Bristol-based companies give staff extra days off work for flight-free holidays
29th June 2023
Hannah Bland is a Campaign Manager at climate charity Possible working on rolling out the Climate Perks sustainable travel scheme. In this post, she shares why Bristol organisations are signing up for the scheme and how your workplace can get involved.
Bristol is well known as a climate leader. From its countless environmental community projects to the fact that the city was the first in Britain to be named European Green Capital, Bristol’s green reputation is well founded, and something Bristol folk are keen to hold on to.
It is perhaps unsurprising then that when Possible started asking organisations across the UK to give their staff extra time off work for climate-friendly holidays, Bristol-based employers were quick to get involved.
If you work for a Climate Perks accredited employer, you can claim paid ‘journey days’ on top of annual leave for flight-free holidays, access loads of advice, support and resources for planning your ideal flight-free trip, and benefit from a £50 discount when booking with Byway, a flight-free holiday company.
So let’s meet some of the Bristol-based organisations who are leading the way for clean travel:
Thrive Renewables, a renewable energy company based in central Bristol and a member of Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Climate Leaders Group, were a founding member of the Climate Perks scheme. While covid hit shortly after it was introduced, putting a pause on international travel, their staff have now managed to make use of their sustainable ‘journey days’ to enjoy flight-free holidays. For Louise Daniels, for example, the additional days off work meant her and her family could travel by train to the French Alps. Read about her experience.
Adfree Cities is a network of groups across the UK who are concerned about the impacts of corporate advertising on our health, wellbeing, environment, climate, communities and the local economy. They lobby for policy change at national and local levels, showcase alternatives, organise locally to stop new advertising sites in UK cities, including with the local group Adblock Bristol, and produce resources to raise awareness about the impacts of commercial advertising. For the Adfree Cities team, joining Climate Perks was an “obvious choice”, explaining that it “fits well with our values as an organisation and for individual staff members”.
Great Western Credit Union (formerly known as Bristol Credit Union) is a credit union co-operative passionate about helping people across much of the South West of England make the most of their money. Having signed up as part of their efforts to reduce climate impact and enhance staff wellbeing, the team also found that the slower pace of flight-free travel is “often far more enjoyable than the wrestling with the hassles that you find in generic, identical airports.”
“Sustainability in all we do is a vital part of our ambition as an organisation, and whilst we’re still on our journey, every opportunity we can find to make a difference is important to us. Our furthest journey so far has been to Seville in southern Spain, easily achievable by train within a day and a half. Climate Perks meant we could support that journey and that the employee could make that choice knowing they would still have the same length of holiday there as if they had flown, and they got a night in Barcelona into the bargain. Their only regret was that their partner didn’t get the same benefit, something easy to rectify as more employers sign up!” James Berry, CEO, Great Western Credit Union.
Green Hat, an ethical graphic design company on Orchard Street, is one of the newest members of the Climate Perks network, joining the scheme just last week. While they’ve not yet had a chance to make use of the new benefit, the team are excited to be part of it;
“As a business owner I believe that our staff shouldn’t be penalised for doing the right thing. Air travel is convenient but also a leading contributor to climate change. Climate Perks is a way of promoting alternative, greener holiday travel choices to be taken instead of air travel. All businesses should support lifestyle choices like Climate Perks that will help society mitigate the climate emergency.“ Andy Degg, Director, Green Hat.
As an organisation existing to support Bristol-based organisations to meet their zero emissions targets, Bristol Green Capital Partnership was an obvious fit for the scheme. As well as spreading awareness of the scheme to the employers in their network, the Partnership signed up as a member earlier this year, meaning their team can claim the extra days off work for flight-free holidays this summer.
“We are really excited to be able to offer staff this additional benefit to support more sustainable travel. Working in environmental sustainability we want to enable staff to make choices that align with their values and the goals set out in our organisations Climate Action Plan. Climate Perks make it really easy to join by providing a draft policy and guidance. It’s great to be part of this growing network of organisations offering such a positive and practical initiative for their employees.” Vicki Woolley, Interim CEO, Bristol Green Capital Partnership.
For a full list of organisations taking part in the Climate Perks initiative see www.climateperks.com/members
Interested in getting your workplace signed up to the scheme? Get in touch with the Climate Perks team at email@example.com today, or simply register interest on the website to receive everything you need to get started.