Cobalt workforce Go Smarter to Work

Staff from Go Smarter to Work and Cobalt Business Park

The company that runs Cobalt Business Park is celebrating becoming the first business in North Tyneside to win a Gold Accreditation for encouraging staff to Go Smarter to Work.

Highbridge Business Parks’ efforts have been recognised with the top award from the Go Smarter to Work programme, which helps businesses and employees adopt more sustainable ways to journey to work that are cheaper, healthier and greener.

Cobalt business development manager, Lynn Cramman, worked with the eight members of her team to find smarter ways for them to get to and from the park. They included car sharing, using public transport and a pool bikes scheme, where people can use a bike free for a month in return for a small deposit.

Two Highbridge staff also took part in the Drive Smart initiative, which teaches driving techniques that use less fuel and cut emissions.

Lynn said: “As the business park’s management team, part of our role is providing sustainable travel tips to the 14,000 people on the park and leading by example. Going for the Gold Accreditation helped to focus our mind on what we could do.

“I have a child at primary school and I cycle into work or get the bus, and hopefully other parents will see this and look at what changes they can make.

“We hope that when other businesses see that Highbridge has been awarded gold, it will encourage them to get involved too.”

The Go Smarter to Work programme has far reaching benefits for businesses, staff and the environment. Reducing congestion on the roads helps the economy by improving efficient journeys to work for staff and trade. Increasing the number of people walking or cycling to work helps to boost fitness levels, which has been proven to help reduce staff absence from sickness or stress and increase productivity; and the added benefit of reducing C02 emissions from car journeys helps the environment.

Phil Freestone, the Go Smarter to Work A19 delivery manager for North and South Tyneside, said: “Go Smarter to Work is working with businesses along the A19 corridor and closely with the management team at Cobalt Park on a highly successful programme of engagement with all the park’s businesses to address the busy evening rush hour”

“The Go Smarter to Work programme encourages people to think about way they travel and even a small shift can make a significant difference.

“Highbridge Business Park is one of the first large businesses in North Tyneside to benefit from being engaged with the programme. It has been great to work with the organisation to help it become the first business in the borough to win the Go Smarter to Work Gold Accreditation, in recognition of its positive commitment to change travel behaviour.”

Go Smarter to Work presents bronze, silver and gold accreditation awards to businesses and organisations that have taken steps to encourage smarter travel among their staff.  A number of companies based at Cobalt Business Park have already achieved the Silver Award and it’s hoped that Highbridge’s success will encourage others to continue their efforts and go for gold. 

Pictured above: Jordan Gibbon and Amy Astill (Go Smarter to Work), John Cram (North Tyneside Council), Sarah Browne (Capita), Amy Carroll (Highbridge Business Park), Phil Freestone (Go Smarter to Work), Lara Dungworth (Perfect Image), Tyler Patrick (Highbridge Business Park), Sathish Sethuraman (NHS), Lynn Cramman (Highbridge Business Park) and Kay Lees (Perfect Image).