The newest office perk helps fight air pollution and global warming, offering a juicy financial incentive for employees who buy a hybrid car. Santa Clara, California, software-maker Hyperion started the trend by offering employees $5,000 toward the purchase of a car that gets 45 miles per gallon and meets ultra-low emissions vehicle standards, like the Toyota Prius or the Honda Insight hybrids.
And now Timberland, the outdoor clothing company headquartered in New Hampshire, has announced its 6,000 employees will get $3,000 incentives to buy hybrids, too.
“One of the most important steps an individual can take to improve the quality of our air is to drive a vehicle that goes further on a gallon or liter of gas,” Hyperion's CEO Godfrey Sullivan said in a statement announcing the initiative. “One of the most important steps a company can take is to help them.”
Hyperion, which has some 2,500 employees in 26 countries, has allocated $1 million a year toward the incentives, which means as many as 200 employees could participate annually. The program has already proved popular, with 35 employees signing up in the first month.—Katharine Mieszkowski
Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.