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12th February 2019

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free2cycle’s 2019 Carbon Saving Challenge

12th February 2019

free2cycle are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. Accordingly, we have set ourselves the target of saving a whopping 441 tonnes of carbon in 2019 - that’s the equivalent of a new forest of 27,000 trees.

We are really proud to address 10 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Good Health and Wellbeing, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. This year, we are focusing on Goal 13: “Climate Action”.^ This is a hugely important issue and we are committed to not only playing our part to reduce the damaging effects of #climatechange, but to inspire, encourage and incentivise others to do the same, delivering on the founding principles and passion of our organisation.

We love a challenge at free2cycle - achieving our goal involves getting 9,000 people on bikes in 2019. It will be a big push but we’re up for it, as this is what we do: get more people cycling and motivate them to keep at it.

Getting people to adopt long-term behavioural change isn’t easy as it involves nudge theory, commitment, sweat and perseverance - but also a whole lot of fun. Plus, when you do get out on your bike, you know that you’re improving your physical and mental wellbeing, as well as helping to create a more peaceful, playful and pleasurable environment.

How do we plan to achieve our goal? It is not only passion and drive that free2cycle brings to the table. We make doing good make sense; partnering with people who share our passion; harnessing technology, psychology and a compelling financial proposition to deliver meaningful change:


  • Organisations earn a healthy return and environmental savings in return for encouraging their team to ride.
  • Team members benefit from improved wellbeing and earn a bike by riding it rather than paying for it
  • Our environment is improved and enjoyed by active commuters making cleaner, quicker and more pleasurable journeys.

We partner with forward thinking organisations who want to make a real difference in both the wellbeing of their teams and our environment - and then get all of their team having fun on their new bikes - it should be an exciting year!


The good news is that the IPCC* say there is a silver lining to the massive cloud of #climatechange as it is still in our own hands to slow its destructive effects. [1]  But there is only 12 years left to act and the stakes could not be higher, Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group, that produced the report, states, “The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future … The next few years are probably the most important in our history.”

One of the biggest dangers is that #climatechange can be easy to ignore on a day to day basis and people don’t necessarily see a direct correlation between polluting behaviour and the resulting effect on their environment. Even though perhaps the majority of us intuitively know that pollution is bad; as Ed Milliband points out in this article, there is not the same level of public uproar as there would be if our children were forced to drink dirty water. Were pollution to leave its mark on the skin, as opposed to our insides, it would surely provoke more positive, urgent and co-ordinated action. Would we put up with this if it was staring us in the face?

Some say that individual action is too low-impact (and slow) in the face of such an unimaginably huge and urgent task but we believe that together we can do more. Many small actions across society can make a big difference. And collective action is what is needed to bring about large scale social change to make sure that the issue is also being recognised and addressed at government level. Sir David Attenborough did this, quite magnificently, at #COP24**, inspiring individuals to take action, and imploring world leaders to do the same: “The people have spoken, leaders of the world - you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world, on which we depend, is in your hands.”

free2cycle share the belief that there is power in the many, so let’s all #takeaction now. It’s easy to start implementing small changes in your day to day life that could add up to making a big impact on your environment. Have a look at this article, which outlines positive, practical steps you can take, or checkout the UN’s lazy person's guide to saving the world.

Join us and #takeaction - #togetherwecandomore.

 Oliver de Barra

blogger & communicator for free2cycle


[1] IPCC 1.5C Special Report.

^ “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

** “COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."