Vaude backs work-bike leasing in collaboration with JobRad®

Reiner Knochel

Published on 05.05.2020

Vaude has played a pioneering role in the textile industry in the areas of sustainability and social responsibility for many years now – both in Tettnang, where the company is based, and in all its textile supply chains. Since 2015, the outdoor clothing manufacturer has also backed a green mobility concept using the slogan, “Rauf aufs Fahrrad, runter mit den Emissionen” which, translated into English, means, “On your bike and cut your emissions!”

Cyclists commuting 1.3 million km on their bike annually

JobRad [work bike in English] is an important part of Vaude’s mobility concept. “On your bike and cut your emissions!” is not just the company’s current marketing campaign slogan, it applies equally to company employees. About 100 employees, at least one fifth of all staff, have taken advantage of the JobRad offer in the meantime.

On average, Vaude employees travel 14 km to work – a typical distance for rural companies. This adds up to 1.3 million km commuted every year. To tempt employees into switching from a car to a bike, Vaude offers a far-reaching mobility concept which includes a proper bicycle garage, a repair workshop with an inner tube vending machine, tools, courses in bike mechanics and repair, as well as changing rooms and showers for employees. Anyone who has never tried out an e-bike before can borrow one of the company bikes for free. E-bike batteries can also be recharged on company premises free of charge.

Anyone who leaves their car at home and comes to work by bike, public transport or uses a car pool instead does not just save money and contribute to the environment, they are also  recompensed by Vaude with a mobility lottery – a weekly raffle with material prizes for participating employees.

Thanks to this and other smart measures, Vaude has managed to eliminate a total of 65 parking spaces during recent office rebuilding. The parking area has been replaced with a grassy campus and 10-metre-high climbing wall for the sporting enthusiasts among the company’s employees.

The way JobRad works

According to JobRad, 50 percent of all car journeys carried out in Germany are shorter than five km. A quarter of all car journeys are even shorter than two km. 25 percent of Germans cycle several times a week. JobRad also claims that anyone cycling to work is on average four percent lighter and less frequently ill than other workers. (Additional information is available from: www.jobrad.org)

Ulrich Prediger invented the work bike leasing concept in the cycling town of Freiburg back in 2008. His idea was to establish the work bike as a serious alternative to the company car in Germany. Twelve years later, JobRad can look back on different prizes such as the “Climate First” (2017) climate award or the Neumarkt Sustainability Prize (2018). The company describes itself as brand leader when it comes to work bike leasing in Germany. Like Vaude, more and more employers in Germany offer JobRad to its employees and numbers are increasing rapidly. In fact, figures have even doubled over the last year, meaning that it is offered by approximately 20,000 companies today.

JobRad sees itself as a mobility-service provider and uses digital solutions to organise the handover of bikes between employers, employees and specialist bicycle outlets. The employee selects the bike he wants. It is then leased by the employer and given to the employee to use both privately and for work. If the employee receives his JobRad as part of his salary, he can also profit from tax benefits (the so-called “€ 0.25 ruling”). If, instead, the employer finances the work bike fully, then it comes completely free of charge and tax-free for the employee.

Additional information is available from www.jobrad.org / www.vaude.com

Images: JobRad / Vaude
Text: Reiner Knochel