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Walking the Talk as Pick Everard embraces Green Travel Plan

As one of the largest private sector employers located in the city of Leicester, architectural and engineering practice Pick Everard is stepping out in a new direction by developing a green travel plan.

Travel plans can offer real and tangible benefits not only to a business and its employees, but also to the surrounding community, potentially reducing rush hour traffic congestion in city centres, cutting pollution, so protecting the natural environment.

Any organisation building a new headquarters today would require a travel plan in order to gain planning permission. But as Pick Everard is housed in an existing city centre building, the move to develop a travel plan has been made voluntarily.

Pick Everard is developing its travel plan in consultation with both Leicester City and Leicestershire County Councils and with specialist support from Leicester-based Go Travel Solutions, a transport consultancy that develops and delivers sustainable transport solutions, serving businesses, transport operators and public bodies. Pick Everard has also offered to share and promote the benefits of its future travel plans with the wider business community through its membership of Leicestershire Business Voice, which has Pick Everard partner Alastair Hamilton on its board.

Andrew Bannister, environmental manager at Pick Everard explains, "Pick Everard is already providing expert advice to clients for making buildings more sustainable and for protecting natural environments so it's important for us that we also walk the talk. Pick Everard travelled 1.3 million miles on business last year, mostly by car. This equates to over 6000 miles per member of staff. "

A survey about travel using Pick Everard's intranet is to be carried out among staff to establish what is done now in terms of travel to work, frequency of travel on business, modes of transport used and to pinpoint any barriers staff face when travelling. In tandem, a number of options are being considered to lessen the impact of travelling into work by car; more home working, staff transport, car sharing and improved facilities for cycle storage. A raft of technology solutions such as video conferencing and mobile access are being considered too, where these would offer a suitable alternative to staff driving a car or booking a flight.

Bannister adds, "We've already taken significant steps to reduce the total number of business miles we travel each year and of course technology increasingly helps. But now we're looking for new ideas and faster ways to make reductions to our carbon emissions as a practice. And it's not just about carbon. There are other important benefits like better efficiency and less fatigue. We all spend too much time in our cars.

Email: helenwillson@mezzoconsultancy.co.uk


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