Businesses Friendly To The Environment And Bikes
Today is Earth Day, a day to focus on our impact on the environment and raise awareness about solutions for a greener future. Name a solution more fun and suitable for reducing carbon emissions than promoting sustainable transportation like biking, walking and rolling?
Many of the more than 1,400 Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFBs) in the League’s BFB program recognize that making it possible for more people to get around by bike showcases social responsibility and a commitment to reducing our environmental footprint (plus it contributes to reducing healthcare costs, improving employee morale and fostering a more alert, active and productive workforce!)
Read on for examples of Bicycle Friendly Businesses focusing on their environmental impact through efforts to be welcoming to people who bike.
Delaware North at Grand Canyon
An e-bike on the Rim Trail
Did you know that the Grand Canyon, one of the most visited National Parks in the country, was designated a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business in Fall 2019? With bike racks located at all lodging, retail and dining locations and a free shuttle bus that accommodates bikes, visitors are able to skip the long car entry lines (and a vehicle permit fee) and enjoy the views of the park by bike. Specific trails that are open to bicycles and e-bikes can be found here.
The Grand Canyon also hosts an annual Sustainability Fair with a fix-it clinic where members of the community and park guests can bring in their bike for free repairs. Bicycle commuting is also made easier for park employees with an employee bike program that loans out cruisers equipped with baskets, helmets and other bike necessities.
“Almost all of our employees live onsite, within a mile of work,” said Kaitlin Christiansen, environmental and risk manager at Delaware North at Grand Canyon. “Of those, a large percentage also only come for a short period of time from other parts of the country or other countries and are without cars. Because of this we have focused a lot of our efforts on providing long-term bike rentals to employees. Currently, we have 41 bikes, helmets, baskets, locks and bells that we rent to employees free of charge for the time they are working with us.”
Ozark Greenways is a nonprofit organization in Springfield, Missouri, building and connecting Springfield’s 200+ mile planned trail system. Part of the organization’s mission focuses on improving local and regional bike infrastructure through the trail system and residents and visitors are encouraged to explore the trails by bike. Ozark Greenway’s website offers a bicycle tourism page that maps out five bicycle routes and links printable maps of Springfield’s greenway trails and bike route network, which features 12 outdoor bike aid stations, mile markers, public restrooms and water stations. Bike safety information, including instructional videos, kid-friendly education tools and information on the League’s Smart Cycling Quick Guide can also be found on the website.
Ozark Greenways earned its Silver-level BFB award as a new applicant in our Fall 2019 round of awards.
League to Save Lake Tahoe
2019 Bike Path Cleanup
The League to Save Lake Tahoe, located in South Lake Tahoe, California, is a nonprofit working to combat and solve environmental challenges faced by Lake Tahoe. Staff participate annually in Bike to Work Week and Bike Month events, including hosting a Bike Path Cleanup where volunteers bike and walk along as they clean. The organization also actively advocates for active transportation and transit funding and services throughout the Tahoe region, believing it is one of the keys to keeping Lake Tahoe blue.
“When Tahoe’s locals and visitors choose to hop on a bike instead of getting in their car, they are helping reduce the air pollution and road debris that can harm Lake Tahoe’s clarity and water quality,” said Gavin Feiger, senior land use policy analyst for the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “The League to Save Lake Tahoe encourages bicycling as a Lake-friendly option for transportation and provides amenities such as convenient bike parking at the League’s South Lake Tahoe offices, actively participates in the Tahoe Bike Challenge each June, and advocates for better community planning to make it easier and safer to ride a bike in Tahoe’s communities.”
The League to Save Lake Tahoe moved up from a Bronze-level BFB to a Silver-level BFB in Fall 2019.
Technicians For Sustainability (TFS)
Technicians For Sustainability, a solar energy company in Tucson, Arizona, makes reducing carbon footprints a priority not only for its customers, but for its employees as well. The BFB brands itself as a staff of cyclists, offering employees secure indoor and outdoor bike parking, bike share and bike repair reimbursement. Some employees even travel to and from job sites using bicycle trailers. Check out their Creative Commuting page for more ways they promote sustainable transportation.
“We were interested in working with TFS because I had talked to friends who had worked with them, and I knew that they walked their talk, “ said a TFS customer. “I’ve seen some of their employees riding bicycles with all of their materials rigged up so they can go to job sites – it was just interesting to me that they were interested in sustainability themselves separately from the business.”
As a new applicant, Technicians For Sustainability earned a Silver-level BFB award in Summer 2015.
Five Rivers MetroParks
Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast
Five Rivers MetroParks is a government agency in Dayton, Ohio, focused on conservation leadership (protecting open spaces and natural areas) and providing amenities that make it easier for people to experience the outdoors, like bike rentals and basic mountain biking instruction. The annual MetroParks Trails Challenge offers a chance to win cool prizes like a free mountain bike or gift cards to local retail dealers for the completion of mountain bike trails. In 2021, the challenge saw over 6,000 participants of all ages and abilities.
In Fall 2020, Five River MetroParks moved up from a Silver-level BFB to a Gold-level BFB.
City of Fayetteville Sustainability Department Offices
The City of Fayetteville Sustainability Department is a government agency in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a mission to promote sustainability and resilience while helping to make Fayetteville a “resource-efficient community of livable neighborhoods”. Amenities offered to its employees who bike commute include covered bike parking, a shower with a changing area and easy access to trails to encourage employees to bike to work, to and from meetings, and to ride for exercise during off time. The office also features several other sustainable features such as furniture made from recycled materials, high-efficiency HVAC, and LED lighting.
“The Sustainability Department tries to set an example for how employers can provide access to alternative transportation options in Fayetteville,” said Peter Nierengarten, director of the Sustainability and Resilience department. “When employees can bike and walk to work, great things happen – we decrease our carbon footprint, reduce healthcare costs, connect to our local community, and create a fun and healthy work culture.”
In the Winter of 2017, The City of Fayetteville Sustainability Department earned a Platinum-level BFB award as a new applicant.
Arvada Gardeners, Arvada Community Garden
Community Garden Bike Ride
Arvada Gardeners in Arvada, Colorado, is the first community garden in the BFB program. By making sustainable transportation to its location easier, the garden is connecting its love for preserving nature to the people who bike, walk and roll in their community. Designated on-site bike parking is offered along with free gardening tool usage, so that cyclists don’t need to haul their own tools on every ride.
“More gardeners are riding their bikes to the garden, we had our first-ever Community Garden bike ride where five community gardens in Arvada were visited on an 18-mile ride,” said Bill Orchard, a gardener and a member of Bike Friendly Arvada. “As for future plans, the bike path that runs adjacent to the garden is being upgraded and the city will add a bike repair station.”
Does your business want to build a better environment through bicycling? Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at bikeleague.org/business. The deadline to apply in our Summer round of applications is June 15, 2022.