News & Views

Smarter Working Forum in Milton Keynes will provide local businesses with advice on reducing their dependence on physical travel for meetings

From 12-2pm on 10 July 2014 at T-Systems Limited in Milton Keynes

Local businesses in Milton Keynes are invited to find out how they can use the latest communications technology to reduce the time and expense involved in travelling to meetings. 

Employees from sustainable travel specialist, Go Travel Solutions have been helping Colchester-based charity, Re~Cycle with the repair and shipping of refurbished bikes to Africa.

Re~Cycle is Go Travel Solutions’ chosen charity and the finished bikes will go to people living in rural areas including Gambia, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Madagascar. They will offer people a route out of poverty, giving them opportunities to travel to work, healthcare locations and school. Since 1997, Re~Cycle has sent more than 53,000 bikes to Africa, plus parts and tools.


Increasing the numbers of employees working from home could save up to £3bn in energy costs for UK businesses, reducing over three million tonnes of carbon emissions nationwide.

That's according to a new report released today (21 May) by the Carbon Trust. The report indicates that homeworking can significantly reduce office energy consumption and rental costs, as well as additional CO2 emissions created by employees when commuting. 

Advances in technologies such as smartphones and cloud computing means it is now all the more feasible, with the report revealing a significant increase in homeworkers to over four million out of a 30 million-strong workforce. 

"Homeworking is on the rise, with numbers increasing by over half a million since 2007," said the Carbon Trust's managing director of advisory Hugh Jones. "This new research shows that in the right circumstances, it has the potential to be expanded significantly and be a win-win for business and the environment." 

The Carbon Trust's research goes on to reveal a critical finding: carbon savings are sometimes not achieved because of potential rebound effects, particularly the increased carbon emissions from employees working in homes that often energy inefficient. 

Balancing act 

Jones says business must therefore take care to factor in their individual circumstances when considering homeworking policies, to ensure that these will actually cut carbon emissions and not increase them. 

"Significant financial and carbon savings can be achieved from the roll out of homeworking," he said. "But companies must be careful to ensure that they get the balance right, for if employers do not take account of their individual circumstances, a rebound effect, from employees heating inefficient homes, may actually lead to an increase in carbon emissions." 

Over 40 per cent of UK jobs are compatible with working from home, but only 35 per cent of companies have a policy allowing their employees to do so. And where homeworking is offered by companies, between one-third and one-half choose not to accept it. 

Workplaces that can realise the greatest immediate environmental benefits from a shift to homeworking tend to be those with long average employee commutes, especially by car, and where employers are contemplating a move to new premises. 

Case study: Cisco 

One firm that has taken advantage of the energy reduction benefits of telecommuting is networking equipment manufacturer Cisco. 

Ian Foddering, Cisco's chief technology officer and technical director, said: "By 2018, there will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices globally. As such, telecommuting will not only become commonplace but is already in the progress of fast becoming the most natural way for people to work and collaborate globally. Cisco has aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and suppliers worldwide, and telecommuting is helping us to achieve these goals. 

"The average Cisco employee telecommutes two days a week and those using our Cisco Virtual Office technology typically work from home three days each week. In total, this amounts to avoiding 35 million miles of commuting per year. Not only is this great for the environment, reducing Cisco's CO2 emissions by 17,000 tonnes annually, but it's also great for business, with an estimated $333 million per year made in productivity savings. 

"Although some organisations may experience cultural barriers in adopting telecommuting, we believe our experience at Cisco demonstrates the real benefits to the environment, the business and the individual employee." 







From 2.30-4.30pm on 15 May 2014 at Holiday Inn Stevenage

Local business in the Stevenage area can get access to free advice on how they can benefit from sustainable travel at a free Get Smarter Travel Forum. The Forum will help businesses to discover how travel plans can help them to reduce pressures on car parking, cut business travel costs, promote cheaper and healthier ways to travel, reduce their carbon footprint and enhance their corporate reputation.

