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GAP plan for business is Olympic legacy

29 August 2012

Global Action Plan calls on companies to revolutionise work and travel patterns to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce their environmental impact

Research by environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP) – which provides the UK’s only green behaviour change projects endorsed by the United Nations – shows that companies who planned for disruption during the Olympics benefited from changing their work and travel patterns.

Global Action Plan’s charter for businesses – launched in the run up to the Games – provided essential advice on how companies could keep functioning during the Olympics.

Businesses that adopted the charter found they not only avoided any disruption to their services, but benefited as well. Shutting down their offices for one day each week, introducing flexible working hours, and holding more meetings online led to increased productivity, decreased costs and a reduced impact on the environment.

In just one month, O2 Telefonica:

  • Avoided 100,000 commuter miles – equivalent to driving 4 times around the globe
  • Saved 30 tons of carbon
  • Prevented 6000 travel hours – over half this time was spent on work activities
  • 92% of employees who worked from home felt they were as productive or even more so than normal.

O2 Telefonica – and other businesses which benefited from changing their practices during the Games – are now adopting these measures longer term. By revolutionising the way companies in the UK work and travel, they are creating a truly green Olympic legacy.

Global Action Plan CEO Trewin Restorick said: “The Olympics has shown UK companies that there are far better ways of doing business. Using the same principles of ambition, planning and dedication that resulted in TeamGB’s incredible achievements, businesses were able boost productivity, cut costs and reduce the damage they cause to the environment. It’s been a win-win situation for both employers and employees. But while athletes can now take a well-deserved rest, businesses must ensure old work and travel habits do not return. After such a successful winning streak during the Games, let’s not lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionise our work and travel patterns.”

Bill Eyres, O2 Head of Sustainability said: “Working with Global Action Plan helped us prepare for the expected Olympic disruption. But changing our work and travel patterns did much more than ensure we were not adversely affected by the Games. We reduced the amount of miles and time our employees spent commuting, increased employee productivity and reduced the impact our business has on the environment. The business benefited, and so did our employees who saved money and got to spend more time with their families. The benefits have convinced us to implement these changes longer term so we can work smarter, travel less and live better.”

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