Estonian-founded international on-demand transportation platform Bolt announced a carbon-neutral initiative on Tuesday according to which it will make its passenger journeys in Europe carbon-neutral by offsetting emissions from trips taken on its platform. The company will be investing a projected minimum of €10 million into the initiative over the next five years.
The carbon-neutral initiative is expected to involve a multimillion-euro investment which will continue to grow with the company. It will also make Bolt the largest ride-hailing platform in Europe to voluntarily commit to making its journeys carbon-neutral, Bolt said in a press release on Tuesday.
"Let's start with the facts — climate change is real, and greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest cause of it," said Bolt CEO and co-founder Markus Villig. "Today, road transportation makes up about 20 percent of Europe's total greenhouse gas emissions. As Bolt is part of that ecosystem, we need to hold ourselves responsible for being part of the solution."
According to Villig, the company is working every day to accelerate the shift to shared and efficiently used vehicles, including electric cars, bikes, scooters and other types of vehicles that have yet to be invented. Nonetheless, they have to face the reality that their current transition is not fast enough.
While the company is looking to reduce emissions by adding more shared and electric vehicles to its fleets across cities, carbon offsetting takes immediate action to reduce emissions today and act as a driver across the company to speed up the transition, he continued.
"We're in the unique and fortunate position of being able to act as a driving force for change both in and outside of 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," Villig said.
According to the company, Bolt will begin offsetting the emissions from ride-hailing trips to and with all passengers in Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the 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.
The initiative is part of the Green Plan, Bolt's wider environmental strategy which lays out several environmental goals: to offset Bolt's contributions to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the European transport sector by at least 5 million tons by 2025; to reduce European CO2 emissions by adding more green ride types for passengers to choose from and offset the emissions of Bolt's offices globally in 2020; and to create greener cities by bringing electric scooters to more cities and allowing Bolt riders to donate and contribute to green initiatives within the app.
Partnership with Natural Capital Partners
Alongside several Estonian tech companies committing to a Tech Green Pledge at the Tallinn Digital Summit on Tuesday, Bolt is pledging to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute more broadly to solving environmental challenges. This includes educating and engaging its customers on topics related to the environmental impact of human activity.
To deliver its carbon neutrality, Bolt is working together with Natural Capital Partners, which it describes as experts in the delivery of solutions for positive impact on carbon and renewable energy. Natural Capital Partners manages the Carbonneutral Protocol, which provides businesses worldwide with the assurance that carbon-neutral action for their business,operations and products is clear, transparent and of the highest quality.
"Carbon-neutral action is increasingly important across all sectors to rapidly deliver the emissions reductions required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius," said Jonathan Shopley, managing director of external affairs at Natural Capital Partners. "We are delighted to work with such a disruptive company that is making this commitment to an immediate, positive impact on our climate."
Bolt currently serves 25 million customers in over 30 countries worldwide, and has become a leading on-demand transportation provider in Europe and Africa.
Editor: Aili Vahtla