Everybody benefits as Ocado's Liftshare scheme goes from strength to strength
A major North Warwickshire business and its employees alike are sharing the benefits of a collective commitment to the Liftshare scheme.
Liftshare, a car share and transport website, offers commuters the chance to share transport in return for a voluntary contribution towards fuel costs.
Warwickshire County Council has been working in partnership with Liftshare since June 2014, encouraging employers to get on board with the scheme and Ocado, based at Birch Coppice Business Park, just off the M42, has bought into it brilliantly.
Since joining in 2014,Ocado have established the Midlands’ fastest growing car share scheme with over 1,400 members - more than 60 per cent of the workforce.
The scheme which has been a real success, has brought employees welcome reductions in both fuel costs and the stress of driving whilst also significantly reducing emissions and congestion. Some company on the daily commute can also be very welcome - and a happier, less-stressed workforce can only benefit an employer.
Ocado's scheme has been driven by its Project Manager Natasha Grogan, a member of the support team for the online supermarket. Ocado’s Customer Fulfilment Centre is based in the county and is a state-of-the-art hub from which hundreds of thousands of online grocery orders are shipped every week.
At a recent event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Birch Coppice Business Park, hosted by developer IM Properties, Natasha’s efforts to promote sustainable transport and links with local schools were recognised with a special award.
"It all started from a Sustainable Transport breakfast meeting," said Natasha. "The Liftshare scheme was discussed there and its benefits were obvious to our business with so many employees commuting from various areas.
We have a lot of employees in Coventry, Tamworth and North Warwickshire, but some are travelling from further afield too. So we are keen to do anything we can do to help make their journeys in and out of work easier and more pleasant.
"We were surprised at just how well it took off. We speak to new employees in their first week and ask them if they want to join. We then encourage them to participate by holding roadshows and members' competitions and prize draws. The community builds as we grow and having the car sharing app also improves ease of use too.
"Everybody benefits. Employees save time and money and have a happier commute. It is also greener and supports retention which is very important to us. We have also worked hard with Stagecoach, North Warwickshire Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council to improve bus services and other accessibility arrangements to our sites."
For more information about car sharing or to sign up, please visit the Liftshare Warwickshire website which is entirely free.