Green working conditions: the new trend
- 31 March 2023
Green working conditions
Financing home insulation projects or offering a travel allowance for people cycling to work instead of driving or taking public transport, may be advantageous to you. If you want to be a more environmentally conscious business, those are some benefits you can offer to your employees. More and more companies are starting to think about how to be more sustainable and make it attractive to work for them in terms of being an environmentally conscious business. Employees want to work for companies that care about the world and how their company affects the environment. In this blog post, you can read about why employers are becoming more environmentally friendly and how you can also bring in more employees by being greener.
Why are employers implementing green working conditions?
If you, as an employer, want your employees to follow in your green footsteps, then sustainability and healthy choices should be part of your company policy and hiring practices. One way you can do this is to have green employment conditions/options. These conditions/options help and encourage employees to make more sustainable choices. And best of all, you will look good as an employer because people want to see that you’re making the environment a priority and focusing on the things that matter to people.
Green schemes: what are they?
There are many different types of things that you can include in your employment terms and offerings. Here are six examples:
The only employees who can get a lease for a company car will be those who need the vehicle to do their job. In addition, the car must be electric, not petrol or diesel.
Employees who take public transport will be fully reimbursed. And employees who cycle or walk to work, offer them the maximum tax-free travel allowance allowed. (Right now, it’s €0.19 a kilometer. In 2023, it’ll be €0.21.) And for people who drive, offer a lower travel allowance or none at all.
Provide employees with the resources, such as a card or app, to use sustainable forms of transport/parking when they are on business trips. This can include things like public transport, rental bicycles, park-and-ride (P+R) parking, electric rental bikes, and shared cars. This way, employees can help the environment by not relying on cars so much, and they’ll have more flexibility.
Offer your employees a company bicycle. Instead of employees purchasing a bike from a bike shop or renting one from the train station, they can rent one from you instead. Your bicycle option should be more attractive to your employees. In addition, employees can take the bike home and use it for personal use.
An e-bike is also a great option for replacing short car rides or train rides. Did you know that almost 50% of employees live within 15 kilometers of the office? You can also choose to gift the bike to your employees instead of charging them for it. This can be charged to the WKR.
You can give your employees a budget every year that they can use to make their homes more sustainable. This could be buying solar panels, a heat pump, or installing insulation. Unfortunately, this is considered to be part of the employee’s salary, so it is taxable.
Are employees going on holiday by train or bicycle? Then give them one or two extra vacation days. This way, they will be motivated to go on holiday in a more sustainable manner, saving on CO2 emissions.
These are just some examples of sustainable options you can offer your employees and reasons to work at your company. You can also just think of your own green offerings and offer those to your employees. Focus on what is important to your company, and come up with green employment options that work for you.
Mandatory CO2 Reporting
The more you choose sustainable travel options as an employer and employee, the less CO2 emissions your company puts out. Therefore, if you decide to offer some of the green employment options above or offer your own, you help the environment and are aligned with every major employer's climate obligations and objectives.
For example, there is mandatory CO2 reporting: in order to comply with the terms in the climate agreement, employers with over 100 employees or more must report annually (starting from January 2024) the business and commuting kilometers of all of your company’s employees. You can already start preparing for this by offering more sustainable travel options.
Give employees more insight into their CO2 emissions
What else can you do in terms of sustainable travel? Share with your employees how the kilometers they travel impact the environment and how they can reduce their CO2 emissions. This way, they are aware of their environmental impact and will want to make more conscious and sustainable choices.
An app such as our Milo app from XXImo can help with this. And if you want to make sustainable travel more fun and attractive, you can use things like gamification. Make sustainable travel a competition between employees or whole departments.
Food For Thought
Before offering any green schemes or options, make sure you know what you want to offer, how it can be implemented, and how it’ll affect you and your employees. Think about the associated costs, especially if employees or you as an employer will have to pay higher taxes due to your green offerings. Make sure to consult with an expert before going forward.