WHEN your boss leads from the front and decides to cycle to work it’s only natural that you might feel obliged to follow suit.
But employees at a Havant firm have needed little encouragement from their managing director to join a green crusade this week and find other ways of getting to work.
Staff at marketing firm Tri-Synergy in Downley Road are getting on their bikes, sharing cars, using the train or simply walking to work as part of the area’s annual Big Green Commuter Challenge.
Last year their combined efforts won the award for most car miles saved and biggest carbon footprint reduction in the Havant area.
It was the first time the borough had taken part in the event which is co-ordinated by Portsmouth City Council and is now in its ninth year.
Managing director Tina Webb is riding her bike to the office from her Hayling Island home.
She said: ‘What’s good about having a week like this is that it kick-starts something bigger.
‘Last year’s was not a one-week wonder but something which has become a habit for many of us here.
‘I’m not going to pretend I ride my bike in every day, but I do it as often as I can.’
She said last year’s event had sown the seed for altering her staff’s travel methods.
‘We’re now much more sensible about holding meetings away from the office when we could do them on the phone and getting staff to go to two appointments when they are out instead of making a couple of separate trips.’
By ditching their cars in favour of bicycles, shanks’s pony, motorbikes, trains and working from home, each member of Tina’s team saved 47.13 miles during the week in 2010.
The total number of miles saved during the seven-day initiative was 377.
She added: ‘Half our staff swapped four wheels for two and pedalled a total of 183 miles during the week. The remaining 50 per cent tried to reduce their impact on the environment by car-sharing, walking, working from home or commuting by more fuel-efficient sustainable transport.
‘Every single member of our team enthusiastically participated and it was a great way to encourage them towards adopting healthier options for themselves and our planet.
‘We are proud of our green credentials and take our responsibilities towards the environment very seriously.’
During last year’s challenge across the Portsmouth, Havant, Fareham and Gosport area, more than 1,000 people took part. They saved more than 78,500 car miles and nearly 31,000kg of polluting emissions. This year’s week-long challenge ends on Sunday.