As part of our pledge to be climate positive by 2030, we have committed to maximising material recirculation and to minimising waste. Our primary goals with regards to circularity and zero-waste are, therefore, to:
- Design repairable vehicles with recyclable and recycled materials
- Extend vehicle lifespan as much as possible through repairs, reuse and adapted second life options
- Recirculate materials at end of life to divert from landfill and feed into other products
Voi’s hierarchy of waste
Managing waste is a complex process which is why, at Voi, we have a hierarchy of waste in order to consider its importance at every stage of our supply chain. From predicting potential for waste during the design stage, to managing waste in our warehouses as well at the point of disposal, we are on it.
There are four main steps that we take at Voi to ensure best-in-class recycling processes:
- optimise the use of recycled and recyclable materials in our vehicles
- repair and reuse spare parts
- implement industry-leading recycling processes
- establish zero-waste warehouses in all our markets
However, for the fraction of materials that we cannot reuse, we strive to divert all waste from landfill and recycle and recirculate all materials elsewhere, by collaborating with local recycling experts.
We celebrate circularity
Circularity and zero-waste were embedded in Voi’s already sustainably strong practices by our Environmental Action Plan. The circular economy is the opposite from most traditional economic models where we take resources, manufacture and throw away – all in a linear process. In a circular economy, however, as well as recycling, we stop waste being produced in the first place and close any loops where resources, components or final products might lose value. Our Circular Vehicle Programme aims to do just that.
Voi’s eco design
Voi therefore works with suppliers who source recycled and recyclable materials for scooter production. The Voiager 5 (V5) is our most circular vehicle to date and, with this design, we have achieved the use of 91% recyclable materials in its construction (certified by our WEEE certification) and 30% recycled materials. The amount of recycled materials in the V5 has increased threefold since our V3 model and we have set ourselves a target to launch an e-scooter with 60% recycled materials and 98% recyclable materials by 2023.
Repair and reuse of spare parts
With the circular approach, e-scooter and e-bikes’ lifespans are increased when we commit to having as high a percentage of parts reused as possible at the end of the vehicles’ customer usability.
Our Repair Management System logs the inventory of used spare parts and favours the use of used parts over new ones for ongoing repairs and maintenance. We run a tight ship on this Voiage when it comes to sustainable use of materials and, at present, we reuse an increasing number of spare parts, the rest being discarded and recycled by experts if they are no longer fit for purpose.
By 2023, we aim to have reduced the need for repairs by 30% through predictive maintenance, a technique that uses data analysis tools to detect operational issues or anomalies ahead of time, so they can be fixed quickly and easily before further deterioration sets in.
Industry-leading recycling processes
For spare parts that cannot be reused, Voi sorts the materials and recycles them in collaboration with local recycling experts. For example, our local partner in all of Voi’s Nordic cities is Stena Recycling who adhere to stellar recycling practices. This includes the safe recycling of our batteries, with Stena achieving industry-leading recycling rates for lithium batteries at 95%.
We also monitor all recycled materials closely, recording the different material types as well as, importantly, the recycling recovery rate. In addition, Voi includes clauses when selling e-scooters for second life, that engages all buyers to recycle batteries and e-scooters responsibly.
Our warehouses are our homes and, if we don’t put our own house in order, then we can’t expect our customers and councils to set ambitious climate targets alongside us. So, in addition to all of our supply chain recycling and circularity practices, we are also focusing on the eradication of waste at warehouses. We aim to have zero-waste warehouses by 2024 and this is greatly supported by our recycling partners’ processes and recycling volumes reports.
Based on these reports, we can identify what our main waste and recycling streams are and work along our supply chain to minimise the use of materials that are difficult to recycle and opt for more durable and circular components and materials. Zero waste initiatives range from reducing packaging, avoiding the use of certain plastics to fully training all our warehouse staff in waste management. We look forward to the day where waste will be the only thing never welcome in Voi’s home.