Maren Dahl Hirschholm, part of Proserv’s Trondheim team, reveals how the Aberdeen based company is playing its part in encouraging environmentally friendly habits in Norway.

At Proserv, as a controls technology company, we can be inspired by our latest successful innovation, or by an important contract win for our global team, but in Trondheim we have been consistently collecting one particular prize year after year – and we are really motivated by that too.

For the eighth time in a row, we have been handed the Fyrtårn award (meaning “lighthouse”) by the Trondheim municipality as a beacon, or shining light, for cycling-friendly workplaces throughout the city. Each year just ten businesses, across all sectors, are selected – and we have been on this list since 2014.

Maren Dahl Hirschholm

Part of the reason is that, within our office building, we provide essential facilities such as indoor bicycle racks and a dedicated area for repairing, maintaining and washing bikes (much needed in winter to clean off the salt spread on to paths and tracks to improve the frequently icy and snowy conditions). Then, for convenience and personal comfort, there are showers and lockers.

We have Proserv branded cycling gear and, at times, as an extra incentive, we offer prizes to those in the team who frequently cycle, or even just walk, to work, therefore avoiding the need to drive and use a vehicle.

Greener Trondheim

Miljøpakken (or “Greener Trondheim”) is an initiative that is giving impetus to major changes in daily habits and lifestyles. By 2029 large sums should have been invested in multiple schemes to reduce individual car use, via expanded public transport, and, crucially, more facilities for pedestrians, as well as safe cycling routes, including fast-tracks into the city centre. The aim is to reduce traffic noise, congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

Many of our colleagues have embraced healthier, greener ways of getting to the office and at least 60% of our team regularly either cycles or walks to work. Even in our challenging winter, we have several hardcore cyclists switching to their winter tyres.

School support

We have also visited a local school and assisted the children with fixing and preparing their bikes at the start of spring. We helped with checking brakes, tyre pressures and generally making sure everything was good and ready to go. Such schemes not only promote bicycle use in the young but also teach children about the importance of safety and maintenance.

Cycling is increasingly part of our culture and it is growing in popularity around the world. Norway is a country of smaller towns and rural places, and so using a bike is difficult across longer distances, but in our cities, with encouragement from companies like Proserv and with the right infrastructure, it is easily possible to get around without needing to use a car.

As more individuals cycle to work, air pollution in Trondheim has reduced, and it is inspiring to see so many people using their bikes and adopting environmentally friendly lifestyles. Cycling is not just valuable for reducing emissions – it promotes personal wellbeing too. For busy people, with little free time, cycling is simply a great way to stay fit and help the planet.

To see a version of Maren’s article as it was published in Subsea UK’s latest quarterly magazine, please click on the link below.

This article was published in Subsea UK News, May 2021 and kindly replicated here with their permission.