To help reduce congestion and make its employees' commute more pleasant, Hatch joined the "Employers take action for sustainable mobility" program last fall. This program, led by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, aims to reduce solo trips by car and encourage eco-responsible travel within Montreal companies.
The importance of sustainable mobility at the heart of the company's concerns
Mobility issues were already central to Hatch's concerns in 2011 when its management decided, for strategic reasons, to keep the company's offices downtown.
The presence of commuter train stations, a bus terminal and two subway lines was part of the reason why the company, which has 650 employees in Montréal, chose to house its offices in Place Ville Marie. It was undeniably the right choice. The survey Hatch conducted at the beginning of the project to assess how the company could improve its employees' commute while reducing solo car use revealed that 62% of employees were already using public transit in the summer and 75% in the winter.
The same survey showed significant interest in active transportation; however, 59% of employees did not feel safe when commuting by bicycle.
Consequently, Hatch's main objective in joining the "Employers take action for sustainable mobility" project was to increase its employees’ use of active transportation, inform them about the transportation options and available infrastructure, and make travel safer.
Several measures put in place to reduce solo travel by car
Making active transportation more accessible and safer
In order to encourage employees to opt for active transportation, Hatch decided to reimburse the bicycle parking membership fees at Place Ville Marie.
To address employees' concerns about cycling safety, the company has implemented urban cycling courses. Held during lunchtime, these courses help employees change their perception, familiarize themselves with traffic regulations and be safer when cycling. Hatch also offers an umbrella loan service at its front desk to encourage employees to walk to their business meetings instead of taking a taxi on rainy days. In addition, a communication plan was implemented to inform staff of the existing facilities (showers and lockers in Hatch's premises, multi-user BIXI keys available to Place Ville Marie tenants) and encourage them to use sustainable transportation.
Given that 75% of the company's employees can do some of their work remotely, telecommuting and flexible working hours are effective tools to reduce the number of trips and travel stress. As a consulting engineering firm with operations around the world, Hatch was already using many collaborative technological tools that are also effective for telecommuting. The company continues to support telework whenever possible, depending on the projects. It regularly reviews its guidelines to improve the management of flexible working hours and telecommuting.
The commuting guide
All the measures adopted by the company to facilitate its employees’ mobility are contained in a commuting guide distributed to all employees. It will also be an integral part of the welcome kit for new employees.
"We wanted to support this initiative because it fits perfectly with our company's goal of making positive changes in the world, such as protecting the environment and improving health and safety. We also recognize that positive changes often result from small actions taken by a large number of people. We have thus encouraged our employees to seek opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint every day through sustainable mobility"
2018 Leaders in Sustainable Transport Award
Hatch won the 2018 Leaders in Sustainable Transport Award for the action it took to improve its employees’ mobility. Presented by the metropolitan Montréal travel management centres Voyagez Futé and MOBA, this award recognizes the work of companies and organizations that have particularly distinguished themselves by implementing strategies and measures to promote sustainable transport.