Staff fined £100 for high carbon emissions

Overall carbon footprint of participants fell by 10 per cent thanks to trial

Travelling to work by greener methods is all the rage at the moment. And for many people, the choice of taking to cycling in rather than driving is a tough one. But spare a thought for staff who work for global engineering consultancy WSP. Driving to work too often could land them with a £100 fine.

WSP has been conducting the rationing scheme among 80 of its British employees for almost two years and it’s about to be extended to all staff. Unlike the energy-saving schemes adopted byother companies, the rationing scheme monitors employees’ personal emissions, including home energy bills, petrol purchases and flights.

Workers who take a long-haul flight are likely to be fined for exceeding their annual ration unless they take drastic action in other areas, such as cutting out almost all car journeys. Employees are required to submit quarterly reports detailing their consumption.

Those who exceed their ration pay a fine and the money is deducted from their pay. Staff who consume less than their ration are rewarded at the same rate per kilogram, and the maximum an employee can be fined or earn is £100.

And no one is immune from the scheme, after MD Stuart McLachlin was fined. He sensibly bought a bike to cycle the 12 miles to work from Surrey to central London, only to undo all his good work by exceeding his ration because he flew to his holiday home in South Africa.

In the first year the overall carbon footprint of participants fell by 10 per cent, and of the 80 employees who took part, three-quarters were rewarded but a quarter were fined.

Graham Munday of WSP said: “Every year the target is reduced to make it harder – last year it was 6 tonnes, this year it’s 5.5 tonnes. Last year staff donated £1,300 of the money to the Woodland Trust.

“We moved offices in London at the start of the year and the new ones are well equipped for cycling with areas to safely lock bikes and showers.”

WSP is planning to expand its rationing scheme to cover 3,000 employees worldwide next year, but targets will be different for each country.


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