Panasonic North America is incentivising green commuting habits among its employees, resulting in significantly higher public transit usage.

After moving its North American headquarters to downtown Newark in New Jersey, Panasonic incentivised sustainable commuting habits by providing 50% discounts on public transit and no longer offering employees low-priced parking rates. To encourage employees to shift their habits, the company organised practice runs for potential transit riders and manned nearby transit hubs to guide employees from the station to the new office.

Panasonic puts a high priority on achieving a sustainable future and we’re delighted our employees are increasingly choosing to use eco-responsible public transit which is so readily accessible to us in Newark.

Joseph M. Taylor – Chairman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America

As a result of these actions, the share of the company employees taking solo drives to work has dropped from 88% before the office relocation to 36% today. Equally impressive, the share of employees who ride public transport to work has increased from 4% to 57% since moving offices and implementing the public transit incentives. The company aims for this number to reach 75% in the near future, equivalent to removing about 430 cars from the roads during rush hour every day.

Why you should care

While governments are often the institutions building greener and more efficient transportation options in a city, companies such as Panasonic North America have the ability to shift commuting habits by offering incentives and education programs, and removing discounts for less sustainable commuting options. Furthermore, traffic congestion will cost the USA $186 billion a year in 2030. Promoting other commuting habits can significantly reduce these losses.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good Health and Well-Being

Long driving commutes have been linked to poor physical and mental health, whereas taking public transport can help to improve mental well-being. Additionally, the policy contributes to improving air quality in urban environments.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

By encouraging employees to use public transport, large companies can also help to drive the shift towards greener cities.

Climate Action

According to the company, if it reaches its goal of 75% of its employees using public transport, it would save nearly 600,000 litres of gasoline and over 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions annually.