyday and will continue this fabulous method of transport during the challenge. ” The distance is not bad at all. It depends on traffic, but between 25-45 minutes, compared to an hour plus commute through transit,” says Ben.

Ben and Jeff both prefer the carpooling to any other method due to some interesting experiences [Read more…]