Climate positive by the end of 2020: the Bolt E-Scooter Sustainability Pledge

September 16, 2020

1200x628_Bolt eScooters Sustainability pledge

Helping you get around for less is one thing, but ensuring you do so without impacting the environment in a negative way — that’s something else entirely. Sustainability is the key and today, we’re very excited to announce our latest commitment — the Bolt E-Scooter Sustainability Pledge.

The Bolt E-Scooter Sustainability Pledge

We’re committed to having climate positive e-scooter operations by the end of 2020.

Climate positivity means that we’ll remove more carbon from the atmosphere than the production and maintenance of our e-scooters adds to it.

To do so, we will:

  • Ensure a sustainable development chain for our custom-built recyclable e-scooters. Reducing waste and having the lowest total cost of producing and maintaining e-scooters in the industry.
  • Design and sustain the most efficient e-scooter operations system on the market by switching to renewable energy sources and optimising every step in our service supply chain.
  • Share relevant data and engage in dialogue with the cities in which we operate to help them in making the shift toward greener and more holistic urban transportation.
  • Support CO2 offsetting projects (see below) and use renewable energy sources wherever possible.

Focusing on recyclable materials and sustainable development

In 2018, Bolt entered the world of micromobility. Since then, we’ve expanded our e-scooter operations to over 40 cities.

As with our ride-hailing service — which has been offering carbon-neutral rides throughout Europe since 2019 — sustainability has always been front of mind when working with Bolt e-scooters. This was emphasised back in May as we launched our first custom-built, eco-friendly e-scooter.

Bolt scooters

This highly sustainable e-scooter model is:

  • all about modularity, allowing superior repairability, a calculated lifetime of up to five years, and significantly lower use of plastic compared to competing models;
  • mostly made of aerospace-grade heat-treated fully recyclable aluminium, and we use other reusable materials, making it highly recyclable, durable and therefore more eco-friendly;
  • lightweight at just 17kg (much lighter than competitor models), which means it has a significantly smaller carbon footprint during manufacturing and transportation. It also creates fewer carbon emissions as it takes much less energy to move.

It’s not all about the hardware, though. We also:

  • have local mechanics on the ground in the cities in which we operate, allowing regular repair and maintenance;
  • educate our users to handle our e-scooters more responsibly by organising local safety days, as well as giving tips for responsible use through our in-app safety feature;
  • thanks to our flexible supply chain — as both designer and producer of our e-scooters — we can restore 99% of the damaged e-scooters rather than decommissioning them.

Through sustainable development, we’ve been able to reduce waste and have the lowest total cost of producing and maintaining e-scooters in the industry. This has enabled us to bring affordable and eco-friendly micromobility services to more cities.

But that’s just the beginning.

Sustainable operations

Sustainable development is one side of the coin. We’re now aiming to make the other side – our service operations – as green as possible, too.

We’re committed to designing and sustaining the most efficient e-scooter operations system on the market. To realise this, we will:

  • use renewable energy in our warehouses where possible;
  • switch to using only renewable electricity in our warehouses (including for e-scooter charging) before the end of 2021;
  • use state of the art operational software that minimises the route travelled for recharging e-scooters and helps us to optimise the necessary trips;
  • prioritise renting warehouses closer to city centres, reducing the distance to scooter deployment and pick-up points;
  • use energy-efficient vehicles (electric vehicles where possible) to distribute and collect our electric vehicles. Or offset the rides done by non-electric vehicles.

Considering all aspects of our e-scooter lifecycle, we commit to becoming climate positive in our e-scooter operations by the end of 2020. Meaning, we aim to go beyond achieving carbon neutrality by removing additional CO2 from the atmosphere, providing benefit to our environment.

Shifting toward greener urban transport

Shifting toward greener urban transport

The European Commission has been increasing its focus on improving urban environments. This is in response to the estimation that by 2020 almost 80% of all EU citizens will be living in cities. On top of that, the European Environment Agency’s report estimates that 23% of transport CO2 emissions in Europe occur in cities.

Bolt has a unique customer base, combining ride-hailing and e-scooter users in the same app. This gives us a great insight into understanding how people make their transportation choices and how we can direct them toward greener options.

We pledge to share relevant data and engage in dialogues with the cities in which we operate. Our aim being to improve mobility and transport services in the area, to contribute to city planning and create proper infrastructure — while also taking into account the principles of data protection.

What we’ve learned so far is that up to 70% of micromobility trips are made for commuting purposes. Almost 40% of trips are ended near public transportation stops, indicating that e-scooters are used as a last — or first — mile option and thus reduce congestion.

Given the chance, at least 9% of our active ride-hailing users are also willing to take a greener option for their short trips, choosing an electric scooter instead of requesting a car ride.

To increase the share of eco-friendly transportation, we’re actively incentivising our ride-hailing users to switch to micromobility with our in-app recommendation function and personalised payment options (e-scooter passes).

Committing to sustainability with our Green Plan

CO2 offsetting projects

In order to offset our e-scooter emissions to zero, we’re taking part in two very special projects.

  1. Supporting Improved Water Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa (a project independently verified to the Gold Standard)
  2. Contributing to a portfolio of wind power projects in China and India. These projects are independently verified to the CDM and VCS standards.

Additionally, in order to become climate positive, we’re supporting the Million Mangroves Project and contributing to mangrove restoration in Kenya, by planting 2,000 mangrove trees — one for each Bolt employee.

Mangroves are known as “the wonder tree” and can store four times more carbon than a rainforest, but globally more than 35% of them have already been deforested.

Committing to sustainability with our Green Plan

Next to making our e-scooter development and operations climate positive, we’ve also committed to neutralising the CO2 of all of our European car rides as a part of our Green Plan.

As a reminder, our Green Plan consists of three main goals:

  1. To neutralise Bolt’s contribution to the CO₂ emissions of the European transportation sector, with a minimum commitment of 5 million tonnes offset by 2025.
  2. To reduce emissions, by bringing scooters, electric cars and other environmentally friendly transport options for you to move in cities.
  3. To use renewable energy (and 100% offsetting where that is not available) in all Bolt offices around the world in 2020.

So, when you make the decision to ride with Bolt, whether on four wheels or two, you’re also choosing the more sustainable option at no extra cost to you.

Join our green initiative!

Our plans are ambitious, but we won’t settle for anything less. We’re happy to lead the shift toward a greener and more holistic urban environment, one ride at a time.

If you also wish to be a part of our journey and contribute to a greener world, all you need to do is download the Bolt app and get going!

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