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Staff travel: Carshare cuts carbon

Heathrow airfield at night

Sustainability case study

Over 76,500 people work at Heathrow. That's a lot of journeys to and from work every day - many by car.

We recognise that commuting by car clogs up roads, while exhaust fumes affect local air quality and contribute to climate change, because burning petrol and diesel releases nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Our Carshare scheme gives Heathrow staff the chance to commute together - saving money and cutting carbon and congestion. It is open to everyone employed at the airport.

The scheme has been running since 2002 and we relaunched it in 2009 in partnership with liftshare, by far the UK's largest car share network. It is part of a wider plan to revamp travel to and from Heathrow that cut the number of solo car journeys by employees from 71% in 2004 to 61% in 2010.

It's easy to join, either online or by telephone. Users register their home location and working hours, and the system automatically identifies any matches with people who live in the same neighbourhood and commute at the same time of day. There's a good chance that members will find someone who lives in their area and wants to car share, because almost half of Heathrow staff come from just five local authorities around the airport.

Over 3,400 people have signed up since we launched the scheme in 2002. Around 200 new members are now joining every month, thanks to our poster campaign advertising the scheme in staff rest rooms and canteens.

Members save money because car sharing halves the cost of petrol. As a reward for taking part, they can also use priority parking bays in several airport car parks, obtain discounted breakdown cover, and get a lift home free of charge if their car does break down.

Since its relaunch in July 2009, Carshare helped its members drive over 19 million fewer miles, saving nearly 6,500 tonnes of CO2.

Sustainability awards

Sustainability BITC pink planters