Lyft has announced its intention to use "100% renewable energy" and eventually render the company completely carbon neutral. The announcement marked a continuation of Lyft's environmental commitment which saw it announce its intention to spend millions of dollars on carbon offsets, so each individual Lyft ride will, in essence, be carbon neutral.
Lyft intends to achieve this goal by either buying renewables directly or when it can't, by buying renewable energy credits from regional energy projects such as Colorado's wind farms.
Visit Innovation Enterprise's Chief Strategy Officer in New York on December 6–7, 2018
Lyft has garnered criticism from some quarters for purchasing energy credits, meaning the firm is not 100% carbon neutral in the traditional sense of the word. Lyft has, however, said the move was made to "immediately" make, at least, a positive impact.
Lyft has long positioned itself as the socially conscious alternative to Uber, with acts such as its recent donation of a $1m to "Girls Who Code" (a charity Uber also donated to). With this added commitment to becoming one of the few carbon neutral firms in the US, especially within the transportation industry, it appears to be doubling down on that image.
However, posturing aside, with more than 1 million rides taking place every day on the Lyft network, even if the commitment is not perfect, it could make a significantly positive impact. The firm's carbon neutral plan may not only help directly but may set a new standard of environmental responsibility for other transportation firms to follow.
Speaking to Medium following its initial plan to make Lyft rides carbon neutral, co-founders John Zimmerman and Logan Green elaborated the lengths to which Lyft is will go to achieve its environmental goals.
"The stark reality is that transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. As a growing part of the transportation ecosystem, we are holding ourselves accountable to being part of the solution," they said.
"We're in the unique and fortunate position to be a driving force in bringing forward a more sustainable future, and we don't take that lightly."