A Start-up
guide to


SFG3: Green cities

Why is this important Copy link

Did you know? The world's cities occupy just 3% of land, but account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. [Source]


  • Every organisation and employer has a role to play in making cities more breathable, liveable and sustainable.
  • Employees are increasingly valuing benefits that are conducive to more environmentally friendly transportation.
  • Encouraging employees to commute in a green way supports individuals’ health and wellbeing as well as their wallet (by helping them save money on petrol, car parking or public transport costs), while contributing to reducing the environmental impact of pollution and congestion from cars.


Where to start Copy link


Pre-seed/seed Copy link

  • Embrace hybrid working arrangements and opt for clean transport arrangements as much as you can.

Series A Copy link

  • Encourage hybrid working arrangements. Formalise it into a flexible working policy, not losing sight of the benefit of regular team collocation.
  • Choose greener delivery and courier services.

Series B onwards Copy link

As a start-up, your main levers to contribute to greener cities are:

  • Encouraging hybrid working arrangements, allowing staff to reduce unnecessary commutes to the office. Introducing a flexible working policy is a great way of formalising available and/or recommended flexible working practices. The benefits of team collocation and in person interaction should however not be overlooked, from personal development to social wellbeing. This is for example why at Balderton we’ve decided in our policy to require people in at least some days of the week.
  • Enabling greener commuting through providing cycling facilities and offering green commuting benefits to your staff. This could range from bicycle or micromobility purchase schemes to public transportation subsidies, such as season ticket loans.
    • If you are a UK-based business, you can take advantage of the government Bike2Work Scheme scheme. The scheme allows employees to reduce their income tax by deducing expenses for renting bikes & accessories from their gross salary; the employer can save up to 13.8% in National Insurance Contributions.
    • In France, the Forfait mobilite durable allows employers the opportunity to financially incentivise their employees to adopt more environmentally friendly commuting practices
  • Encouraging greener travel around the city by preferring green micro mobility schemes (city bikes, e-scooters…) and public transport to taxis or ride-hailing apps to travel to business meetings.
  • Continuing to choose greener courier and delivery services.

Data collection Copy link

Employee commute is one of the scope 3 emissions categories. Many carbon accounting platforms will include an employee commute module to allow you to survey your staff on their commuting practices.

While not essential, it could nevertheless be interesting to keep track of and report on:

  1. % of employees taking advantage of green commuting benefits (HR/Finance function)
  2. % of employees commuting by bike or public transport (this would need to be survey based)
  3. Total £/€ subsidised for employee greener commute

Useful resources and further reading Copy link

Company or government-sponsored bike for employees:

Examples and testimonials Copy link

A holistic sustainability programme includes looking at all aspects of our footprint, including employee commute. To minimise energy use, we provide flexible working setups, where employees can choose to partly work from home. As our core business is delivering sustainable mobility, we provide our service for free to all employees so they can commute and move around with shared, electric, light-weight vehicles. Our employee surveys shows that 87% of Voi employees commute by walking, cycling, scooting or public transport, with the rest relying on cars. We work to keep improving this going forward. Copy link
Sarah Badoux, Head of Sustainability at Voi Technology. Copy link