What do Green Mountain Coffee, Home Federal Bank, Tomato Head, Knoxville Utilities Board and Y‑12 National Security Complex have in common? They (and other local businesses) recently were recognized by Smart Trips, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and City of Knoxville Deputy Mayor Eddie Mannis as having met the National Standard of Excellence awarded by Best Workplaces for Commuters, or BWC.
BWC is an innovative program that encourages sustainable transportation. Qualified employers receive national recognition and designation for offering commuter benefits, and this year marks the second year Smart Trips and BWC have recognized local companies.
Durand Carmany, director of Projects, Sustainability and Facilities, accepted the award for Y‑12. "We appreciate being recognized for our compressed work schedule and on-site taxi service. Our 4/10 schedule, which we started in 2005, has helped us in working toward our sustainability goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commuting," he said.
The Sustainability and Stewardship group, led by Jan Jackson, estimates that Y‑12's compressed work week prevents more than 190,000 vehicle miles traveled each week and eliminates about 4,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. "This is an instance where our Smart Trips contact told us we were already doing beneficial commuter-related things, so why not be recognized for them," Jackson said. "And she was right. It's a win-win because Smart Trips and BWC support Y‑12's sustainability goals and help our group promote awareness for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
The BWC was started in 2003 by the Environmental Protection Agency and is now under the National Center for Transit Research at the University of South Florida.
Visit the Smart Trips website for information about joining the free program or taking the commuter challenge.