How to Organize a

Document Sample
How to Organize a Powered By Docstoc
					   Workplace Guide




Produced by Go for Green
          2005
Table of Contents
Introduction
      What is the Commuter Challenge? .............................................................. 3
      Go for Green’s Role..................................................................................... 3

Steps to Organize a Commuter Challenge Event in your Workplace
       Step 1: Establishing Goals ........................................................................... 3
       Step 2: Recruitment ..................................................................................... 4
       Step 3: Promotion ........................................................................................ 5
       Step 4: Training ........................................................................................... 6
       Step 5: Determining the Winners ................................................................ 6
       Step 7: Program Evaluation ......................................................................... 7

Ideas for a Successful Commuter Challenge ......................................................... 7
Ongoing Challenges ............................................................................................... 8
Helpful Resources .................................................................................................. 8
Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 8
Contact Information ............................................................................................... 8




                                                                                                                             2
Introduction

What is the Commuter Challenge?
The Commuter Challenge began in 1991 as a one day “Cycle to Work” Challenge. It has since
expanded to a weeklong event. The Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between
Canadian communities and workplaces to encourage as many people as possible to use sustainable
modes of transportation to and from work. Participants make a commitment to walk, cycle, take
transit, carpool or telework during Environment Week or other times of the year. This program
increases awareness of health, environmental, social and economic benefits of active and
sustainable transportation.

Go for Green’s Role
Go for Green is a national not-for-profit, charitable organization that encourages Canadians to
pursue healthy, outdoor physical activity while being good environmental citizens. Go for Green
works to create healthy, safe and accessible environments; provides opportunities for Canadians to
experience, value, and learn to protect the environment while being active outdoors; encourages
active transportation alternatives to counter our growing reliance on short trip automobile use;
builds local, regional, and national partnerships and alliances that help Canadians Go for Green.

As the national coordinating organization of the Commuter Challenge, Go for Green supports
participating communities and workplaces in the following ways:

   •   Providing technical and advisory support to community and workplace coordinators;
   •   Distributing promotional material to community coordinators;
   •   Providing financial support to community coordinators whenever possible;
   •   Issuing national news releases;
   •   Producing and distributing national public service announcements;
   •   Managing national data;
   •   Creating and distributing resources for community and workplace coordinators;
   •   Updating and maintaining the Commuter Challenge Web site;
   •   Recruiting new communities and organizations to take the Challenge.


Steps to Organize a Commuter Challenge Event in your Workplace
Step 1: Establishing Goals
Targets
In order to establish your workplace’s objectives for the Commuter Challenge, it is important to
examine existing trends. Are there many single occupant vehicles drivers commuting to and from
work? Do many employees drive their cars less than 10 kilometers to get to and from work? Based
on the information obtain, you can determine the most appropriate target audience or target areas to
focus on in your workplace. Does your company have more than one office? If so, will all offices
participate or would you prefer focusing on one in particular? If you decide to promote the event in
each office, do you have access to a communications network to disseminate the information?

                                                                                                     3
Participation Rate
It is important to be realistic when setting a goal for the number of participants you wish to obtain.
Workplaces measure their success differently. Some count the number of individual participants
that registered on the Commuter Challenge Web site (www.commuterchallenge.ca); others count
the number of individuals using a particular mode of transportation. Workplaces are compared
locally on the Web site according to the percentage of participation. Those with offices in more
than one community within a province are considered provincial organizations workplaces with
offices in more than one province are considered national organizations. These are compared to
other provincial/national organizations within their respective population category. Each
office/branch of a provincial or national organization can also be viewed locally within a
community’s results on the Web site.


Step 2: Recruitment
A: Recruitment for the Project
Partners
Depending on the size of your workplace, you may want to put together a team of volunteers to help
organize the event. If your workplace has more than one office, try to locate a representative for
each location to help disseminate information. If your community has a Commuter Challenge
coordinator, it would be useful to contact them for ideas and information on what is being planned
in your community. Go for Green has a complete list of community coordinators and will connect
you with the right person.

Volunteers
Volunteers are invaluable to the organization of any event like the Commuter Challenge. Students
on a work term with your organization can be very helpful when it comes to putting up posters
around the office and recruiting participants. Volunteers can also help distribute registration/results
forms and enter data on the Commuter Challenge Web site. At the end of the event some
workplaces hold special celebrations for their volunteers in recognition of their efforts.

