Bicycle Friendly Workplace – Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the purpose of Bicycle Friendly Workplace certification?

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) is providing third party certification of organizational commitment to bicycle friendly employment practices. This certification can be utilized for multiple purposes including:

  1. Objective evidence of demonstrated progress in Corporate Societal Responsibility (CSR) initiatives
  2. Program differentiates employer as concerned environmental steward
  3. Increased employee retention
  4. Commitment to the local community and global climate concerns
  5. Modest certification fee is “recycled” into advocacy programs encouraging the use of the bicycle as a viable and robust transportation option

2) Is Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition qualified to provide this certification?

SVBC has been encouraging the use of bicycling in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties for over 30 years. As of today, there are no established reporting standards in this area; in fact, SVBC is pioneering this effort among community-based bicycle coalitions. SVBC has modeled the certification criteria / process based on the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), which is an emerging standard for corporate CSR efforts. Because SVBC is a third party certifier with no profit motives (SVBC is a §501(c)3 not for profit), this should insulate your organization against charges of “green washing” or biased reporting.

3) How long is the certification good for?

Twelve months from the date of certification, renewable annually.

4) How much is the annual certification fee?

Large Business (> $1 Million) Small Business / Non-profit / Governmental Organizations
First Facility* $1,000 $500
Additional Facility $500 one-time fee $250 one-time fee
Annual Renewal $500 $250

*Gold and Platinum BFWs may encounter additional costs related to sponsorship

5) Is a separate certification required for each of my facilities?

Yes, there is a nominal incremental charge for different campuses of the same company.

6) Are the certification fees tax-deductible?

Yes, all contributions to SVBC are tax-deductible as SVBC is a §501(c)(3) qualified organization.

7) What differentiates the certification levels?

The certification is graded based on a point system similar to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification procedure. The grading table is below.

Requirement Points Possible
1 Bike Storage: Safe, secure storage area for bicycles while employee is on premises. Dry storage is important and indoor storage is preferred. Permission to store bicycles in cubicle or work area counts. 40
2 Shower or suitable changing facilities: Availability of individual bathrooms or changing rooms, availability of cubbies or lockers, access to shower facilities on or very near workplace. 15
3 Bicycle Tools and Supplies: Bike repair tools such as pumps, pliers, spoke wrenches, tire levers, and common-size hex wrenches, as well as emergency supplies like patch kits or common-size tubes are available. 5
4 Bicycle Commuting Per Diem and/or subsidies: Company offers $20 per month non-taxable reimbursement in conformity with IRS rules, or superior reimbursement to employee bike commuters for maintenance and equipment expenses. 5
5 Executive Level Support Messaging: Email, intranet, or other company-wide messaging from the executive team extolling the benefits of bike commuting and Bike Friendly Workplace program participation. 5
6 Bicycle Initiative Sponsorship: Financial support of the annual Bike to Work Week program, bicycle safety campaigns, or other initiatives to boost the popularity and convenience of cycling. To be discussed on a case-by-case level. 10
7 Commuting / Day Trip Bicycles: Availability of company provided bicycles for commuting or work-hour use by employees. 5
8 Direct cyclist assistance: Web resources, maps, mentors, guided rides, guaranteed ride home, workshops, and other forms of direct assistance to empower new riders. 10
9 Other: Innovative strategies for increasing bicycle riding to and from the workplace and in the surrounding communities. 10

Certification Levels: Platinum – 95, Gold – 80, Silver – 60

8) Can SVBC work with my CSR certification firm?

SVBC will discuss our criteria and process with your outside CSR certification firm upon request. SVBC may request reimbursement if significant time is expended by our staff in liaising with your outside certification firm.

9) How will SVBC communicate the certification to the public?

Upon achievement of certification, SVBC will conduct the following:

  1. Include your organization and the level of certification in a list of Bike Friendly Workplaces on our website.
  2. Include your organization in a press conference and press release as part of SVBC’s Bike to Work Week activities in May.
  3. Provide your organization with a logo demonstrating that your facility/facilities are certified by SVBC as Bike Friendly Workplaces. This logo can be displayed on your website, on printed collateral, or other materials subject to SVBC’s copyright policy.
  4. Provide your organization with a Lucite “tombstone” or wall plaque for display at your corporate premises indicating the year and level of certification.

10) Are there any restrictions on my utilization of logos or marks associated with the certification?

Nothing in this agreement is intended to grant any rights to use of the logos, marks, or the other program materials developed by SVBC without the express written permission of SVBC.