Car Pooling Offers ‘Green’ Choice for Rural Company

For the 1,100 employees of J. J. Keller & Associates Inc., located in Neenah, Wis., there aren't a lot of options for their daily commute. The company is located in a semi-rural area at the intersection of two county highways. There's no access to public transportation, no sidewalks, and no safe bicycle routes.

But that was no obstacle to meeting an environmental objective that J. J. Keller set for itself as part of the ISO14001 process. In order to reduce energy consumption, prevent air pollution, and help associates share travel expenses, the company launched a carpool program in 2004.

The program matches associates with companions through its intranet carpool site. Carpool teams report their carpooling activity in order to help the company assess the success of the program in terms of environmental, mileage and monetary savings. The program is flexible, encouraging participants to carpool as often as possible, but not requiring five-days-a-week participation.

Carpoolers get creative with their team names and each quarter a team is selected to be featured on the company's intranet. Events to promote carpooling are held throughout the year. Associates receive rewards, such as travel mugs to gas cards, when they hit milestones. The 557 program members also enjoy the personal cost savings and the satisfaction of doing their part to reduce air pollution and conserve energy.

Best of all, the results speak for themselves. Jeanne Callen, the program's leader, reports that in the program's seven-year existence, 2,818,607 miles have been "saved" (not driven); 2,356,544 pounds of pollutants have not been emitted into the air; and 116,972 gallons of gasoline have been conserved.

When word of the carpool program spread to the surrounding communities, other local companies began to contact J. J. Keller about the program. As part of its environmental stewardship and participation in ISO14001, J. J. Keller has helped other companies establish their own programs. For more information, contact Jeanne Callen at (920) 722-2848, ext. 2849, or at jcallen@jjkeller.com.