The Travelwise Choices Awards are an opportunity to celebrate organisations throughout Auckland who are committed to promoting sustainable travel within their workplace.
This year's Travelwise Choices Awards took place on 2 August 2018. The awards included presentations from sustainable business champions, including Tourism Holdings Ltd, Auckland Council and AA Insurance, Datacom and Tonkin & Taylor. 2018 winners were awarded across six categories, including walking, cycling, public transport and carpooling. Read more about this year's winners.
For the entry that, in the judge's opinion, was truly remarkable.
Winner - Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum has demonstrated their commitment to developing and implementing a comprehensive Workplace Travel Plan with impressive results, as well as achieving in the 'Pedal Power' and 'Match-making/carpooling' categories.
Despite their diverse workforce and relatively isolated city fringe location, the Museum has more than doubled the number of staff cycling to work in less than a year. The original July 2019 target of 5% has already been surpassed with 8% of staff cycling to work. The target has now increased to 13% by this time next year. The museum also launched its own carpool scheme and has 8% of staff carpooling and is well on the way to reaching its 14% goal.
They have done this through retrofitting the heritage building to add more bike parking, more showers, changing rooms, drying facilities and lockers. They also have 15 free reserved carpooling carparks, motorcycle and scooter parking in the underground carpark. They have held e-bike demo days and cycle training, given staff discounts and incentives including free coffee and keep cups, and have even introduced a guaranteed emergency ride home scheme.
The team there is fortunate to have very passionate sustainable transport advocates who have worked tirelessly promoting sustainable transport and developing the travel plan.
Sustainable Travel Champion Award
For that person in an organisation who goes the extra mile to motivate others, organise events, or actively promote travel options.
Winner - Matt Ensor, Beca
Matt Ensor is the Business Director of Advisory Services at Beca. A keen cycling advocate who actively promotes sustainable travel choices, he was one of the first to commute to Beca on an e-bike and promote their use and influenced the purchase of the organisation’s first Electric Vehicle. Matt developed and presented a business case tool, for example, to include electric vehicles as fleet vehicles in order to meet aspirations for emission reductions.
Matt worked through the complicated legal, risk, and signoff requirements associated with the Beca Health and Safety policy to enable all Beca staff to cycle for work-related business. He demonstrated that even with stringent health and safety requirements, perceived risks of cycling can be mitigated to acceptable levels.
Matt is a thought leader for sustainable transport and a current focus is on the potential for small stand-on e-scooters and e-bikes to be a viable alternative for commuting and the critical need to provide cycleway and path infrastructure to future proof our transport networks.
Highly commended - Sarah de Zwart, Business North Harbour
Over the last year, Sarah de Zwart has shown her dedication to the sustainable travel cause by personally speaking to more than 300 businesses to encourage them to look at how their staff are getting to work, and to consider introducing flexi-working to reduce congestion.
Sarah has run Travel Expos, promoted participation in the Auckland Walk Challenge and Auckland Bike Challenge, provided Corporate AT HOP cards to promote public transport use and arranged for transport articles to be run in the Business North Harbour quarterly magazine.
Think Outside the Car Award for Creative Excellence
An award is for an out-of-the-ordinary initiative or an outstanding campaign with an innovative approach.
Winner - GoodSense
GoodSense echoes its own business values by promoting flexi-working. With a team of 16, 14 staff work from home offices while two operate from shared office spaces. They walk/cycle/bus/train wherever feasible and schedule diaries to minimise transport in Auckland and out of town.
Events are planned near public transport services, video conferencing is used for meetings, and social media and other cloud apps are used to communicate with each other and clients.
GoodSense staff are constantly looking at ways to create strong personal interactions without having to travel, and have ‘trained’ their clients to be flexible with meetings to minimise travel.
Highly commended - Mott MacDonald
Mott MacDonald moved offices from the Auckland City Centre to the Mason Brothers Building in Wynyard Quarter in May 2017. The move was driven by range of factors including the Wynyard Quarter’s principles and targets of 70% of staff travel by sustainable modes.
Following the move, Mott undertook a staff travel behaviour survey to understand how the move has encouraged behaviour change in how people travel to work.
They found a near 40% decrease in private vehicle travel and a 50% staff increase in the use of sustainable travel modes. The number of staff cycling increased 11% to 21% and PT users increased 10%.
