Apr 20, 2009
On Valentine’s Day 2008—using Find Your Perfect Match as a slogan—Seagate ran a campaign to raise awareness for the Travelwise NI Car Share scheme launched by the Department for Regional Development in June 2005.
Based on an encouraging level of interest from employees, management at Seagate decided to set up its own customized, site specific car share website linked to the Travelwise NI Car Share scheme. This arrangement allows Seagate employees to look for car sharing partners firstly within their own organisation and subsequently, if necessary, within the wider public membership population. Following several weeks of development work with liftshare, a social enterprise that helps organisations and communities set up their own online journey-matching tools, the Seagate Springtown car sharing website was launched in June 2008.
Since then, periodic reminders and awareness raising campaigns have helped keep the scheme to the forefront of employees’ minds. And for those who need hard facts to convince them of the benefits of car sharing, a cost calculator on the website allows employees to see how much they’d be saving on their journey to work.
Giving her advice to anyone else thinking of setting up a similar scheme, car sharing Seagate employee, Rhonda Stewart, says, “An important prerequisite for car sharers is to be prepared to be to be flexible as unexpected things can crop up from time to time. The three of us who travel together from Limavady have managed such situations very well to date and have always helped each other out. Seagate also provides a guaranteed lift home by taxi if an emergency arises, which is very reassuring.”
In the time that the scheme has been running at Seagate, it has resulted in some 50 matches from the 111 journeys registered. Not only does this mean a reduction in the volume of cars doing the trip to and from Springtown each working day, but it equates to a saving of £7,668 on fuel and car maintenance by saving on 76,676 miles, and results in a 23 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions which in turn helps save 7,815 trees.
Impressed with Seagate’s success, Michael Lindsay, Car Share coordinator for Travelwise NI, said: “The objective of our Scheme is to show employees that by car-sharing, they can help cut traffic levels and journey times as well as reduce the negative environmental and financial impact of car travel.
“Commuters are spending more and more time in their vehicles so there’s a real and urgent need to reduce the volume of cars on our roads,” Michael said. “Being able to find a suitable car-share partner is the key to getting started and that’s where our website comes in.
“Given that Seagate employs some 1,350 people, it would have been a time consuming task to undertake manually. Seagate’s customized, site specific car share website has helped make the process even more efficient and user friendly.”
“At Seagate, we’re always looking for ways to improve our environmental performance and we particularly liked the fact that a sustainable transport initiative would engage our employees in playing a part,” said Catherine Woodrow, Seagate’s environmental health and safety officer and a member of the car sharing project team. “We’ve been very encouraged by the performance of our scheme to date and by the level of employee uptake. We’ve also noted that it has had some other added benefits for participants themselves. For some it has meant saving money on fuel, for others it was a chance to make new acquaintances at work that they wouldn’t previously have bumped in to. It certainly makes the start of the working day less stressful if you don’t have to do the rush hour commute yourself every day.”
Further information on the free car share scheme is available online at www.carshareni.com
About Seagate Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disk drives and storage solutions, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate’s business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the time-to-market leader in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world’s growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com
Seagate employs more than 1,350 people in Northern Ireland at its wafer fabrication facility in Springtown, where the Company develops and manufactures recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disk inside a hard drive product.
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