Ride-hailing firm Bolt commits to making rides in Europe carbon-neutral

Bolt, the on-demand transportation platform, has announced journeys taken using its platform in Europe will be carbon neutral by offsetting emissions. 

The Estonia-headquartered company revealed a number of commitments as part of its environmental strategy, called ‘Green Plan’. With a €10 million-euro investment up to 2025, Bolt will offset its contribution to the European transportation sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least five million tonnes.

From 2020, Bolt will add more ‘green’ ride-types to the platform in Europe for passengers to choose from, as well as offsetting the global emissions from its offices. The commitments include introducing electric scooters to more cities and allowing Bolt riders to donate and contribute to green initiatives from inside the app. In 2016, road transport accounted for 20% of Europe's carbon dioxide emissions, with passenger cars contributing 44% of these. Emissions increased by 28.3% between 1990 and 2016, according to the European Environment Agency. Europe is aiming for the transport industry to be climate neutral in the second half of the century. Markus Villig, CEO and founder of Bolt, said: “The facts show climate change is real and greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest cause of it. Today, road transportation makes up about 20% of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. As Bolt is a part of that ecosystem, we need to hold ourselves responsible for being part of the solution. “We are working every day to accelerate the shift to shared and efficiently-used vehicles – electric cars, bikes, scooters and other types of vehicles that are yet to be invented. But we need to face the reality that our current transition is not fast enough. So, while we look to reduce emissions by adding more shared and electric vehicles to our fleets across cities, carbon offsetting takes immediate action to reduce emissions today and acts as a driver across the company to speed up the transition. “We’re in the unique and fortunate position of being able to act as a driving force for change both in and outside our industry and we hope that this action sets an example for other companies to follow, so we can all share the responsibility moving forward.” Bolt will offset the emissions from ride-hailing trips for journeys taken within and between Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Bolt will work with Natural Capital Partners, experts in the delivery of solutions for positive impact on carbon and renewable energy, to deliver its carbon neutrality. Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director, External Affairs at Natural Capital Partners, said: “Carbon neutral action is increasingly important across all sectors to rapidly deliver the emissions reductions required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. We are delighted to work with such a disruptive company which is making this commitment to an immediate, positive impact on our climate. “Bolt currently serves 25 million customers in over 30 countries globally and has grown to be an on-demand transportation leader in Europe and Africa. Last year, it became the first company to bring ride-hailing and scooter sharing together in a single app, enabling ride-hailing customers to opt for quicker and greener rides in congested city centres.” 

Image credit: Bolt

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