The Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge – Edinburgh Fringe Society Team

man cycling to work arrives more energised

Cycling to work helps employees arrive more energised

The Edinburgh Fringe Society got 100% of their employees involved in the Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge. Together they clocked up 1,974 active and sustainable journeys.

Executive Summary

The challenge is an online competition in which participants log their sustainable and active journeys to work. Employees compete to clock up the most walking, cycling, public transport and car-sharing journeys, improving air quality and making healthier travel choices. 

Organised by Sustrans, it leverages the competitive element as a real incentive for people to change their travel behaviour and encourage others to do so.

The Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge ran throughout March 2017 with workplaces from all over Scotland registering as teams and achieved some fantastic results:

  • Registered participants: 3,057
  • Registered workplaces: 218
  • Journeys logged: 54,667
  • Distance travelled: 499,956 miles
  • Calories burned: 8,477,900
  • CO2 saved: 54,048.8 kg
  • Money saved: £53,227.20

Particpant focus: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society was one of the participants of the all Scottish Workplace Challenge. The organisation underpins the famous festival, supporting participants, assisting audiences and promoting the festival to the world. The organisation started the challenge with existing high levels of walking, but after that the most frequently used travel modes were bus and car.

Taxis were also occasionally used, adding to the 48% of journeys that were logged citing a motorised vehicle as the mode that would have been used prior to the challenge. The challenge incentivised people to make a positive change.

“We saw a shift away from car journeys and many more people walking and cycling instead of getting the bus or taxis. This has the obvious health benefits and cost savings but also allowed people to kick off some better habits ahead of the summer.”


The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society have a really positive attitude to employee wellbeing. They wanted to encourage everybody to travel actively and get involved with the Challenge to reach their 100% participation target. This would mean getting all 43 staff members logging active and sustainable journeys, including those who would have normally reached for the car keys or only got the bike out in the Summer months.

“I think it most certainly got people out of things with engines earlier in the year than would most likely have been the case if this hadn’t happened.”

Our role

Sustrans organised and promoted the Challenge to hundreds of workplaces via an online marketing campaign and through a series of events. In total we encouraged 218 workplaces to sign up, all interested in using the challenge to create team camaraderie whilst developing a culture of conscientious travel decisions that benefit both employee health and the environment.

Edinburgh Fringe Society said:

“We saw people spending time thinking about how they travelled and discussing with others as to what their habits have been…this lead to some good humoured banter and a bit of fun competitiveness in the office which added to the enjoyment of taking part.”

The design and implementation of the web platform demonstrated that behaviour change was possible and the difference an individual can make just by travelling differently.

“The delivery mechanism of a web portal allowed for everyone to see how they were doing individually and as part of a team and that helped to encourage those taking part to measure their efforts and see the impact of their choices on things like carbon reduction and financial savings.  Then when they saw what making that little bit more effort did for the team's rankings, they were driven to record these to allow them to contribute to the results.”


As a result of participating in the Challenge, the Edinburgh Fringe Society achieved their goal of getting all their staff to engage with active travel. In total, 68% of staff journeys were made by active modes and 32% of these were a switch from non-active. In addition to this all 43 staff registered on the website and logged journeys via a wide range of sustainable modes including walking, running, cycling, buses, trains and electric bikes. That is an amazing 100% participation rate. 

The Edinburgh Fringe Society team as a whole achieved some fantastic results:

• Registered participants: 43 (100% of workforce)
• Journeys logged: 1,974
• Distance travelled: 10,319 miles
• Calories burned: 156,049
• CO2 saved: 987 kg
• Money saved: £983

Edinburgh Fringe Society were one of three teams in their size category to reach 100% participation. In the case of a draw rankings are determined on the number of journeys logged.