Lyft Rides Are Officially Carbon-Neutral

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Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:39 p.m. ET

Ride-hailing services are popular for good reason: They're a convenient way for drivers to make extra money, they limit the amount of cars on the road, and help decrease carbon emissions. Lyft, one of the most popular services in the industry, is now aiming to make every ride carbon neutral.

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Nearly a year ago, the ride-hailing service joined the “We Are Still In” movement. The group included hundreds of cities, businesses, and colleges that supported the Paris Agreement even though the Trump administration has pulled from it. Over $6.2 trillion of the United States economy was represented in the group according to Business Insider last June.

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Since Lyft has grown to serve tens of millions of rides, co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green felt a responsibility to help the environment. They’ve announced Green Cities Initiative, which will be effective immediately in offsetting carbon emissions from their rides. They’ll be investing millions of dollars toward the project in the first year alone.

It wouldn’t be feasible to require all of their drivers to run on electric vehicles only fueled by renewable energy right now. Instead, Lyft will be funding various projects in the related industry. This includes finding reductions in emissions during the manufacturing process, capturing these emissions where applicable, and reforestation efforts.

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Lyft will be working with 3Degrees, a group that directly helps organizations support renewable projects. They’ve delivered 120 million renewable energy credits to their clients and their efforts have reached one-fifth of the United States. The ride-hailing service hopes this is a step in the right direction and pictures a future without gas-guzzling vehicles on the road.

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“By committing significant financial resources to these offsets, we’re building into our business a strong incentive to pursue shared rides and the displacement of gasoline-powered vehicles,” the Lyft co-founders said on Medium. “The more shared rides and clean vehicles on the platform, the fewer carbon offsets we will need to purchase.”

With these efforts, Lyft enters a growing list of companies that are investing into renewable energy. Major tech companies like Google and Apple have already offset their entire operations with renewable energy credits and investments into various projects. 

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