In partnership with the Climate Agency of the Municipality of Oslo, the Norwegian Cyclists’ Association conducted an audit of 103 municipal enterprises on their cycle-friendliness between August 2022 and December 2023. The objective was to assess how well they facilitate cycling and other forms of active travel in the workplace, including public transport and combined transport.
Oslo municipality rolled out this extensive programme for evaluating and certifying Cycle-Friendly Employers as a means to lead by example in greenhouse gas reduction across its municipal workplaces. The project aims to make walking, cycling and public transport the transportation of choice in Oslo, as outlined in the City of Oslo’s Climate Strategy. As well as to ensure that those who choose bicycles [including e-bikes and scooters] as a form of transport are given the “red carpet treatment”, a central goal of the municipality’s Cycling Strategy 2015-2025.
A diverse mix of employers, including schools, agencies, healthcare providers and administrative units, representing 8,000-9,000 employees, were evaluated. Assessors cycled around the businesses to examine the existing infrastructure and to get an idea of how easy and safe it felt to park the bicycle and access changing and storage facilities. According to Matias Lyngved Pizarro, project manager at the Norwegian Cyclists’ Association, this has allowed them to build a unique and comprehensive knowledge base. He says, “The provision of robust facilities within workplaces is just as important in encouraging active travel as the building of seamless cycling infrastructure because the two go hand in hand.”
Of the 103 employers evaluated, 1/5 received Silver and 2/5 received Bronze, with the rest receiving tailored advice and recommendations on specific measures to implement in order to become CFE certified. Good bike parking facilities, specifically facilities to aid all-year-round cycling, such as sheltered or indoor parking, are featured as one of the top recommendations. A lack of such facilities was found to be one of the principal factors deterring people from cycling to work during the colder months.
The thorough insight into employee travel habits and bicycle facility standards offered by this research will have a far-reaching impact on the roughly 9,000 employees and service users of such enterprises, including pupils and visitors. Armed with ambition and expertise, it is clear that a more promising and active future awaits the City of Oslo.