Solar Pedals: Incentivizing Biking at Work

Some people crave time on the seat of their bikes, feeling the breeze whip past their faces as they cruise through the streets. Mike Kanne is not one of those people, but that doesn’t stop him from logging over 20 miles a week commuting to work and running errands on his bike. So, if he doesn’t love riding, why does he do it? Because his employer, Technicians for Sustainability (TFS), has made it so easy, providing perks and incentives that have swayed Kanne from being a reluctant cyclist to a dedicated bike commuter.

TFS, a SunPower Elite Dealer has been installing solar energy systems in the greater Tucson area since 2003. Sustainability is a huge part of the company ethos, from incentivizing employees to go solar themselves, to sourcing merchandise free of sweatshop labor, and having compost containers in the office for food scraps. And a big part of TFS’ dedication to a sustainable workplace is about supporting bicycling – both within the TFS community and in Tucson at large.

Technicians for Sustainability

Some of Technicians for Sustainability’s employees on their bikes at work

Perks for cyclists at TFS include dedicated bike racks safe inside the warehouse, company bikes for running errands, and a $250 reimbursement available each year for employees who invest in their bikes. These commitments to cycling have earned TFS a spot in the silver level of bike-friendly businesses in the League of American Cyclists, and contribute to an environmental footprint reduction that has helped TFS maintain certification as a B Corp since 2014.

“The reimbursement is a great incentive to ride to work or all other places I might choose to ride,” says Kanne. “I don’t pack great bike service skills and being able to take my ride in for maintenance and know that I will be reimbursed is just great.”

Kanne notes that the bike-friendly culture at TFS has impacted his behavior. “The awareness of the biking culture changes the feeling at the shop,” he says. “Having the bike rack right in the middle of things keeps our interest and commitment to sustainable transportation front and center. “Participation in events like Cyclovia, and Tucson’s Bike Fest workplace challenge, as a member of the TFS team, has helped motivate Kanne’s whole family to ride together. “These events get us out in the air on two wheels,” he remarks.