The Cycle Friendly Employer Certification framework establishes a European standard for bicycle-friendliness in the European workplace.
In 2017, organizations from Denmark, Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Croatia, Italy, and the Netherlands, building on the legacy of the Bike2Work project, decided to establish the Cycle Friendly Employer Certification Consortium in order to implement the Cycle Friendly Employer (CFE) Certification Framework at the national level. Three years later, the certification is now being implemented in 17 countries across Europe, and Greece is one of them.
CFE certification is intended to help European companies improve the situation for employees that cycle to work and also to create awareness for cycling and promote it in everyday life, regardless of whether or not they can cycle to work.
Benefits for businesses
Cycling can contribute to the success of a business or organization, and supporting employees getting to work by cycling is a worthwhile investment. Studies show that physical activity and air quality have a big impact on personal wellbeing, but companies can also benefit from them: Healthy employees are more productive, and employees who commute by bike are on time, more alert and less prone to stress.
- Bicycle-friendly measures increase the number of employees that cycle to work, promoting exercise and boosting employee health and wellbeing; notably, employees who cycle to work take a third less sick days than their counterparts who travel by car.
- Bicycle-friendly measures also contribute to environmental preservation and are an essential part of sustainable mobility management.
- Bicycle-friendly measures also help companies save money on infrastructure, as bicycle parking facilities take up considerably less space than car parking spaces.
Mandatory criteria to get certified
There are two criteria that a company must meet to get CFE certified:
1. Bicycle company coordinator
The company must appoint a bicycle coordinator, who should have all information on cycling and be well informed about mobility alternatives and mobility policy.
2. Qualitative bicycle parking
The company must provide quality bicycle parking close to the company’s entrance, with suitable racks available with options to lock both the front wheel and the bicycle frame.
How is the CFE-certification carried out?
There are three key steps to getting CFE certified:
Stage 1: Self-evaluation
The self-evaluation form allows interested companies to determine whether or not they can achieve enough points for a positive evaluation. If the company’s score per category is sufficient, the company can move to Stage 2.
Stage 2: On-site audit
Once the company has obtained a satisfactory score, an auditor will verify how the company performs in six action fields—Information, communication, and motivation; Coordination, organization; Service; Facilities; Parking management as a complementary measure; and Customer traffic—and draw up a detailed report with a score and feedback for each field.
Stage 3: Certification
Companies that achieve satisfactory scores in each category receive the CFE label and are awarded a CFE certificate.
The added value
CFE certification raises a company’s profile as a quality employer who cares for the health and wellbeing of its employees, signaling that the company is able to innovate sustainably, to carry out structural changes and to meet future challenges.
The certification is cost effective and easy to implement and also promotes cycling as the logical option for short distances. And let’s not forget that during challenging times, such as the ones we find ourselves in today due to the Covid-19 pandemic—cycling can provide a safe means of transportation for distances up to 10 kilometers.