Prioritize Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies for Employee Commuting
Proposed programs to reduce employee commute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be prioritized at individual worksites and across agency worksites to help the agency understand what actions and worksites are most critical to reaching its goal. This section aims to help the employee transportation coordinators (ETCs) and telework coordinators to understand what commute reduction programs will yield the greatest "bang-for-the-buck" and what level of GHG reductions a site or program can achieve get with available resources.
Criteria may include:
- GHG emission reduction potential by the 2020 target date
- Cost effectiveness ($ invested per MTCO2e avoided)
- Total investment required
- Annual operating costs and savings
- Lifecycle costs and savings (e.g. net present value)
- Other criteria of importance to the agency (e.g. ease of implementation)
Prioritizing Strategies at a Worksite
For each major worksite, an agency should summarize the performance of the alternative commute programs (e.g. bus program, carpool program) against the agency's key evaluation criteria. For all other worksites that are not analyzed in detail but that may be the target of general commute alternative programs, such as teleworking, agencies can estimate GHG reduction potential and associated costs of applying those programs to all other employees.
Tables 1 and 2 show an example of how a simple scoring methodology with weighted criteria can be used to rank-order the commute reduction programs under consideration. In this example, the planning team assigns a 25% weighting to "total cost", a 25% weighting to "cost effectiveness", and a 50% weighting to "Annual GHGs Reduced in 2020". After scoring each commute reduction program based on the cost, GHG reduction, and cost-effectiveness criteria, it is determined that compressed work week, carpool/vanpool, and telework programs are the best options for this worksite.
Table 1. Example Weighted Scoring of Commute Reduction Programs Evaluated at a Worksite
|Total Cost (Savings) $ 2012-2020||Annual GHGs Reduced (MTCO2e) in 2020||Cost Effectiveness ($/MTCO2e)||Year 1 Investment $||Annual Cost (Savings) $||Ease of Implementation (H/M/L)||Weighted Scoring|
|Total Cost (Savings) $ 2012-2020||Annual GHGs Reduced (MTCO2e) in 2020||Cost Effectiveness ($/MTCO2ee)|
|out of 250||out of 500||out of 250|
Table 2. Example Scoring of Commute Reduction Programs Evaluated at a Worksite with Supporting Data
|Operating Unit||Site||Commute Reduction Program||Score||% of Scope 3 Emissions|
|Program B||B2||Compressed work week program||565||1%|
|Program B||B2||Carpool/Vanpool program||550||3%|
|Program B||B2||Telework program||541||4%|
|Program B||B2||Bike/walk program||314||0.4%|
|Program B||B2||Bus program||307||2%|
Worksites may use this rank-ordering approach to determine the most cost-effective mix of commute reduction activities to implement given the budgetary resources available.
Prioritizing Strategies across Worksites
It also recommended that agency program offices consider the cumulative cost and GHG impact of different commute reduction programs across its various worksites:
Can the agency have a substantial impact on commute emissions by investing resources at a limited set of worksites?
Can the agency have a substantial impact on commute emissions by investing resources in a limited set of activities (e.g. teleworking only)?
While the agency may want to provide some level of general outreach support across all worksites, reviewing the impact of implementing select strategies across sites or all-encompassing commute reduction programs at select sites will help the agency focus its limited investment dollars on the most promising areas.
Finally, prioritizing employee commute activities in the context of other Scope 3 emissions sources is an important next step. This will help the agency or program assess the relative impact on Scope 3 emissions that a commute reduction program can provide relative to business travel and other Scope 3 reduction strategies. See the guidance for Prioritizing All Scope 3 Strategies.
The following resources can help with greenhouse mitigation planning for employee commuting.
Implementing a Successful Transportation Management Program - May 2008. General Services Administration, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the National Capital Planning Commission.
Employee Transportation Coordinator Handbook - 2008. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
Employee Commute Reduction Program Guidelines - February 2004. South Coast Air Quality Management District.
GSA Alternative Workplace Solutions - Includes resources on Telework, Telework centers, Virtual offices, Hoteling, Hot desking, and Desk Sharing.
Guide to Telework in the Federal Government - April 2011. U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Commuter Choice Primer: An Employer's Guide to Implementing Effective Commuter Choice Programs - Circa 2001. U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Implementing a Successful Bicycle and Active Commuting Program in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area - May 10, 2010. Office of the Federal Environmental Executive.
- Step 1
Assess Agency Size Changes
- Step 2
Evaluate Emissions Profile
- Step 3
Evaluate Reduction Strategies
- Step 4
Estimate Implementation Costs
- Step 5
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