B: Recruitment for Participation
Single occupant vehicle commuters
The main target group for the Commuter Challenge is people who travel to and from work alone in
their car. Many times, these commuters live less than 10 km from work and could easily use a more
sustainable mode like walking, cycling, transit or carpooling. Also, you should look into your
office’s policy on telework and whether it could be a practical way for employees to reduce single
occupant commuting.

Sustainable Commuters
Just because someone already uses a sustainable mode of transportation to get to work does not
mean that they cannot participate in the Commuter Challenge. The event is also a celebration of the
use of sustainable transportation throughout the year. These participants can challenge co-workers
to follow their lead even give advice to novice bus riders or cyclists on how to get around.
                                                                                                         4
Step 3: Promotion
Posters
Go for Green prints and distributes posters for communities across Canada to promote the
Commuter Challenge. Community coordinators then distribute them to local workplaces. Posters
can be displayed in the lunchroom, by the elevator, on the bulletin board, etc. Be sure to include
your contact information in the space provided on each poster.

Radio Public Service Announcements
The Commuter Challenge radio public service announcement, featuring Dr. David Suzuki, is played
in major cities across the country during the weeks leading up to the Challenge. The public service
announcements are available on the Commuter Challenge Web site for coordinators who wish to
distribute them internally. Coordinators can simply send the Web link directly to their co-workers
via e-mail.

News Releases
Sending out a news release to local media is a great way to encourage participation and let the
community know that your organization cares about the issues around sustainable transportation
and clean air. Go for Green can provide a news release template that you can adapt accordingly.
By sending out your article internally, employees will be encouraged to step up to the plate and take
part. A follow-up news release describing your workplace’s success in the event can also go a long
way.

Web Site
Workplaces often promote the Commuter Challenge on their own Web site, often dedicating entire
Web pages to the event. When doing so, it is recommended to use images and slogans that are
consistent with the national campaign to maintain the link and avoid confusion. Contact Go for
Green for images you can use to promote your event. Inserting the national Web link on you
workplace’s site is an effective way to provide more information. In addition, the national Web site
enables workplace coordinators to adapt their own “What’s New” section. They also have the
ability to send newsletters to all registrants from their workplace via the national Web site (see Web
site manual).

Other National Campaigns
The Commuter Challenge is held in conjunction with other national events: Clean Air Day, an
annual event to promote and to celebrate activities that care and nurture our environmental legacy,
and the One-Tonne Challenge, a program encouraging Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gas
emissions by one Tonne. By cross-promoting these events on a national scale, we are able to
increase awareness of the issues surrounding climate change and sustainable transportation.
Promotional campaigns for these programs are linked through the display and distribution of
brochures, promotional items, bus boards, Web sites, posters, etc., which display similar imagery
for their concepts.




                                                                                                      5
Step 4: Training
Commuter Challenge Web Site
The Commuter Challenge Web site is key to the program’s success. Workplace coordinators should
become familiar with the main Web site and the administrative Web site. The latter allows the
community coordinator to perform the following tasks:
      1. Approve registration of various offices/branches (if applicable)
      2. Screen for inappropriate entries;
      3. Register new users, input results;
      4. Update user and workplace information;
      5. Send Newsletters to registrants from their workplace;
      6. Personalize the What’s New Page for the main site;
      7. Delete, hide, merge and modify branches/offices (if applicable);
      8. Track the number of registrants;
      9. Enter mass results for the workplace.

It is useful for coordinators to learn the basics of the Web site, especially in terms of registration,
results submission and data management. Technical support and training is available from Go for
Green by telephone and e-mail. Workplace coordinators can also contact their community
coordinator for technical support (if applicable). The Web Site Manual is the descriptive guide for
the Web site. It is available through Go for Green or it can be downloaded directly from the
Commuter Challenge Web site (www.commuterchallenge.ca).


Step 5: Determining the Winners
National awards vary from year to year depending on funding and sponsorship. Go for Green
declares one winning community, national organization and provincial organization in each major
population category based on highest percentage of participation.

