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EPA recognizes best workplaces for commuters

Release Date: 10/19/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA216

CHICAGO (Oct. 19, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized nine Fortune 500 facilities in EPA Region 5 for being national leaders in offering outstanding commuter benefits to their employees.

Five Minnesota facilities made the list. They are Best Buy Co. Inc. (corporate headquarters), 7601 Penn Ave. S., Richfield; ECOLAB Inc. (corporate headquarters), 370 Wabasha St. N., St. Paul; Guidant Corp., CRM Division, 4100 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul; CenterPoint Energy, 700 W. Linden Ave., Minneapolis; and Xerox Corp., 150 S. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Two Ohio facilities on the list are Oracle Cincinnati Field Office, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati; and Eaton Corp. (corporate headquarters), 1111 Superior Ave., Cleveland. Other Region 5 facilities are General Motors (corporate headquarters), 300 Renaissance Center, Detroit; and We Energies (corporate headquarters), 231 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee.

This year, EPA recognized nearly 90 companies on the 2005 list of Best Workplaces for Commuters from the Fortune 500 companies for qualifying one or more worksites. Fifty-two of these companies are specially recognized for providing excellent commuter benefits to more than 10 percent of their U.S. workforce. Benefits include subsidized transit passes and van-pool vouchers, telework, car-pool programs and emergency rides home.

Almost 600,000 employees receive commuter benefits from BWC's list of Fortune 500 companies. This results in the reduction of approximately 270,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to eliminating emissions from more than 53,000 cars each year and saving nearly 30 million gallons of gasoline, or $88 million at today's gas prices.

Employers large and small are making a difference with BWC. Participating employers and the 2.8 million employees who work for them are annually conserving 146 million gallons of gasoline and preventing the release of 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, while saving consumers more than $400 million at current gas prices.

Best Workplaces for Commuters was established by EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation as a public-private sector voluntary program advocating employer-provided commuter benefits. Providing commuter benefits helps employers address limited or expensive parking, reduce traffic congestion, improve employee recruiting and retention, and minimize the environmental impacts associated with drive-alone commuting. More information is at Exit EPA disclaimer.