Sustainable Employee Travel

This policy is in order to support and encourage employees to engage in to sustainable holiday travel. The policy may be changed or withdrawn if business needs and circumstances so dictate.

Introduction

Triple Bottom Line Accounting Ltd is proud to be a Climate Perks accredited employer. This means that we will give paid travel time where employees elect to travel via land or sea rather than via air.  The paid travel time can be claimed for additional hours spent travelling, in accordance with the provisions of this policy. The maximum travel time that can be reclaimed is two working days for each holiday with a maximum of two eligible holidays a year.  The travel time year is the same as our annual leave year, namely from December to December.

Why sustainable travel is important to us

Despite only 5% of the world’s population ever having stepped inside a plane, flying is the fastest growing contributor to climate change globally. On current trends, aviation alone will account for 25% of UK carbon emissions by 2050. In line with the 2015 Paris agreement, we recognise the need for behaviour change to play a role in reducing aviation emissions and in turn the role of social and workplace innovations to facilitate and drive such behaviour change.

We also recognise that the challenge of decarbonising the global economy must have equity considerations at its core. Citizens in global north countries must be empowered to reduce their lifestyle greenhouse gas emissions, in order to assist developing countries in providing their citizens with a higher standard of living within finite global carbon budgets.

We are therefore committed to supporting a cultural shift towards low carbon leisure travel.

Policy statement

Triple Bottom Line Accounting Ltd is committed to having a positive social and environmental impact, and recognises that staff have an important role to play in responding to the urgent challenge of climate change.

We aim to encourage our employees to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to sustainability behaviour, in line with our organisational values and policies.

Research indicates that converting one or more return flights to train, coach or boat is likely to be one of the most powerful actions regular travellers can take to reduce lifestyle carbon emissions, in turn helping to inspire further behaviour change amongst peers.

To help staff make sustainable travel choices, we offer paid travel time, subject to certain criteria.

It is important to note that this is not additional annual leave, but additional time to undertake sustainable travel. Whether employees take up the scheme or not, they remain entitled to the same amount of annual leave. Please refer to the annual leave policy for further information.

Scope

Qualifying journeys

For the purposes of this policy, sustainable holiday travel means travel by land or sea that has a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to journeys to the same destination by plane.

Qualifying sustainable holiday travel does not include single passenger petrol or diesel car journeys, nor does it include road-trips with campervans or caravans. It does not include holidays which are journeys in themselves, e.g. long-distance cycle rides, cruises or walks – unless travel is required to or from start and end points.

Only overland or sea travel for the purposes of reaching or returning from the destination country qualifies and cannot be combined with a flight within an outward or return leg. For example, this policy would not grant paid journey time for a coach taken from Mexico City to Guatemala with a flight having been taken to Mexico City.

Exclusions:

  • The policy excludes travel within mainland Great Britain, but can include travel between mainland Great Britain, Northern Ireland and British islands (e.g. the Isle of Man, the Scilly Isles, Shetland Islands, Channel Islands).
  • Journeys that are already quicker, or comparable in length, by land or sea compared to flying are excluded. For example, a direct trip from London to Paris on the Eurostar would be excluded.
  • In order to qualify for this scheme, both the outward and return journeys must be made via sustainable travel. As an example, you cannot claim travel time for train travel on your outward journey, if you plan to return by plane.
  • Travel time can be claimed for up to two return trips per travel time year.

Employee qualifying criteria

If you take parental leave (eg maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and unpaid parental leave), you will still qualify for travel time on a pro-rata basis, when you return from parental leave, in respect of the relevant leave year. For example, if you return from leave and there are five months of the travel time year remaining, you will be eligible to apply for 5/12 of the travel time allocation.

You will not qualify if you are absent on parental leave for the whole travel time year.

If you work part-time, you will qualify for travel time on a pro-rata basis.

Employees will qualify for this scheme once they have passed their probationary period

Procedure

Where an employee takes a train or other public transport (rather than a plane) for an overseas holiday in accordance with this policy, Triple Bottom Line Accounting Ltd will reimburse the difference in travel time, up to a maximum of two working days.  This arrangement is available for each employee once in each travel time year for up to two holidays.

You must be able to demonstrate that your planned journey is not already quicker or the same in length when compared to flying to the same destination.

If your planned journey is substantially more expensive than taking the plane TBLA Ltd may offer to pay some of the difference subject to discussion before booking if financially viable to the company at the time of discussion. It is important that such discussions factor in equal treatment for all staff.

Sometimes your journey time may fall on a weekend. This may be because the journey is a better price that day, or you have an important meeting you need to be back in the office for on a Monday. Climate Perks employers recognise that people should not have to surrender leisure time in order to take clean travel options. Therefore, you can still claim paid journey days against time spent travelling to or from your destination on a weekend. For example, if you’re planning to leave for Italy on a Wednesday, but need to travel back on a Sunday, you could leave a day earlier on Tuesday to make up the time.

In order to request travel time, you must complete the sustainable travel days request form overleaf and pass it to your manager.

You should attach to the form:

  • A copy of the ticket for your journey.
  • Evidence (such as a printout from an internet travel site) of the time taken for air travel, plus two hours to allow for check-in time in respect of both the outward and the return flights.
  • A calculation of the difference between 1 and 2 above.

Spreading the word

Climate Perks hope to start an ongoing conversation about sustainable travel and contribute to a social shift towards low carbon travel options. Behaviour change is best spread through peer networks, including workplaces.

Once you have returned from your holiday, you will be asked to share some feedback from your journey with colleagues. This may be via a team meeting or an article for the Tenants newsletter. We’d love to see your photos of travel by land or sea!

Planning a low-carbon journey

There are lots of resources online for planning a journey by land or sea within Europe and beyond. Here are a few to get started with.

  • Seat61.com – comprehensive rail travel guide, primarily focused on Europe but with advice on destinations further afield as well.
  • loco2.co.uk – easy pan-European rail ticketing website.
  • org – enables comparative estimations of journey length and environmental impact of different travel modes across Europe.
  • Rome2Rio.com enables comparison and booking of different travel options.
  • snowcarbon.co.uk specialises in train travel to ski resorts.

Further information

You can find out more about the Climate Perks scheme and facts and stats about flying and low-carbon travel at www.climateperks.com.

Abuse of the scheme

Any employee found to use the scheme in a fraudulent way will be subject to Triple Bottom Line Accounting Ltd’s disciplinary procedures.