Lyft hopes to offset its carbon emissions with initiatives combating local weather change

(Reuters) — Lyft is launching a program on Thursday to offset emissions from the 1.4 million cars that drive for the U.S. ride-hailing service by investing in initiatives to scale back different sources of greenhouse gasoline, the corporate mentioned.

The transfer comes as Lyft and Uber, in addition to bike-share and scooter-renting startups, face scrutiny for clogging metropolis streets and sidewalks, worsening visitors.

The firm will buy carbon “offsets” to help initiatives resembling renewable power and reforestation, balancing the carbon affect of each mile pushed by a automotive working for Lyft, together with the miles pushed to choose up a passenger. That shall be a multi-million greenback funding within the first 12 months and the price will rise as Lyft grows.

“This in a sense puts a tax on ourselves to continue to move toward shared rides and lower emission vehicles,” mentioned Lyft Co-founder and President John Zimmer in an interview.

The firm declined to supply a exact greenback quantity for this system. Lyft drivers accomplished 376 million rides in 2017, accounting for nicely over a billion miles, in response to the corporate.

Lyft mentioned in a press release it’s working with environmental agency 3Degrees, which sources carbon discount initiatives. Lyft will faucet its greater than $four billion in enterprise capital funding to pay for the carbon offsets.

Zimmer mentioned the undertaking took on a heightened sense of urgency because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this month moved to ease Obama-era car emissions requirements.

Initial carbon-offset initiatives funded by Lyft embrace an effort to scale back greenhouse gasoline emission from an auto elements manufacturing facility in Michigan by utilizing different supplies and recycling transformer oil in Ohio.

“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,” Zimmer mentioned.

Lyft’s carbon-neutral effort is the most recent instance of a Silicon Valley firm working to mitigate a number of the hurt its providers have brought about. This week, Airbnb introduced its Office of Healthy Tourism, aimed toward easing crowding from tourism that has plagued cities resembling Barcelona and Amsterdam, an issue exacerbated by Airbnb.

San Francisco’s metropolis lawyer final 12 months issued subpoenas to Lyft and Uber for information of driving practices amid issues the businesses had created visitors hazards.

Zimmer acknowledged “traffic is a major issue” and mentioned the corporate additionally has plans to put money into electric autonomous vehicles and expand its carpooling service.

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