Seattle Genetics: cutting-edge in biotechnology and bike-friendliness

You might not expect a company located in Bothell would be at the cutting edge of bike-friendliness, but you’d be wrong.

Seattle Genetics, a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative, empowered antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer, recently scored 27 out of 50 credits, earning Silver-level certification through Cascade’s bike-friendly business program.

Focused on developing innovative therapies to improve the lives of people with cancer, Seattle Genetics also prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees and community through bicycling.

Kelly Davis, Manager of Operations Services at Seattle Genetics, pursued the Cascade's bike-friendliness certification because she wanted the company to have recognition for their community leadership.

“As Snohomish County’s first company to receive the certification, Seattle Genetics is paving the way for other companies to follow suit,” she said.

The more than 600-employee company has organizational culture that supports cycling, and goes a long way in encouraging employees to try bike commuting.

Seattle Genetics offers a guaranteed ride home in case of emergencies for employees who bike to work. They also have a casual dress code, and they allow employees to store bikes and gear in their workspaces, Davis said.

During most of the year, Seattle Genetics has a 3.8% bike mode split. And Davis takes pride in the company’s ‘strong’ participation in Bike Month, when closer to 8% of employees ride to work. Employees form internal teams for the Commute Challenge and receive company-branded jerseys for their participation. Teams boast about their cycling successes by creating mock scientific research posters to report their statistics and list members as authors on each publication. These posters line the hallways at Seattle Genetics, reminding everyone of the company’s commitment to bicycling.

According to Davis, the most prevalent motivation for employees to ride to work is to “combine their commute and exercise, showing up for work refreshed and energized.”

Seattle Genetics makes it easy, by providing its employees with robust end-of-trip facilities. They recently added bike repair stations in all three of their buildings, including pumps, tools and spare parts for those in need. Also on the list are indoor, secured bike storage, locker rooms with dedicated locker space, towel service and other amenities.

Cascade Bicycle Club helped walk Davis through a self-assessment of bike-friendly business practices in advance of applying for certification. As a result, Seattle Genetics added bike-friendly resources on the company intranet and formalized their commitment to bicycling by outlining bicycle-specific goals as part of their company Transportation Management Plan.

So what’s next for Seattle Genetics? Davis said they’ll continue looking for ways to encourage employees to bike to work, focused on meeting their bike mode split goal of 8 percent. 

Congratulations on your Silver certification, Seattle Genetics! Cascade Bicycle Club is excited to see how your bicycle commuting program grows!