Manager, Environmental Planning and Sustainability Strategy
Steve Jackson is the environmental planning and sustainability strategy manager at Alliant Energy, a Madison, Wisconsin-based energy company with nearly 4,000 employees. Jackson is a shaping force behind Alliant Energy’s “Smart Ride” program, which is part of a company-wide commitment to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The Smart Ride program is part of Alliant’s dedication to creating a compelling employee experience. The application covers business travel, commuting, and personal transportation, and it is aimed at reducing reimbursable mileage accrued by employees as well as cutting down on “Scope 3” greenhouse gas emissions generated by the company’s commuter base.
Reimbursable miles became a major target of Alliant Energy’s Smart Ride efforts because the company accumulates an average of more than 4,000,000 miles per year, which translates into more than $2.2 million in costs. They’ve committed to a million-mile reduction to generate savings of about $500,000 per year. It will also reduce the company’s annual CO2 emissions by about 1,000,000 pounds.
Scope 3 emissions include sources that are not directly owned or controlled by a company, but are nonetheless directly related to a company’s operations. Key include business travel and employee commuting.
The Smart Ride program also takes numerous external factors into consideration, including customers, investors, NGOs, and ratings and rankings groups. Alliant Energy operates in cities that have signed on to the “We Are Still In” campaign, which represents a commitment to meeting the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement even though the United States federal government has indicated its intent to withdraw.
Allant’s Smart Ride program is a good example of a commuter management program that fits into a larger puzzle that includes other local businesses and partner governments. It is helping the company manage costs while working toward important internal commitments and energy efficiency objectives.