A green building and sustainability consulting firm, for Paladino and Company, “supporting and promoting alternative commuting options” is part of their DNA.
With thirty-one percent of staff already bicycling to work, the firm sought BizCycle certification “to verify through a third party rating that we are walking the talk”. So how did they measure up? Paladino demonstrated that identifying the low-hanging fruit to improve the company’s support for bicycling didn’t have to be difficult or expensive. After estimating a Silver score, a little internal preparation yielded golden results. BizCycle awarded Paladino and Company 37 credits out of 50 possible to be certified as a Gold level BizCycle workplace. Here’s what Paladino had to say about the firm’s certification experience:
Q. Why did Paladino and Company seek certification?
A. Paladino supports Cascade Bicycle Club’s mission to create a better community through bicycling, and we were interested in demonstrating a leadership position as a cycle-friendly organization by becoming one of the first companies to achieve a BizCycle rating.
We are moving to a new office in the fall of this year, and the certification process provided the chance to fully understand how to optimize our new space for cyclists while we are still in the design process.
Q. Did you make any changes before or during the certification process?
A. We were pleased to find we could achieve Silver without implementing any changes, but we wanted to go for the Gold! The certification process allowed us to see where we could make improvements. These included:
-Creating a bike club and actually tracking the number of cyclists in the office
-Issuing a survey to identify challenges and barriers, and interest in programs
-Increasing internal and external communications, including developing a staff bike club newsletter (‘The Dirt’) and SharePoint site, and adding cycling directions to the office on our external web site
-Transferring Bike to Work Month coordination from HR to a cross-team group of staff to build community through active participation
-Developing a short-term and long-term bicycle plan for the office to ensure that we continue to build on our successes and measure progress
-Offering in-house bike info/maintenance classes and creating a bike tool kit for staff use
Q. What would you say is the biggest challenge to encouraging bicycle commuting to Paladino?
A. We have the infrastructure and the culture. Per our survey, two barriers for those not cycling today are urban traffic and distance (over three miles). Our goal is to encourage more people to be brave enough to try bike commuting a few times. Once they feel confident and safe, understand which routes work best, and realize the distances are manageable, they’ll be hooked.
Q. What has been your biggest success? What drives the bike culture at Paladino?
A. Our biggest success has been further building awareness of bike commuting and creating a sense of community. We recently held our first official bike club lunch & learn, where we discussed the BizCycle certification, shared the bike survey results, and demonstrated how to change a flat tire.
Our bike culture is a natural extension of our employees’ commitment to sustainability. BizCycle certification is a powerful internal validation of our efforts encouraging employee engagement.
Q. Moving forward, does Paladino have any long-term changes in mind as a result of going through certification?
A. As mentioned above, we are designing our new office space now, and certification has made us more aware of cyclists’ needs. This awareness will be brought to the design so that we can accommodate our 34% bike mode split goal and more.
Congratulations to Paladino and Company on Gold level certification. Keep up to good work! Whether your company is already bike-friendly or looking to become more so (or both!), BizCycle certification is simple and effective. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today or visit bizcycle.cascade.org to learn more.