Clif Bar has launched a Cool Commute program program for employees and will pay cash to those who purchase clean-burning biodiesel cars. It also helps employees buy hybrids and offers a variety of rewards to those who leave their cars at home altogether.
Al Gore was on hand for the announcement. “There is a hunger in the business community for practical solutions on how to put environmental goals into action,” said Gore. “Companies are searching for pioneers that are examples of positive change.”
Cool Commute pays $5,000 to employees who switch to biodiesel (B100) cars for their commutes. In addition to a cash incentive for biodiesel, Clif Bar also will pay $5,000 to its people who buy a fuel-friendly hybrid vehicle.
In addition, points are awarded to Clif Bar people who carpool or leave their cars at home and opt instead to walk, bike or take public transportation to work. Points can be redeemed for tax-free public transit vouchers or gift cards from Whole Foods Market, Peet’s Coffee and other local green businesses. Points can also be used to support environmental groups such as American Forests, Clean Air-Cool Planet and NativeEnergy.
“We found that collectively the folks at our company consumed about 29,500 gallons of gasoline commuting more than 700,000 miles to and from work in 2005,” said Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar’s staff ecologist and co-developer of the Cool Commute effort. “By encouraging our people to rely less on fossil fuels in their commutes, we can make a difference as a business when it comes to arguably the single biggest issue facing us allA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬AA¢a?A¬?global warming.”
Clif Bar says that Cool Commute is the first phase of a larger Clif Bar initiative that will eventually help employees address their environmental impact at home as well as at work, according to Jennifer Freitas, the company’s wellness advocate and co-developer with Hammond of the Cool Commute program.