AECOM's move to a new 5-star, green-rated building in central Auckland reinvigorated their travel planning. They won a 2014 Commute Award.
Planning before the move
Before the move from Newmarket to the new office in Mahuhu Crescent, AECOM surveyed its 320 Auckland employees to establish a baseline and see what opportunities existed for changing their mode of travel.
Moving to a new building with strong environmental credentials made it easier for AECOM to get management support to reinvigorate their travel plan and review their facilities prior to the move.
The new building had limited car parking, but being an easy 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from Britomart meant public transport would be an option for many people. The new office also offered bike parking facilities, lockers, showers, and a towel service.
The AT Commute (now Travelwise Choices) team then delivered a travel expo to AECOM's employees and gave them information on their travel options to and from the new office. "Having AT's support and the resources they provided meant that we didn’t have to start from scratch," says Sarah Dove, AECOM's Travel Plan Co-ordinator.
After the move
Once AECOM had moved to the new location, eligible staff participated in a public transport trial and others interested in carpooling were encouraged to sign up to the national carpooling programme.
Sarah Dove says: "Fitting in with the ethos of being a green building, we obtained a grant to provide a public transport subsidy to our staff and having the information they needed in advance was really useful. From our pre-move baseline, we managed to go from 19% of people using public transport to 39% of people at our new location.”
The cost of staff travel to meetings has also been reduced, as many now walk or use public transport. The company provides AT HOP cards for business use and staff umbrellas are available at reception.
Cycling as an option
Before the move, staff interested in cycling to work received cycling information, resources, and journey-planning advice.
Given the excellent cycle facilities in the new building, cycling has been easy to promote and a year after the move, cycling is the main way to get to work for about 10% of staff. Even more have indicated that they cycle a few days a week.
“There are around 30 bikes parked in our building every day and the number of people cycling is really increasing," says Sarah.
AT's commute team has delivered bike maintenance sessions for staff and a breakfast was organised to encourage and reward all cyclists.
AT recently provided 2 fleet bikes in a 2-month trial.
Image: AT delivering a bike maintenance session.
Sarah says that one of the biggest successes is a change in communications and environment. Combined with a move to a green building sustainable, opting for public transport is now seen as ‘walking the talk’. There has been a culture shift in the organisation to give greater consideration to green thinking, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
She says having an in-house coordinator is essential to get buy-in from different departments around the organisation and to provide regular and consistent communication.
AT's help in providing ideas, materials, and guidance enabled AECOM to bring their travel plan to life. "They supported us through the process and were ready to answer our questions, providing good examples and lessons learned, which helped to sustain and grow our travel plan,” Sarah says.
AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water, and government.
In New Zealand, AECOM has offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.