With round one behind us, applications for BizCycle's second round of certifications are open
Before Cascade launched BizCycle back in October 2012, organizations had been coming to Cascade’s Commute Program staff for years with questions about bicycle parking, best practices for workplace showers and general concerns about implementing bicycle infrastructure and programs at their worksite.
How do you become a BizCycle workplace? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bizcycle.cascade.org to learn more.
BizCycle was developed to fill this information gap, and to create a structure to disseminate best practice resources to businesses. It also went a step further and created a rating system to motivate implementation as well as recognize leading worksites with these practices in place. What resulted was a Best Practices Guide to provide a comprehensive resource for improvement, and a 50-credit certification program modeled after LEED to recognize corporate efforts to encourage bicycling.
Since the launch, 21 businesses have been certified, and BizCycle has connected over 83,000 employees in the Puget Sound area with bicycle-friendly best practices at their workplace.
And we set the bar high. Seattle Children’s earned 43 out of 50 possible credits to achieve the hospital’s Gold level award—two credits shy of Platinum. We certified one Bronze workplace, 13 Silver and seven at Gold level. The average score of all applicants was 31 credits—a high Silver --, evidence that this first cohort of BizCycle applicants represented a high-achieving honors class of bike-friendly workplaces.
In the past 10 months, I’ve worked on all facets of BizCycle—from frantically Google-ing WordPress how-tos for building the webpage to conducting workshops and scoring applications. But my favorite part of working on BizCycle has been talking to employees about their journey to work (every bicycle commuter loves to talk about their commute) and the journey of getting their business to support their commute. The business community is increasingly recognizing that bicycling can facilitate a happier and healthier employee-base (and perhaps attract a more talented one), a more sustainable workplace and a better bottom line. From a three-employee bicycle law firm to Starbucks, BizCycle is challenging organizations to look at what they’re doing and consider what they could do.
Even Cascade had a wake-up call. I posted a series detailing Cascade’s journey through the BizCycle certification process, going from not actually qualifying for our own bicycle-friendly business certification program (*facepalm*) to measuring bicycling habits among staff and finally setting a goal to increase bicycling to our Magnuson Park office space. In the end, Cascade earned 33 out of 50 possible credits for Silver level certification. The Club didn’t end up making any changes prior to completing certification; but, with our score finalized, we've identified a few key areas to improve upon.
Have you seen our visitor bike parking? Neither have I. It's hard to find. And we just might look into the federal commuter tax benefits for bicyclists, a $20 per month reimbursement. Just like most organizations, Cascade can’t do everything to encourage bicycling. But BizCycle highlighted that we can (and arguably should) be doing more. We’ve come full cycle, back to the BizCycle credit list and best practices to encourage and increase bicycle commuting.
With round one behind us, applications for our second round of certifications are open. The deadline is Friday, September 20. Certified workplaces will be recognized with a plaque and via Cascade’s media resources, as well as a recognition event. Visit bizcycle.cascade.org to learn why organizations across the region are turning to BizCycle to applaud and improve their bicycle commuting programs, and how your place of business can be among the next cohort of BizCycle workplaces.