The on-demand taxi service provider Lyft is launching a new program whereby the carbon emissions footprints of the rides it provides will be offset through investments into various “green” offsets — renewable energy projects, reforestation work, etc. — a company spokesperson has revealed.
“This in a sense puts a tax on ourselves to continue to move toward shared rides and lower emission vehicles,” explained Lyft Co-founder and President John Zimmer in an interview.
Reuters provides more: “The company will purchase carbon ‘offsets’ to support projects such as renewable energy and reforestation, balancing the carbon impact of every mile driven by a car working for Lyft, including the miles driven to pick up a passenger. That will be a multi-million dollar investment in the first year and the cost will rise as Lyft grows.”
“The company declined to provide a precise dollar amount for the program. Lyft drivers completed 376 million rides in 2017, accounting for well over a billion miles, according to the company. Lyft said in a statement it is working with environmental firm 3Degrees, which sources carbon reduction projects. Lyft will tap its more than $4 billion in venture capital funding to pay for the carbon offsets.
“Zimmer said the project took on a heightened sense of urgency since the US Environmental Protection Agency this month moved to ease Obama-era vehicle emissions standards.”
Some of the initial investments by Lyft in question will include work on emissions reductions at auto parts suppliers in Michigan, and recycling work with transformer oils.
“It’s really important that we know what the projects are, that they are real and tangible and that they would not have happened otherwise,” explained Zimmer.
An interesting approach, perhaps one that will do some good and not simply be a matter or PR greenwashing.