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League Awards 161 Bicycle Friendly Businesses
Today, the League of American Bicyclists has awarded 161 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses in 31 states and Washington, D.C. With this Earth Day announcement, the program has grown to include more than 950 visionary local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies from across the country that are changing the script on what it means to provide a top-notch experience and atmosphere for employees and customers alike.
"On this Earth Day, the League recognizes and applauds the efforts of these business leaders across the country," said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. "Their leadership is setting a precedent in their communities, states and the nation for what it means to practice what you preach. They are forging a better future for us all by investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their employees."
Bicycle Friendly Businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. BFBs attract and retain energized, alert and productive employees, while decreasing healthcare costs.
This round, Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., received a Gold award.
"Walmart is honored to be named a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business," said David Hoke, Sr. Director, Associate Health and Well-Being at Walmart. "With our innovative Bike Share program and over 8 miles of trails surrounding our home office campus, our associates can improve their health and well-being while at the same time helping to reduce our carbon footprint and supporting our company's commitment to sustainability."
Fellow Fortune 500 business and coffee giant, Starbucks, based out of Seattle, Wash., received a Silver-level award.
"Starbucks has a long history of providing incentives for our partners who bike to work, and we're constantly seeking ways to improve the amenities for our commuters," said Jim Terry, Vice President of Starbucks Store Development. "We applied to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Business because we want Seattle to know that we embrace bike commuting as a transportation option -- helping to reduce traffic congestion -- as well as enabling our employees to arrive at work feeling fit and energized."
Also out of Seattle, the Seattle Children's Hospital received a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business award.
"Seattle Children's has long been at the forefront of sustainable transportation; we pay a daily bonus to incentivize staff to leave their cars at home, provide one of only a few on-site staff bicycle service centers in the nation, offer staff access to free commuter bicycles and helped launch Seattle's bike share system by serving as its first business sponsor," said Jamie Cheney, Seattle Children's Transportation Director. "We promote bicycling because we believe it is good for the health of our patients, staff, community and the planet. Seattle Children's is delighted to be recognized with the League of American Bicyclists' highest honor, the Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business Award."
Bicycle Friendly Businesses come in many shapes and sizes and are represented in varied and diverse industries. Case in point: First Congregational Church UCC in Memphis, Tenn. The church, as part of its service and outreach in the community, runs a bike co-op out of its basement.
"Churches are recognizing the need to support healthy lifestyles, and bicycling is certainly a part of that," said Senior Pastor Rev. Cheryl Cornish. "Bicycles offer a low-cost, reliable and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. We're excited to see Memphis becoming a bicycle-friendly city and are honored by this designation of our contributions to that effort."
Walk Bike Nashville is now a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business. The biking and walking advocacy organization, in addition to improving their own organization, worked to encourage businesses throughout the Nashville area to improve, as well.
"We are so excited and honored to receive the Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business award!" said Nora Kern, Education and Advocacy Coordinator. "Walk Bike Nashville is dedicated to making our city more walkable, bikeable and liveable, and a first step was making sure our own staff are given every opportunity to chose walking or biking. As a workplace we recognize the enormous amount of influence we can have on our own staff and their ability to chose a healthier, happier form of transportation. We are also lucky enough to be full-time advocates for bicycling and walking. Which is why we felt it was so important for us to lead by example and encourage other businesses to support biking. We want every workplace in Nashville to actively encourage their employees to bike or walk to work because we know from first hand experience that a business that supports biking is a better place to work, has more productive employees, and helps move our city towards embracing alternative forms of transportation."
To apply or learn more about the BFB program, visit the League online at bikeleague.org/businesses.