While billionaire Richard Branson pledges $25 million to anyone figures out way to remove a billon tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually, bicycle maker Dahon is making sure its employees don't leave carbon footprints on the way to work.
Bicycle Retailer reports that one way the California-based foldable bike manufacturer is going carbon-neutral is by offering free bikes to its workers.
It works like this: Any worker who rides a bike to work three times a week gets a free bike, as does as any employee who combines a commute by mass transit and a bike ride. For anyone who must drive to work, Dahon will purchase carbon offsets.
Workers in China, where Dahon's foldable bikes are actually made, aren't so lucky. No free bikes for them. But Dahon will offer “quality dormitory accommodations” for them, “cutting the transportation related emissions of employees who live off-site.”
There's nothing about the company's other factories in Taiwan, Macau, and the Czech Republic.
Finding a more environmentally sustainable form of a transportation is at the center of the Dahon company history, according to the website. Company president David Hon was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft in the '70s when he hit upon the idea of a foldable bike. It can be carried onto buses, trains and subways as a way to incorporate a bicycle into longer commutes.
Unable to interest other manufacturers, he collected $3 million in seed money, moved to Taiwan, and started making the bikes there in 1985.
Of course Dahon isn't alone in this endeavor. Check out Carbon Neutral Journal about the Monterey's Sea Otter Classic efforts to reduce carbon emissions and business in Jackson Hole that offer “office bikes” to run errands.
Also, last year I wrote about Stark Mountain Woodworking in Vermont where the health plan pays workers for riding to work. Although it's aimed at making employees more healthy, the side effect is less fuel burned by commuting.