In 2016 and 2017, architecture and design company Jasmax won their category in the Auckland Bike Challenge. The number of Jasmax staff cycling to work has more than doubled in the past 2 years.
Taking up the bike challenge
In 2016, Jasmax’s Auckland office - already passionate cyclists and sustainability advocates - registered for the inaugural Auckland Bike Challenge. 30 per cent of the office participated and they won first prize in their business-size category (200-499 staff).
During the challenge, the office held an in-house competition between teams (with prizes), organised lunchtime cycle rides, and bike maintenance sessions. The competition was fierce but friendly.
"The friendly inter-house competitiveness was a good motivator," says Managing Principal, Marko den Breems. "It was great seeing our Principals getting involved together as well,” he says.
A keen cyclist himself, Marko won the prize for top individual rider in the 2016 competition.
Shortly after the challenge, Jasmax staff formed a cycling club and set themselves additional goals, organising regular Sunday rides (from café to pub), and an unofficial team was formed to complete the 160-kilometre Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in November 2016.
Image: Jasmax Auckand staff.
Participating in the Auckland Bike Challenge has become an annual tradition for Jasmax.
This year, 121 employees took part, many of them new riders inspired to give biking to work a go. Together they clocked up over 14,000 kilometres on their bikes. Cycle maps provided by AT encouraged employees to organise lunchtime and weekend rides trying out different cycle paths across the city.
Jasmax employee Dawn McMath says: “It was surprising to see how accessible the city is by bike from west Auckland. I decided to borrow a bike, so I could take part in this year’s challenge.
"I also set myself a goal to bike into work at least once during the challenge. It’s a 15-kliometre ride from Te Atatu Peninsula to Parnell using the Western Cycle Path. For a new rider like myself it was a daunting task, but it ended up being really nice way to start and end a working day."
Growth of cycling
Taking part in the bike challenges has been a catalyst for the company. The number of employees who bike to work has steadily increased from 9% in 2015 to 20% in 2017. About 40 Auckland staff now regularly ride to work.
"Cycling is something that we encourage," says Marko. "It’s always been a popular pastime that’s been taken up naturally by Jasmax people.”
The increase has helped decrease Jasmax’s carbon emissions by 17% (when compared to the 2012 baseline), enabling them to meet their 5-year reduction target of 10%.
The Auckland office has installed additional bike racks, lockers, and showers to meet the demand.The office also offers staff the use of 2 e-bikes especially for visits to clients and suppliers.
Sustainability, fitness and fun
Jasmax’s ongoing support of cycling is further evidence of the company’s commitment to sustainability.
“We established our sustainability vision in 2008," says Marko. "This put us on a trajectory to incorporating sustainable thinking in everything we do, from our designs to our everyday actions.”
Jasmax aims to:
- Do more with less energy and fewer resources.
- Minimise waste and pollution.
- Work to enhance and support natural systems.
- Educate Jasmax people, the community, and its partners to deliver a sustainable future.
Jasmax is one of New Zealand’s largest architectural and design organisations, providing architecture, interior, landscape, and urban design services to clients across New Zealand. Jasmax has offices in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Tauranga.
The Auckland office is located in Parnell, conveniently close to the Quay Street, Beach Road, and Grafton Gully cycleways.