Incentivizing Green Commutes for Employees

Panasonic North America is incentivizing green commuting habits among its employees, resulting in significantly higher public transit usage.

After moving its North American headquarters to downtown Newark, New Jersey, Panasonic has incentivized sustainable commuting habits by providing 50% discounts on public transit and no longer offering employees low-priced rates for parking. To encourage employees to shift habits, the company organized practice runs for potential transit riders and manned nearby transit hubs to guide employees from the station to the new office.<sup>1</sup>
As a result of these actions, the share of the company employees taking solo drives to work has dropped from 88% before the move to 36% today. Equally impressive, the share of employees who ride public transit to work has increased from 4% to 57% since moving offices and implementing transit incentives. Ultimately, the company aims for this number to reach 75% in the near future, equivalent to removing about 430 cars from the roads during rush hour every day.<sup>2</sup>  <sup>3</sup>

Relevance of solution

While governments are often the entity that builds greener, more efficient transportation options in a city, businesses, like Panasonic North America, have the ability to help shift commuting habits by offering incentives and education programs and removing discounts for less sustainable options.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

According to the company, if it reaches its goal of 75% public transit commuting share, it would save nearly 568,000 liters of gasoline, and prevent 1,678 tons of CO2 emissions annually.4 

Social

Long driving commutes have been linked to poor physical and mental health.5 Taking transit instead can help improve these outcomes for employees.

Economic

Traffic congestion will cost the USA $186 billion a year in 2030.6 Promoting other commuting habits can significantly reduce these losses.


Sources

  1. Jaff e E. “How Panasonic Turned Car Commuters Into Transit Riders.” City Lab. (2015)
  2. Ibid. ()
  3. Larsen K. “Panasonic Sets New Employee Goal for Public Transit Use.” EnergyTrends. (2015)
  4. Ibid. ()
  5. Ding D, Gebel K, Phongsavan P, Bauman A, Merom D. “Driving: A Road to Unhealthy Lifestyles and Poor Health Outcomes.” PLoS One. 9(6). ( 2014 )
  6. Inrix. “Economic & Environmental Impact of Traffic Congestion in Europe & the US.” (2014)
  7. Photo © Daveynin ()