Do you routinely drive to work or employ staff who regularly drive?

On Tuesday 20th July, the Conservation Council and Canberra Environment Centre hosted an online environment exchange about the benefits to be gained from active commuting by both employers and employees.

The session kicked off with an introduction (see below) about the impacts of private car travel in the ACT and the general benefits of switching to more active modes of transport.

Ian Ross, CEO of Canberra’s premier cycling organisation Pedal Power ACT outlined the benefits to businesses from supporting active travel for employees, the business and customers, and provided some practical tips on how businesses can prepare for and support their staff to adopt active travel for commuting, such as setting up end-of-trip facilities.

Anne Napier from Transport Canberra’s Active Travel Office, described how Canberrans can make the most of Canberra’s public transport system and extensive cycle path network, from maps to park & bike facilities en route.

Kate Ringvall from Ringvall Circularity and formerly a Sustainability Lead at Ikea Australia, shared the experience of embedding active transport within Ikea’s business sustainability ethos and how it fits within circular economy principles.

We were very pleased to also welcome guest speakers John Murphy at gentlemen’s groomer Truefitt & Hill and Tim Berman at digital design agency Annex who shared their teams’ experiences trialing electric bicycles and scooters through the new Make the Move active travel project. Tim was so motivated by the experience that he sold his car and bought an e-bike!

The Make the Move project is supported by an ACT Government Community Zero Emissions Grant.

Our Environment Exchange events are an opportunity for our members and supporters to have a deep-dive conversation with an expert or two on a selected topical environmental issue. Participants learn from each other and find connections across their areas of work, helping to strengthen the environment community network across Canberra and region.

If you missed it, you can watch the video recording of the webinar below.

Apologies: the first few minutes of the event were not recorded. Below is the text of Helen Oakey’s introduction to the session.

I acknowledge that we are meeting today on the land of the Ngunnawal people, and pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge all Aboriginal people who have a connection with the lands in the ACT and the surrounding region.

This purpose of this event is to provide practical tips to help anyone who regularly drives a car to and from work to make the move to more active and low-emissions transport and to help workplaces support their staff to do so.

We will hear from five presenters with different perspectives on active travel:

  • Ian Ross, CEO of Canberra’s premier cycling organisation Pedal Power ACT,
  • Anne Napier from Transport Canberra’s Active Travel Office,
  • Kate Ringvall from Ringvall Circularity and formerly a Sustainability Lead at Ikea Australia,
  • John Murphy, Regional Director at gentlemen’s groomer Truefitt & Hill, and
  • Tim Berman, Principal Consultant at digital design agency Annex.

We also acknowledge other Make the Move project partners/contributors:

  • Canberra Environment Centre
  • Switched on Cycles,
  • SEE-Change‘s Electric Bike Library,
  • Public Transport Canberra
  • Paul Magarey


Transport contributes over 60% of the ACT’s direct emissions. 11 million kilometres of travel each day, over 9 million kilometres is in private vehicles that are mostly carrying just one person. About one quarter of travel is to and from work, creating a role for workplaces to support behaviour change.

We need to shift our habits from individual car travel to more sustainable alternatives. Public transport, cycling and walking are low-emission forms of transport that make highly efficient use of space and support the activation of streets and places.

By swapping car trips for public transport and active travel, commuters can:

  • save money on car running and ownership costs
  • improve their health and wellbeing, and
  • take effective action on climate change.

By supporting staff to take up active commuting, workplaces can

  • improve staff health and productivity
  • Save on parking space and fleet costs
  • Promote their sustainability credentials

Ian Ross, CEO of Pedal Power ACT, commenced his presentation by introducing Pedal Power and its functions as an advocate of cycling and provider of training and events for Canberra’s cycling community.

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