The Forum is part of the Smartgo Stevenage programme and will take place from 2.30-4.30pm on Thursday, 15 May 2014 at Holiday Inn Stevenage, St Georges Way, SG1 1HS. Attendees will find out how they can retain and recruit staff through cheaper and easier commuting, learn about the discounts on offer through the Smartgo Stevenage network, and hear how local businesses such as GSK and MBDA have benefited from their sustainable travel plans.

Project Manager

Cliff Jones

Project Client

Gloucestershire County Council

Challenge - what was the primary challenge or set of challenges facing the client? What was the business case for change?

With up to 30,000 households and numerous community groups in Gloucester and Churchdown and ahead of a time of significant highway works, Gloucestershire County Council identified a need to provide excellent and timely travel choice information for local residents. 

For up to 1,700 staff at Tilbrook business estate, running to Kingston retail centre 

A new lunchtime shuttle bus service will be launched on Monday 28 April 2014 to enable up to 1,700 staff at the Tilbrook business estate in Milton Keynes to travel to the nearby Kingston retail centre. The new service is an initiative of the Tilbrook Travel Hub and will provide an easy and sustainable travel option for staff to reduce car use during the day.

Travel on service 51 will cost £2 return, will run between 12 noon and 2pm every 20 minutes, and is being run by bus company Z&S Transport. The Tilbrook scheme is co-ordinated by sustainable travel specialist, Go Travel Solutions as part of its Smartgo Milton Keynes initiative and is supported by a number of local businesses on the Tilbrook estate including Red Bull Technology, Trek UK, T-Systems, PPSGB, Kingston Foods and Sansetsu.

Go Travel Solutions Ltd, Gloucester and Tewkesbury

"learndirect has made the process of recruiting and training staff really smooth and pain free."

learndirect is working with sustainable travel consultancy Go Travel Solutions Ltd to recruit and train Travel Advisor staff for the Thinktravel personalised travel plan programme. The programme will run in Gloucester and Tewkesbury Borough during 2014 and Go Travel Solutions Ltd turned to learndirect to help provide the right candidates for the job.

Director Cliff Jones said:

"One of our key aims in this project has been to help the long term unemployed and people with disabilities in the local area to get back into work. We wanted to improve their career prospects and stimulate the local economy."

In collaboration with supply chain partner TCV, learndirect has provided a full service to make this a reality - from recruiting potential candidates to delivering customer service training prior to them starting work. 

An article in BBC News highlights that UN experts say they underestimated the gains car makers have made in fuel efficiency, but a huge expected increase in global traffic may outweigh this. Some of the article can be found below:


Reducing pollution from cars has been cheaper and easier than UN experts thought, a draft report says.

The UN's climate panel has admitted it underestimated the huge gains in weight and fuel efficiency achieved by car manufacturers.

But the panel says all the improvements will be swamped by the future growth in global traffic.

That is unless governments improve public transport, tax motorists and plan cities for walking and cycling.

The report, seen by BBC News, warns that transport will become the biggest source of CO2 emissions unless politicians act firmly.

Good to see mention of our business travel network, Smartgo Milton Keynes featured in Fleet News. Below is some of the text taken from the Fleet News article. 

To read entire article, click here.


Go Travel Solutions has launched travel planning schemes in Leicester and Stevenage, with its latest initiative unveiled in Milton Keynes last week.

Smartgo is a partnership between local employers, travel providers and the public sector offering travel discounts, a workplace travel assessment and travel planning.

Membership rates start from £25 per year for up to 25 employees and the schemes in Leicester and Stevenage currently serve 70,000 staff from 70 companies. 

Page 4 of 5

Get in touch

Our UK Midlands/ registered Office:

Go Travel Solutions 

3 Friars Mill,
Bath Lane,
Leicester, LE3 5BJ

Our UK South Office:

Broad Quay House,
Prince Street,
BS1 4DJ 


Company No. 06619901

Connect with us

Keep in touch