What makes an Eco-Hero? According to Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc., it is a person who demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and/or healthy living on an ongoing basis. Crawford’s Canadian firm recently started its Eco-Hero program to recognize the environmental sustainability efforts of its employees.
Stephen “Steve” Penner (a Crawford client service manager, Corporate Markets, in the Toronto office) was named Crawford Canada’s first Eco-Hero because of his dedicated cycling to work—something he has done almost every day for more than 12 years. By cycling 30 km (more than 18.50 miles) round-trip to work each day Stephen reduces carbon emissions by more than 6,387 grams/day (approximately 15,328,800 grams or 33,794 pounds over 12 years).
Cycling is a year-round adventure for Steve, who puts in more than 1,500 km a month on the bike in the summer and more than 200 km a month during Canada’s very robust winter. He gets to enjoy a beautiful view of the Niagara Escarpment on his route to work every day and can take his passion for cycling wherever there is a road or path.
But it is more than a way to commute; it is also a leisure pursuit outside of work and an important part of his vacations. In 2010 he cycled more than 291 km along the picturesque Jasper to Banff corridor. One of the most meaningful moments of the trip was his visit to the Columbia Ice field in Alberta. “Seeing how the glacier recedes faster every decade is a very visual example of how we impact the environment”, said Steve.
Is cycling to work something that anyone can do? According to Steve the answer is “yes”; “It doesn’t take Superman, anyone can do it especially if distances are small and topography cooperative. Jobs based in an office definitely pose fewer challenges; however, by planning meetings and coordinating alternative transportation biking is an option that a lot more people can do. It keeps the blood flowing, saves parking hassles and lessens the unfavorable impact of emissions” he said.
Do you bike to work? What are you doing to reduce your personal, family, or company carbon footprint? Do you have any carbon-reducing ideas to share?