Aston University: Aston University accredited for sustainable travel plan to support city’s 2030 net-zero target

Aston University has gained accreditation through a scheme which encourages employees to reduce car journeys and travel by active and sustainable modes of transport.

It is one of the twelve latest workplaces in the city to be accredited by the Modeshift STARS scheme to reduce workers’ reliance on cars and to commute sustainably by bicycle, foot or public transport.

In total, approximately 350 Birmingham-based organisations, including schools, hospitals, universities and businesses, are now registered on the Modeshift STARS scheme which provides the tools to create an effective travel plan and achieve nationally recognised accreditation.

Birmingham City Council supports organisations through the travel planning process and employers are further incentivised to take part in the Modeshift STARS scheme with a variety of initiatives, including free cycle racks from Park That Bike and Transport for West Midlands, cycle repair sessions delivered by Cycling UK and Birmingham’s Community Cycle Clubs, or participation in challenges with Living Streets and Love to Ride.

In addition to helping to meet Birmingham’s ambitious net-zero carbon by 2030 target, the Modeshift STARS scheme enables workplaces to support staff and visitors with travel choices, promotes healthier lifestyles, can lead to cost savings and supports corporate social responsibility objectives.

Adrian Owen, deputy director of estates at Aston University, said:

“Being part of the Modeshift STARS scheme helps us to consolidate the sustainability work that we’ve already been doing at Aston University and focus on areas where we can improve.

“Working towards creating a more sustainable campus and transport is a key element in our strategic planning. We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and Travel for West Midlands (TfWM) for many years and more recently we have shared with them our vision for a greener campus including improved cycle through-routes which join up with cycle routes to and from the University and around the city.

“We have also linked into TfWM public transport live feeds to make it easier for staff and students to get latest bus times, with a view to train times also being available in the next year or so.”

Dr Angela Jeffery, director of regional strategy and lead for the University’s sustainable communities group, said:

“Supporting our city by reducing car use and encouraging staff, students and visitors to travel in sustainable ways is a key strand in our civic agreement and an important commitment to supporting cleaner air for the citizens of Birmingham.

“This accreditation is a great way to promote our work to become a greener organisation to our staff, students and other beneficiaries.”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar, said:

“I would like to give special recognition to all those organisations which continue to support their workers, post-pandemic, in the shift away from commuting by car. I am delighted to announce that another twelve Birmingham organisations have succeeded in supporting their staff to choose active and sustainable modes of commuting such as cycling, walking or public transport. These Modeshift STARS accredited organisations are making a valued contribution to Birmingham’s ambitious net-zero carbon by 2030 target.”

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