Interest in sustainability and the environment has risen sharply in recent years, including in the corporate world. Businesses are aware they need to become more sustainable in order to save the climate. In addition, a large part of the workforce in the Netherlands prefers to work for an employer who prioritises sustainability. Unsurprisingly, offering environmentally friendly employment conditions is a hot new trend. Bas Bogerd, mobility consultant at XXImo, shares five examples of sustainable policies that employers can include in their benefits package:
- Green leasing scheme
Employees are only offered a vehicle via the leasing scheme if they need it for work purposes, such as visiting customers. As an added requirement, the vehicle should be electric. Petrol- or diesel-fuelled cars are not allowed.
- Green travel expenses scheme
Reimburse public transport costs in full and give employees who walk or cycle to the office the tax-free mileage allowance (as of this year, that amounts to €0.21 per kilometre). As an employer, you can even decide to increase the mileage allowance to make the benefit even more attractive. What about drivers? Reimburse electric car drivers 100 percent, while other drivers receive only a partial reimbursement or none at all.
- Green mobility scheme
Provide employees with a mobility solution (card or app) they can use to access sustainable forms of transport for their business travel, such as public transportation, public bike-sharing, park&ride sites, electric bike-sharing, and car-sharing. Do not facilitate or reimburse any other modes of transportation. This reduces overall distance travelled by car and offers increased flexibility at the same time.
- Green bicycle scheme
Provide employees with a company bicycle. The bike leasing scheme is fiscally attractive, since employees pay only a very small added tax. In addition, there are no restrictions on private use of the bicycle. An electric bike is a sustainable alternative for shorter car trips, since nearly half of all employees live less than 15 kilometres from the office! You can also gift the bicycle as a benefit-in-kind, which is covered by the work-related costs scheme (WKR).
- Green holiday scheme
If your employees get to their holiday destination by train or bike, give them two extra days off. This will motivate more of your employees to choose sustainable holiday travel, which results in lower carbon emissions.
By supporting employees in making sustainable choices, businesses are working towards achieving their sustainability goals as well as improving their image. Sustainable employment policies also make a positive contribution towards meeting the legal requirements imposed on large employers. Just one example is the mandatory carbon-reporting that takes effect in 2024. To comply with the Environment and Planning Act, employers with one hundred or more employees will be required to report annually on all kilometres travelled by employees for work purposes or while commuting. It is important that businesses start preparing now and stimulate sustainable travel habits among their employees.