Fonterra: cycling for wellbeing Fonterra

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Fonterra's commitment to supporting staff cycling culture led them to build impressive end-of trip facilities in their new central Auckland head office.

Building for cycling

Fonterra bike lock-up

In the basement of Fonterra Centre, the dairy company's Fanshawe Street headquarters, there is a 75m² dedicated space for staff who cycle.

The facilities include a secure, video-monitored bike cage, 108 steel lockers, and separate male and female changing rooms, each equipped with a drying room, 4 showers, 2 toilets, ironing boards, and hair dryers.

Designed by Jasmax Architects, an agency with a healthy and committed cycling culture, the lock-up sits in the company carpark and caters for up to 100 cycles hanging vertically either side of sturdy, 3-metre-long supports.

Cyclists enter using an electronic swipe card, park their bikes, and move through a connected corridor with lockers and changing facilities and an interior office access at the end.

"Building a new head office from scratch certainly had its advantages," says Anita Potgieter, Manager Global Facilities & Ways of Working.

"Jasmax had a pretty good understanding of what cyclists need at the end of their trip, and we were confident the new facilities would be well utilised. What we didn’t anticipate was just how popular the cycling to work option would be in this area."

Image: Fonterra's bike lock-up.

Supporting a healthy staff culture

Fonterra Centre is in the Wynyard Quarter, an area of Auckland where a 70/30 modal split is actively promoted (it is hoped 70% of those living, working and visiting the area will choose not to travel there by car). The building has just 189 car parking spaces, most of which are reserved for rental vehicle drop-offs, company cars, and pool cars.

Shortly after moving to the new office in 2016, Fonterra carried out a transport survey of 653 employees to find out more about how staff travelled to and from work, and to develop a company travel plan. They looked at where staff live, what days and times they usually enter and leave the office, when a vehicle is required to fulfill work commitments, modes of transport, cost, and opinions.

15% of staff indicated they were interested in participating in a cycle workshop.

"We employ 1450 staff at head office, however, several hundred often visit from out of town and arrive by car, shuttle or taxi," says Anita. "The bike park is packed full so we estimate at least 12% of our people are cycling, with a good many walking or taking public transport. We also participate in a bike-share rental scheme with neighbouring buildings where staff can cycle free for the first hour.”

While not actively promoting cycling to staff, Fonterra is committed to a global programme of employee wellbeing across a range of sites, from rural farms to city offices. The company works closely with Auckland Transport to support staff who choose to incorporate cycling in their daily lives.

“We encourage our staff to incorporate health and wellbeing in their daily lives, wherever they may be,” says Leah Potter, Global Wellness Programme Lead. “For many in rural areas, cycling is simply not an option. Here in Auckland, however, we do encourage our people to carpool, or take alternative transport options.

She says providing high quality end-of-trip facilities is all part of that commitment.

“Our people are very busy and if they can incorporate physical activity into their journey to and from work, that’s a win for us as an employer.”

About Fonterra

Fonterra is a farmer-owned dairy co-operative headquartered in New Zealand. It is the world’s leading milk processor and dairy exporter. 

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