Drive or fly?
The rapidly advancing climate crisis requires companies and individuals to make drastic changes. In another blog post, we summarize the measures with which geOps is playing a part in preventing catastrophic and irreversible climate change.
One area we are paying particular attention to is environmentally friendly mobility. The projects we focus on already serve to promote environmentally friendly means of transport and thus the necessary traffic turnaround. For our business-related travel, too, there are clear guidelines that we avoid motorized individual transport whenever possible. Air travel in a corporate context is only permitted if the distances to be covered exceed 1000 km and there is no reasonable alternative connection. By structuring our company and our portfolio, we already try to minimize the need for such long journeys.
We have also long supported our employees in their efforts to travel in an environmentally friendly manner, both at work and in their private lives. One of the ways we achieve this is by providing public transport subscriptions as an extra benefit on top of their fixed salary. Employees can subscribe to regional public transport services, the Bahnhcard50 or - for our Swiss subsidiary - the General Abonnement. Alternatively, a mobility budget can be used, giving employees the flexibility to decide at any time for which environmentally friendly mode of transport they want to use the budget. The use of the budget for individual motorized transport and air travel is excluded.
Since the beginning of 2023, we have added another bonus. We support the renunciation of air travel in the private sector by granting additional vacation days. The additional vacation gives the opportunity to compensate for the greater time required for outward and return travel by means other than air. For those of our team who do not travel far anyway, or even for those who already see the round trip itself as a vacation, the time compensation aspect is not relevant. They use the bonus without this earmarking and enjoy the extra vacation. In the case of full-time employment, we grant three additional vacation days within this framework; in the case of a part-time workload, the days are reduced proportionately. We take great care not to interfere with the employees' privacy. This means that the use of the bonus is based on trust and without any controls.
We are aware that the sense of this regulation can be questioned. What do we achieve with those who do not undertake long journeys even without the regulation? And aren't there trips where the airplane would be a more ecological alternative than a long trip in a car? Could the rule be applied to large companies, where bonuses are no longer granted purely on the basis of trust? Despite these questions, we are convinced that we are sending out an important signal with this offer and hopefully encouraging not only our employees, but everyone who learns about the model, to act in an ecologically sustainable manner.