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Earth Day 2021: Voi’s climate journey until now and our moonshot goals

red slide deck with text and an image showing a man swapping batteries on two voi e-scooters

For Earth Day, a day where we promote awareness around environmental protection and climate action, we’re taking you on a voi-age through our climate strategy this far and our future ambitions. Check out the Time for Climate Action Campaign where you can learn about climate actions you can take in under 5 minutes. Enjoy the ride!

Voi was founded on a vision of cities made for living. We believe sustainable, inclusive and safe mobility is essential for people to lead healthy, green and fair lives. Voi’s approach has always been founded on collaboration with local authorities to ensure we support their mobility and sustainability targets and with communities to make sure we co-create mobility services that are inclusive and benefit everyone.

Since a group of four young and passionate entrepreneurs founded Voi in 2018, we have worked to build a service that is sustainable by design. Voi adopted an evidence-based and transparent approach to environmental sustainability. Our Climate Neutrality strategy is built on three steps:

  1. Measure emissions
  2. Reduce emissions
  3. Offset emissions

Continue reading to learn more about each step.

Step 1. Measuring emissions

Life Cycle Assessment with EY
Committed to transparency and accountability, Voi was the first operator to publish a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) early 2020. The detailed study was conducted independently by EY in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. It provides an accurate measure of CO2 and other harmful emissions generated by each step in the value chain. EY published the findings in an industry report on the environmental impact of e-scooter sharing and we regularly update it to reflect the environmental impact of our service.

Step 2. Reducing emissions, Climate Action Plan

The Life Cycle Assessment allows us to identify the main drivers of our emissions. Based on the assessment, we developed our Climate Action Plan, which is supported by our City Innovation Fund, a 3M USD commitment towards sustainability, safety and inclusion innovations. The Climate Action Plan focuses on three main areas:

Scooter lifespan
Vehicle production is the main driver our service’s emissions. Increasing e-scooter lifespan is therefore a key focus of our Climate Action Plan and e-scooter sharing has made great strides on this front. Early e-scooter models were not built for shared use and broke down too often. We’ve managed to double the scooter’s lifespan by improving the hardware design and adopting modular architecture, which facilitates repairs. We hire and train local teams in each city to take care of our fleets and perform repairs to ensure the scooters are always safe and roadworthy. Today, our latest e-scooter model, the V4, has an average lifespan of 5 years.

a man on an electric cargo bike branded with voi logos
Electric cargo bike in Oslo, Norway.

Zero emission operations
Voi was the first player to develop swappable battery e-scooters due to their environmental and operational advantages and has championed their adoption in the industry. Rather than collecting entire e-scooters, swappable batteries remove the need to transport scooter for charging. We can swap used batteries on the spot using cargo bikes. According to our Life Cycle Assessment, this innovation enables a 93% reduction in operational emissions as well as increased fleet efficiency as there’s virtually no downtime for charging. This is a great example of Voi unlocking more value while minimising energy and resource consumption. Alongside swappable batteries, Voi is proud to operate fully electric operations in all of our Norwegian and Danish cities, as well as in many UK and Swiss cities. We’re working towards full electrification in all cities. Oh, and our service is powered by renewable energy!

electric van in Berlin
Electric service van in Berlin.

Circularity
We aim to ensure our supply chain is circular by repairing, reusing, refurbishing, second lifeing and recycling scooters and batteries – in that order. At vehicle design, we favor the use of recycled and recyclable materials. We repair scooters and have committed to never scrap them. Through our second life programs, Voi Resell and Voi x You, organizations and individuals can adopt a used scooter and give it a second life. So far, they’ve given 80% of our decommissioned scooters a second life. For components and materials that can no longer be reused, we work with recycling partners like Fortum in the Nordics or Veolia in the UK to ensure we have top material recovery rates and 0% landfill. We are also collaborating with Fortum to improve the traceability of our recycled materials.

Impact
Our Climate Action Plan has identified and implemented measures that reduce 85% of overall service emissions. We are now focusing on scaling these initiatives to all of our cities and raising our ambitions in terms of resource and energy efficiency.

 

Step 3. Offsetting emissions

Climate Neutrality
Thanks to our Climate Action Plan, we have been able to identify actions that can reduce over 85% of our emissions. We are now working to scale these measures to all of our cities. In January 2020, we made the bold step to go beyond carbon reduction and offset all of our residual emissions. This gives us even more incentive to reduce our emissions and tackle the climate emergency. In the meantime, we offset the emissions we cannot yet avoid and reduce, through our climate neutrality partner, EcoAct, by investing in wind energy capacity. This means each ride our users take with Voi is 100% carbon free.

Climate Goals going forward

We are currently working hard on our next sustainability targets, which will include our moonshot ambitions for fully decarbonising our service. It will include an action plan to:

  • Ensure each scooter and battery receives a second life to improve our circularity
  • Full electrification of our service for zero emission operations
  • Scaled Voi Pass for affordable access and increased car replacement

We’re excited to be on this journey and thank all the cities, communities, researchers and partners for championing sustainable mobility and cities made for living with us. Please reach out to cityinnovation@voiapp.io for questions and/or suggestions!

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