4 Reasons Why Businesses Benefit from Cycling
Cycling no longer means that the cyclist cannot afford to buy a car, but represents a conscious decision for sustainable and healthy living. We have taken a look at the social and economic benefits of cycling for businesses.
“There is no other invention where practicality and enjoyment go hand in hand quite like the bicycle.” With this pearl of wisdom, Adam Opel (1837-1895) identifies what more and more companies have now discovered to their benefit and that of their employees.
The Benefit from Cycling Employees
By promoting cycling across the company, businesses can avail of cost savings and economic benefit from cycling in four areas:
- Mobility costs
- Parking costs
- Employee absence
Reduced Mobility Costs
Cycling reduces costs for businesses in relation to company cars and business trips. Every kilometre covered costs between 40 and 60 cents, taking full costs into account. This includes loss of value, operating costs, other fixed costs and costs for maintenance and repairs. With an average mileage of 15,000 kilometres, overall costs of between €6,000 and €9,000 per year are quickly run up. A large number of the trips undertaken around the city can be covered within five or ten minutes by bicycle. If a small company with twenty employees and eight company cars were to shift just 10% of its business trips to bicycle, they would achieve savings of between €12,000 and €18,000.
The following example shows how much businesses can save in mobility costs by promoting cycling.
Example: A vocational advancement centre in Essen with 13 branches has previously had 52 cars in operation. By replacing two cars with bicycles, the centre saves around €20,000 per year in procurement costs as well as operating costs of around €2,000 to €4,000 per year. It will also reduce its parking space requirements in the future.
Reduced Parking Costs
The production and maintenance costs associated with bike parking facilities are considerably lower for businesses than those with car parking spaces. Bike parking facilities require less space and can often even be set up on unused leftover areas. Approx. 6-7 bicycles can be parked in the space required to park one car on average (approx. 12 m²).
Reduced Employee Absence
Cyclists are absent from work due to illness up to 50% less. A study from the Dutch Ministry of Transport (2009), provides evidence that employees who cycle to work are ill less often. Just one less sick day per year equates to savings of €224 per employee per year in the Netherlands.
Employees who cycle to work are more productive. According to the German Road Safety Council, commuters who travel by car have more complaints regarding health issues, difficulty sleeping and lapses in concentration. As cyclists are fitter in mind and in body than other commuters, businesses can enjoy greater productivity from employees who travel by bike.
Travelling by company bike or personal bike saves businesses money, reduces employee absence from work, promotes healthy living among employees and increases productivity. Fortunately, more and more businesses have discovered this, and aside from the important environmental aspects involved, are now striving to get their employees to take to their bikes and are promoting the activity of cycling.