The company provides two e-bikes and there are end-of- trip facilities at the Mason Brothers Building for 30 Bikes, with showers, a towel service, lockers and changing facilities. Mott McDonald staff participated in the Auckland Bike Challenge and promote cycling to work and between meetings.
On Board Award
For a company with increased use of public transport.
Winner - Datacom
Datacom has continued to implement initiatives to increase the uptake of alternatives to single occupancy vehicle journeys, in addition to the incentives which were recognised in last year's awards.
Datacom converted all staff parking to a "user pays" regime with costs introduced incrementally over an 18 month period and saw continued attrition in terms of the number of managed carparks provided to staff. The company also introduced the Parkable app for remaining managed parking which further supported the reduction in parking requirements, as staff are able to book pool/released car parks for occasional use rather than retain a permanent managed car park.
These initiatives achieved tangible results. When Datacom re-surveyed its staff, they found that compared to the 2016 baseline, SOV journeys halved from 52% to 26%, and public transport use nearly doubled from 24% to 46%.
Highly commended - MRCagney
MRCagney is a Sustainable Transport and Urban Design consultancy. The company aims to deliver people better, more sustainable travel choices, and is passionate about making a positive, sustained contribution to the communities in it operates.
Almost all 16 staff commute using alternative transport modes, and with no company cars or car parks they walk, take public transport or bike. They have access to two company bikes, bike parking and a bike trailer, HOP cards and Cityhop car share.
Staff carpool for meetings out of Auckland, avoid unnecessary air travel and flexi work.
Based in O’Connell St, MRCagney petitioned to make the street car-free, and promote walking and public transport to nearby services and clients.
Pedal Power Award
For a company with an increased uptake in cycling.
Winner - Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum has more than doubled the number of staff cycling to work in less than a year and increased the membership of its AM Cycling group by 50%. In October 2017 3% of staff cycled to work and by July 2018 that number had increased to 8%.
They invited their people to help design then built a new extended bike cage with dedicated 'future proofed' e-bike parking and charging stations, re-purposed 20 lockers for staff, and provided more showers and changing rooms.
An internal staff poll with prize giveaways created an identity and name for the Museum cycling community (AM Cycling) and cycling champions established a buddy scheme to attract new riders.
Staff were given cycle training opportunities, online resources and cycling was promoted in staff and break out rooms with posters and maps. By 2019, the Museum expects to reach its target of 13% of staff cycling.
Highly commended - Auckland Council
Auckland Council has expanded its e-bike fleet for business travel, upgraded its approach to rider safety, trained 500 new riders and integrated e-bikes into its vehicle fleet software.
Council staff have collectively ridden an extra 9,000 kilometres within the last year and received positive staff reviews on the usability of bikes and the ability to plan safe journeys: 75% were replacing other modes of travel. As noted in their earlier presentation, Auckland Council's programme has proven to be a great model for other businesses and organisations across Auckland.
Step It Up Award
For a company with an increased uptake in walking.
Winner - Auckland Free Walking Tours
Auckland Free Walking Tours (AFWT) walked with over 7500 locals and tourists over the 2017/2018 summer season (from November to May), showing that hitting the streets on foot can be fun, insightful and good for you. Since starting in 2015 and approaching its fifth year, AFWT has walked with over 18,000 visitors to our beautiful city.
For a company with an increased uptake in carpooling.
Winner - Unitec
Unitec is New Zealand’s largest institute of technology, with more than 20,000 students studying over 150 work-oriented programmes at two campuses in Mt Albert and Waitakere.
Over the past year, Unitec has initiated the development of their own carpooling app called UNIWAKA. Students took inspiration from the Tinder and Uber apps to promote casual match ups and ran carpool speed dating and design focus group sessions to gather additional information from that gleaned from the annual travel staff survey.
The project was initiated by the Unitec design school in collaboration with the IT department and supported/funded by the sustainability team. Students designed the app’s aesthetics and user-friendliness and built a full design proposal including branding, an advertising campaign and instructional video. A great initiative.
Highly commended - Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum launched its own carpool scheme in June 2018 (just over a month ago) and 30 people signed up to share a ride three days per week within the first two weeks. The Auckland Museum now has 8% of staff carpooling and is well on the way to reaching its 14% goal by this time next year.
They surveyed their staff to identify barriers to carpooling and gave them what they asked for – dedicated resources, information and tools, a dedicated carpool programme, reserved carparks and transport home if required in an emergency. The Museum ‘dis-incentivised’ single occupancy driving and introduced a range of incentives to encourage its staff to carpool.