As a large company based just outside the UK’s second city, environmental sustainability is a top priority for us.
Because many of our staff choose to drive to work, we encourage them to share their journeys with colleagues who live nearby. By reducing the number of cars on the road, emissions are lessened and our colleagues benefit financially, while also easing the pressures on parking around our offices.
At our Solihull headquarters, we have a scheme called ‘Share the Love’ which raffles free parking spaces on site. For those who decide to car-share, this means that they can double their free parking allowance by entering for a space per person, rather than per vehicle.
We sat down with two of our car-sharers, Dilwar and Kam, to chat about their experience car sharing, and why they think more people should do the same.
Despite both being in the company for almost 13 years and living very near each other, the dynamic duo only started sharing their journey to work four years ago. When they realised that they were taking almost the exact same journey to and from work every day, they decided to split their mileage in half by sharing one car to the office. Ziggy also joins them on their commute, as they pick him up from a side road on route.
Dilwar and Kam take it in turns to drive, easing the stress on both their cars and their wallets. By splitting the weekly commute between two cars, not only are their fuel costs halved, but the strain on their cars is also reduced, meaning their maintenance costs tend to be lower. But who has the tidiest car? According to Dilwar and Kam they’ll have to agree to disagree on that question.
One thing they do agree on however is their music choice, as they’re both happy to listen to the same radio station. And it’s a good thing they do too, as sometimes the morning chat can be a little quiet when their rival football teams (Liverpool and Manchester United) have played the day before!
When they get to the office, it’s Dilwar who takes centre-stage…with parking! Apparently, he’s famous around the office for managing some difficult manoeuvres – so much so that his colleagues have been known to call him up to park their cars for them if they’re struggling!
Before Dilwar, Kam and Ziggy started car sharing, they weren’t particularly close friends. In their own words “we had more of a ‘smile-and-wave in the corridor’ type of rapport”. Since starting to car-share however, their friendship now extends outside of the office, and they’ve even formed a cinema club who go and watch the latest Marvel releases together.
The journey is also a great way for them to offload about their days, and chat about anything playing on their minds – work-related or otherwise. As Kam says: “it allows you to leave work in the office and not take it home with you.”
The three of them all agree that there are plenty of benefits to car sharing, ranging from personal gains like saving money and making friends to wider benefits for the environment.
For more information on the benefits of working at BNP Paribas Personal Finance, visit our careers page.