Scoring & FAQs


The scoring reflects an approximation of the carbon footprint of each method of commuting. Our dynamite research team hit the books and worked with the Coalition for Smarter Growth to find the best information available for the carbon footprint of our local transportation methods.

Rules of the Commute

  • The score for each office will be determined by the ratio of points accumulated by the participants and the number of *eligible commutes.
  • Points vary depending on the method of commuting; refer to the scoring matrix above.
  • An online survey will be distributed via email to the designated Point of Contact at each office at the end of the Big Green Commute.
  • All staff members within an office are factored into the final score regardless of individual participation.
  • All participants are expected to complete the survey. Responses are anonymous and can only be tracked back to the office.
  • Survey responses of “Not in the Office this Day” will be subtracted from the number of eligible commutes and will NOT negatively affect an office’s score.
  • Participants using multiple methods of transportation will need to estimate their mileage for each method used (ie. if a participant bikes 50% of the commute and rides the Metro the remaining commute, their score is split evenly, and will count for 9 points).
  • The average daily commute per office will then be calculated by the sum of the points provided by the participants, divided by the total number of commutes for the office. The office with the highest daily average has the greenest daily commute, and is declared the victor of the Big Green Commute!
  • Scoring is generally divided into three categories, Small office (fewer than 20 employees), Medium office (21-60 employees), Large office (61+ employees). Categories are finalized once the makeup of participating offices is determined.

*Eligible commutes will be calculated by the number of staff members in the office and the number of commutes during one work week (two commutes per day * five commuting days).

Remember! The goal of the Big Green Commute is to encourage change through positive behavior, so no public shaming! Not everyone has eco-friendly options available for changing their daily commute. Please be respectful of this when organizing your office’s participation.


What if only part of my office wants to participate?

Your office’s score will be based on the total number of employees in your office, and ideally everyone will participate. If a member of your office does not respond to the survey, they will be scored ‘0’ for ‘no response’. There is an incentive for encouraging everyone to respond!

What happens if I am out of the office during the Big Green Commute? Will this count against my office score?

When you respond to the survey there will be an option to indicate which days you were not in the office and therefore did not commute. If you are not in the office, it will not count against your score. For example, if you are in the office every day, you would have ten eligible commutes in a week. If you were out one day, you would only have eight eligible commutes.

How do I record my commuting method?

At the end of the challenge ZGF will distribute a survey to the contact at all participating companies and that individual will be responsible for forward the survey on to their colleagues. Employees will indicate which office they work for and complete a survey to report on how they got to and from work each day of the challenge. A link to the survey will also be available on the website. View scoring information here.

Why is telecommuting not worth the maximum amount of points?

Scores will be based on how far you traveled and weighted by the method of transportation you took on the commute. Since telecommuting does not require a commute, it will count as not being in the office for that day.

What happens if I have an out of office meeting during the day? Does this affect my commuting score?

Leaving the office for a meeting will not count for or against your score.

How was the scoring system developed?

The scoring system is based on the average carbon emissions for each mode of commuting. For further information visit the scoring section.

How can I determine how far I travel each day for my average commute?

There are multiple resources available, such as or if you are walking or biking. If you are using Metro you can view the distance of your commute by selecting your departure station from this list. On your selected station page, scroll down to the ‘Metrorail Fares’ section and click ‘Get Fares’. You can now view the price, distance and time of your commute to other Metrorail stations.

If someone uses electronic scooter in his/her commute, how should we score this mode of commuting?

Commuting via electric scooter will count as 8 points.