The Department of Transport of the Government of Ireland has been recognised as the first organisation in the country to receive the Gold Level Smarter Travel Mark award from the National Transport Authority, in recognition of prioritising sustainable and active commuting as an organisation.
The Smarter Travel Mark is a three-tier certification that recognises and celebrates organisations that support active and sustainable travel on the commute and beyond for their workforce and visitors, resulting in a reduction in single-person car usage. An employer of any size from the private or public sector can apply for the Smarter Travel Mark.
The Smarter Travel Mark is focused on demonstrating the wide range of benefits that come from sustainable and active transport projects—benefits to individuals, communities, businesses, public spaces and society, through improved safety, accessibility, air quality and health. As a Pathfinder Programme, it is one of 35 exemplar transport projects to be delivered by local authorities and agencies around the country over a three-year period.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: “The Public Service has a significant role to play as sustainability leaders, supporting more of us to cycle to work and to meetings. This first gold level award highlights the Department of Transport’s own strong ethos and commitment to reducing our transport related carbon emissions as we work towards transforming the way we get around. If we are to chart the course for carbon neutrality by 2050, we can all play a part. I am pleased that those who work in my Department are encouraged and supported in travelling to work by sustainable and active means and knowing that their journey counts towards lowering our emissions.”
Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD said: “The Department has been recognised as a leader in commuting to work in a more environmentally friendly way and is one of the best directions any organisation can take to reduce our carbon emissions. Sustainable mobility is not only critical to the climate agenda but is also offers an opportunity to improve employee wellbeing and I would encourage other organisations to work towards recognition.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The Smarter Travel Mark, developed by the NTA, is a recognition of employer-led sustainable travel initiatives which are essential to reducing the impact of our collective dependence on the car as a mode of travel. I’m delighted to present the Smarter Travel Mark to our colleagues at the Department of Transport, as we work together to change our behaviours regarding walking, cycling, public transport usage and carpooling on the commute and beyond. Reducing carbon emissions and alleviating traffic congestion is a priority. All workplaces and campuses can be part of the solution by implementing measures that facilitate, support and encourage sustainable travel options for their workforce, students and visitors. I would encourage all employers to be part of the Smarter Travel Mark initiative.”
As Ireland looks to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030, the Department of Transport is committed to ensuring it operates on a sustainable basis. As part of that commitment, the Department’s Sustainable Mobility Policy which went to Government earlier in the year sets out a framework for walking, cycling and public transport to support an additional 500,000 daily sustainable mobility journeys by 2030. The Smarter Travel Mark authenticates the necessity and significance of sustainable, affordable and healthy commuting choices—one of the best ways for individuals to reduce their C02 emissions.