Today, we are very proud to announce that Eco-Counter’s Montreal office has been awarded VELOSYMPATIQUE (bike friendly) Gold status, recognizing our ongoing commitment to support cycling within our workplace and across the broader Montreal community. We are proud to be among this year’s 19 organizations across Quebec who are recognized with VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE certification and only 1 of 2 organizations in the whole province to receive Gold status!
Since its launch in 2015, the Vélo Quebec VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE (link in French) movement has worked to encourage communities and organizations to make cycling a real transportation and recreation opportunity for all. Through the certification program – the equivalent to the LEED ‘green building’ certification program but for cycling – the program offers tools and a support service to communities and organizations that work to promote cycling.
The VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement is inspired by the longstanding (it started in the 80s!) League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program – a program that we have proudly partnered with for many years. Recently, in Ontario, Share the Road Cycling Coalition has also implemented a similar program since 2010 and we are pleased to work closely with so many Bike Friendly Communities across Ontario, and to support Share the Road Cycling Coalition through sponsorships and their annual conference.
To become certified as VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE ‘bike friendly’, organizations are evaluated on four axes:
As we talked about in our last post, celebrating World Bicycle Day, we really, really like bikes in our office. The majority of coworkers cycle to work, and nearly 1/3 of colleagues continue to ride during Montreal’s harsh, cold, snowy winter! Our company cargobike is available for personal, car-free errands. We also use the cargobike extensively to install counters and do maintenance around our home city of Montreal – replacing what would have been a car trip just one year ago. An extra folding bike lives in our storage area and can be checked out at anytime for those who want to go for a ride or travel with a bike.
In Montreal, we work hard to inform bike planning decision making – from developing research on the growth of winter cycling over time, to organizing seminars and bike tours for visiting advocates, such as the Boston Cyclists Union.
Promoting a culture of cycling in the workplace is not just fun, but also makes a whole lot of business sense! Studies show that employees who bike to work are between 4-15% more productive and have 15% lower rates of absenteeism. And the list of benefits goes on and on!
We are tremendously proudly be recognized at the Gold ‘bike friendly’ level by the Vélo Quebec VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement and will strive to make our workplace, and our wider community at large, a great place to cycle.