Workplaces can award prizes internally such as pens, baseball caps, t-shirts and gift certificates.
Items that help promote active and sustainable transportation are especially encouraged such as
pedometers, bicycle helmets or locks, bus or train passes, etc. Workplaces can declare internal
winners at their own discretion. Many do so in the following ways:

   •   Number of Days Participated
       The Commuter Challenge is a weeklong event. Registrants can choose to participate for one
       day or all week. Some workplace offer prizes to those who participated the most days.

   •   Points Systems
       Some workplaces use a points system by which they attribute a different point value for each
       mode of transportation depending on its sustainability (i.e. walking would merit more points
       than carpooling). Points can also be awarded for the number of days a person participated in
       the Challenge. The person with the most points wins.

   •   Random Draws

                                                                                                          6
       Prizes can be drawn randomly among the workplaces and individuals.

   •   Other
       Theme prizes can be created. For example, winners can be declared for the most original
       sustainable mode used to get to work, the most kilometers of pollution saved during the
       Challenge, the most participants recruited by a volunteer, etc.


Step 7: Program Evaluation
The final step a Commuter Challenge coordinator should undertake is the evaluation of the event
upon its completion. First, the workplace coordinator needs to answer certain questions. Have the
goals and objectives established in Step 1 been met? What good has come from your workplace’s
participation in the Commuter Challenge? Should you organize the event next year? If so, how can
you build on your accomplishments or learn from past experiences?

These questions and many others can be answered by distributing surveys to all participants. A
statistical report is very useful in evaluating the program’s success in your community. It can also
help persuade other workplaces to participate. They will be eager to learn more about your
experience. In addition, statistical reports allow for year-to-year comparisons of participation rates
in your workplace and community. To assist you in evaluating the event, Go for Green can provide
you with an electronic spreadsheet of your workplace data taken directly from the database.

Case studies of workplaces that participated in the Commuter Challenge are a great way to evaluate
the program. You can even have your workplace case study posted on the Commuter Challenge
Web site to share with others. A variety of community and workplace case studies can be found at
http://www.commuterchallenge.ca/english/casestudies.aro.


Ideas for a Successful Commuter Challenge
Special events held during the week of the Commuter Challenge are a great opportunity to recruit
participants, draw media attention and inform the public about sustainable transportation. The
following are just a few ideas of activities workplace coordinators can organize to get their
colleagues involved in the Commuter Challenge:
                       Cycling workshops
                       Commuter Relays
                       Involving local dignitaries and celebrities
                       Theme days: Transit Tuesday, Walking Wednesday, etc
                       Workplace breakfast for participants
                       Challenges between workplaces
                       Safety sessions
                       Lunchtime presentations




                                                                                                     7
Ongoing Challenges
Expanding on the success of the national Commuter Challenge, communities and workplaces are
now encouraged to challenge their workers to walk, bike, take transit, carpool or telework as means
of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and adopting healthier lifestyles throughout the year.
Communities and workplaces can register their own events year round on the Commuter Challenge
Web site and follow the steps described in this guide. Workplaces can even organize regular events
to promote sustainable transportation.



Helpful Resources
The following resources are available from Go for Green and can be useful to workplace
coordinators:
   •   Commuter Challenge brochure
   •   Commuter Challenge Web site Manual
   •   Benefits of Sustainable Transportation – Fact Sheet
   •   Commuter Challenge Online Case Studies (www.commuterchallenge.ca)
   •   Making a Case for Active Transportation (Fact Sheets)
   •   Walk & Roll: A Guide to Active Transportation to and from the Workplace
   •   Clean Air Day Brochure
   •   One-Tonne Challenge Guide


Conclusion
The dedication of the coordinators and volunteers across the country plays an important role in the
sustainability of this national event. Technical, promotional and advisory support is available at the
national level. The efforts of Commuter Challenge coordinators across the country are essential to
this program’s main objective of increasing the use of sustainable modes of transportation to and
from work for healthier Canadians and a healthier environment.


Contact Information
Carolyn Bourque
National Commuter Challenge Coordinator
Go for Green / Vert l’action
Unit 16 - 5480 Canotek Rd, Ottawa, ON K1J 9H6
Telephone: 1 (888) 822-2848 ext. 106          Fax: (613) 748-0357
E-mail: cbourque@goforgreen.ca                Web site: www.commuterchallenge.ca




                                                                                                     8

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:27
posted:3/30/2010
language:English
pages:8