At a time when travellers are experiencing what the Swedish call “flygskam” or “flight shame,” one company is offering its employees extra paid travel and holidays if they choose to travel via land or sea instead of flying.

A little girl sitting on a suitcase in a train station
One company is offering employees extra holidays to travel by train © Naufal MQ/Getty Images

UK-based agency, Greenhouse PR, is offering the incentive as part of its 'Climate Perks Scheme'. Its chief executive Anna Guyer says that it offers extra holiday days to accommodate employees taking slower, low-carbon public transport options. "Up to now, however much people cared about the environment, flying was a carbon-heavy luxury they avoided talking about," she says. "They’ll take a reusable coffee cup, yet won’t consider the sleeper train."

Family walking on pier at sunny day
The scheme rewards those who travel by sea © Stanislaw Pytel/Getty Images

The company was inspired by a report by US environmental and behaviour change organisation, Rare, which found that voluntary actions such as reducing flights can significantly contribute to overall emissions reductions. Its latest report says scaling up these behaviours by just 10% could slash the projected gap to delivering the US commitment under the Paris Agreement by 80%. It also took into account research by Flight Free UK, which wants to encourage 100,000 people to go flight-free in 2020. It found that one flight can double a person's carbon output for the year, and one transatlantic flight generates more CO2 emissions than the average person consuming meat or using a car for a year.

A train in a pretty American town
Employees get extra vacation time by travelling by train © Amtrak

The incentive offers companies the opportunity to show commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. "So many businesses say they care about the climate emergency, but they aren’t treating it as one," says Anna Guyer. "I urge them to join us in offering reward schemes such as Climate Perks and help spur the flight-free movement."

You can learn more by checking out Greenhouse PR's website here.

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