Leading by example: European Parliament earns Cycle-Friendly Employer Certification

January 31, 2022 |

The European Parliament has become the first European institution to be certified, receiving a Bronze Level Certification. The Cycle-Friendly Employer Certification Framework establishes a European standard for bicycle friendliness in the workplace.

In December 2021, ECF Member Fietsersbond Belgium  awarded the European Parliament the title of Cycle-Friendly Employer (CFE) for its Brussels site. With a wide range of cycling services and a consistent cycling policy, the European Parliament sufficiently encourages cycling amongst its employees to be awarded a Bronze Level certificate. The Parliament is the first European institution to become a CFE, a significant achievement and a testament to its commitment to ensuring more cycling in Europe.

“Fietsersbond is proud to certify the European Parliament in Brussels as the first Cycle-Friendly European institution,” said a spokesperson for Fietsersbond Belgium. “It is good to see that Europe's sustainability ambitions are being translated into concrete results and that the European Parliament is taking a leading role.”

Provision of service bikes for employees

As cycling is the fastest and most convenient mode of transport to move from the Parliament’s building to the other European institutions, the European Parliament has considerably increased the number of service bicycles available for its employees to about 50 modern bikes for service trips, including 35 e-bikes.

Free bicycle maintenance

With free bicycle maintenance being provided by Parliament, service bicycles are checked monthly and repaired within one day in case of damage. Moreover, employees have the possibility to borrow the bikes to cycle home after work, hence contributing to the increase in the number of journeys made using the service bikes every year from 700 journeys in 2012 to 3,800 in 2019.

State-of-the-art bicycle parking

As for cycling infrastructures, in 2021 the European Parliament installed bicycle parking equipped with several facilities, including more than 100 staple-shaped bicycle racks, ventilated lockers, changing rooms, showers, charging stations for e-bikes, a compressor, a repair column and places for cargo bikes. “Not all buildings are equipped to this level yet, but it is our ambition to offer the same level of comfort to all cyclists and visitors who want to come by bike in the future,” said Mobility Coordinator Blaise Vanopdenbosch. “We already have covered and secured bicycle-parking facilities in our buildings. In 2022, we plan to equip a new floor for visitors coming by bike.”

Holding and participating in cycling events

To promote and expand the use of bicycles to work, every May the European Parliament organises “Velomai” – a cycling event with lectures, workshops, bicycle tours and trainings. Moreover, the Parliament demonstrates its commitment to ensuring more cycling employees by participating in the “Velomai Cycling Challenge” – the European Commision’s cross-institutional cycling competition – and by holding cycling campaigns during Mobility Week.

The European Parliament’s employees: 17% cycle to work

The results of the most recent European Parliament mobility survey show that 17% of employees cycle. “The European Parliament's cycling policy results in a relatively high percentage of employees cycling to work: 17% compared to an average of 4.4% for Brussels,” explained Vanopdenbosch. “We have the ambition to reach 19% of cyclists by 2023.”

Cycling services for the staff

The European Parliament collaborates with the EU Cycling Group, a European Institutions’ cycling association that collects initiatives from the staff to encourage cycling. A Mobility Point – an information desk for mobility in the main building – also provides to staff members information about mobility and sustainable transport.