The Bike to Work challenge originated in the United States and aims to promote cycling as a means of commuting. The concept is now applied in several countries, attracting more and more people.
In Slovakia, BNP Paribas Personal Finance took part in this challenge to encourage its employees to contribute to environmental protection. Lukas Lendak, a participant in 2019, tells us about it.
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name’s Lukas Lendak and I work at Cetelem in Slovakia. After a long period spent in finance, I turned to the sales side, where I have been working for a year now.
Could you tell us what the Bike to Work challenge is all about?
Bike to Work is a campaign that encourages people to cycle to work. The campaign also incites companies to develop infrastructures to help their employees to switch to this means of transport.
Why did you decide to take part in the challenge?
BNP Paribas Personal Finance is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and, throughout the world, the company encourages its employees to adopt eco-friendly practices they can apply every day. The Bike to Work initiative is therefore the ideal fit for this strategy!
How did the challenge work?
From March 1st to May 5 this year, teams of two to four employees were formed in the various companies taking part across the country. For just over a month, those teams cycled to work and recorded the number of kilometres covered via a dedicated website. We could visit the website to see, in real time, which team had covered the most kilometres. At the end of the competition, the winning teams were awarded... a bike!
Before the challenge, did you cycle to work?
Of course! I love cycling. For me, it’s the most pleasant way of getting to work, especially during rush hours when public transport is crowded and traffic congested.
Did you notice that employees started cycling to work more regularly after the challenge?
I don’t think that a single action can change our employees’ habits. On the other hand, the synergy between different actions can be very powerful. Since the start of this year, Slovnaftbike has been providing self-service bicycles in the street outside our headquarters. It’s a good example of an accumulation of initiatives that will change attitudes over the long term!
Did BNP Paribas Personal Finance staff win a prize?
Unfortunately not! But the employees that took part had the satisfaction of participating in a positive movement for the environment and beneficial for themselves too.
A word to encourage your colleagues or other companies to follow your example by cycling to work more regularly?
Everyone, on your bikes! It’s good for the planet and it’s good for your health – what’s not to like?!
A last word to conclude on this challenge?
I would like to say a big thanks to my colleagues who took part in this challenge. Despite the awful weather during the challenge, we did it with honour!