Sustainable Transportation Options Made Easy: How Hatch Ltd. Achieves Low-Carbon Footprint

MISSISSAUGA – Hatch Ltd., a Mississauga based engineering consulting firm, has demonstrated that with the right incentives and supports in place, employee carpooling programs can be hugely successful. If you are looking for a cost-effective employee program that improves morale and productivity, reduces your carbon footprint and has a positive impact on your bottom line, then it’s time to get your pencil out and make some notes.

The idea to launch a carpooling program at Hatch was born out of necessity. The company faced a severe parking shortage in 2007. Rather than building more parking, Hatch chose a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution. Hatch decided to manage parking demand by encouraging employees to carpool.

Sound too good to be true?

“The carpool program has eliminated the need for about 20 parking spots per day at our offices” says Eric Hartley, Office of the Chairman, Hatch Ltd. “We could have added parking facilities but that would have costed several hundred thousand dollars.”

In addition to the cost savings, in the past three years Hatch has eliminated 1,568,759 km of commuter traveling by its employees. This translates into a reduction of 367,775 kg in greenhouse gas emissions, that’s the equivalent of almost 34 full-grown Indian Elephants. Talk about taking a load off!

While sharing rides with their co-workers, Hatch employees have also banked over $780,000 in fuel and maintenance costs by reducing the use of their personal vehicles. By carpooling, Hatch employees can take advantage of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes (HOV) and reduce their commute times.

Getting the program started was simple. Hatch teamed up with a local Transportation Management Association (TMA), Smart Commute Mississauga. From the survey conducted by the TMA, Hatch knew there was huge interest for carpooling among its employees. so launching a carpooling program was the logical first step in the process. Instead of using push pins on a map to plot employee commuting patterns, Hatch took advantage of the Carpool Zone, a state-of-the-art online system to help employees find carpool matches.

With the assistance of Smart Commute Mississauga, Hatch also launched an Emergency Ride Home Program for employees who carpool. This program provides up to $50 towards the cost of a taxi for an employee who experiences an unplanned emergency or unscheduled overtime on a day when they do not have their car at work. This program alleviates the worry over being stranded at work without your car.

Carpoolers at Hatch are also rewarded financially through a carpool incentive program that provides a nominal cash incentive to drivers for every passenger that they bring to work each day. And Hatch carpoolers also receive V.I.P. treatment with reserved parking spots in premium locations near the front entrance of the building.

Of course any program can become boring over time, so to keep the program interesting, Hatch works closely with Smart Commute Mississauga to promote a whole calendar of events and promotions geared towards encouraging and rewarding employees who carpool. Maybe your employees would give carpooling a try if they had a chance to win a Nintendo Wii, or a Dell laptop.

The carpooling program at Hatch is capturing the attention of companies all across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA). This year, for the second time in three years, Hatch was recognized by Metrolinx as the Smart Commute Employer of the Year for the City of Mississauga as well as the Smart Commute Employer of the Year for the entire GTHA.

Congratulations to the Hatch Ltd. Sustainable Development Committee for a job well done!

“The carpooling program at Hatch is a great example of corporate social responsibility and it demonstrates once again that doing the right thing is also good for the bottom line,” says Glenn Gumulka, Executive Director of Smart Commute Mississauga. “That is why Hatch has been recognized as a leader in promoting sustainable transportation options in the City of Mississauga and has been officially designated a Smart Commute Workplace. This designation identifies Hatch as an employer of choice among job seekers who wish to work for an employer that supports sustainable commuter options. Although Hatch has set the bar high we are very excited to see that other organizations in Mississauga are following their lead.”

Meet other businesses benefitting from their own Smart Commute program.