Hieroo: all employees on bicycles

Get inspired by employers with great bicycle schemes for their employees. We asked 7 questions to Sebastiaan van de Kasteele of Hieroo, partner of our Amsterdam Smart City programme.

Transportation by bike has many advantages: cycling is good for the environment and for one’s health. For a sustainable, healthy Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, with vital residents and employees, it is therefore important to encourage the use of bicycles.

1. What does your bicycle scheme entail?

“On the first day of work, everyone receives their own specially designed Hieroo bicycle. You get this on loan for as long as you work with us and it symbolises the local context in which we operate: improving the world in the here and now, by working locally with a new generation.”

2. Why did you start a bicycle scheme?

“Our consultants move all over the city for this work. What could be better than providing bikes on which they can put our local mission into practice, be physically active and (let’s face it) it’s often the fastest option to get around town.”

Sebastiaan van de Kasteele (Hieroo)

Sebastiaan van de Kasteele (Hieroo)

3. Since when has this arrangement been made available?

“We have been active for 5 years now and we have had this bike scheme from the beginning. An important condition for us is that you live in the city where you work. And that your own (social) network is located here, such as at a sports club or volunteering. We believe this local involvement makes you feel and understand the problems in our city even better. These reinforce each other.”

4. What makes your bicycle scheme more attractive than a lease car, public transport or a car allowance?

“Biking to work provides an awful lot of freedom. Most of my colleagues won’t need a lease car, because cycling is faster and more convenient. A lease car sounds attractive, but if you need to travel half the country with it every day, then cycling to work within 20 minutes is very attractive. On occasion, we’ll use public transport to manage distances within the Metropolis.”

5. What is the effect of your bicycle scheme on vitality and CO2 reduction?

“We are currently making an impact analysis of our services for the first time. In that, it will certainly also be interesting to look at the impact of our bicycle scheme. So we don’t have any figures yet.”

6. What obstacles have you encountered?

“With regard to the bicycle scheme, we’ve hardly encountered any obstacles, except that sometimes one gets nicked. We do notice that because of the housing shortage, for example, it is difficult to insist that colleagues (continue to) live within cycling distance.”

7. What would you recommend to organisations that are still getting started with a bicycle scheme?

“First, I would encourage focusing your recruitment and selection process on people who live close to your offices. A bicycle scheme is only attractive if employees live within biking distance. If it turns out that the labour pool is small you can look at your job criteria, retraining programmes or a more comprehensive onboarding process before hiring people who live further away. I believe that if people live close by, they’re more likely to stay with you longer.”

Want to get started on a bicycle scheme? Learn more about our Green Deal Bicycle initiative.

2 November 2023

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