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Reducing our impact first. Why our focus isn’t on being carbon neutral.
More and more companies are claiming to offer carbon neutral products and services, but for us at Dott, being neutral isn’t enough. Since starting on two wheels back in 2019, we’ve offset all our greenhouse gas emissions, and we know that our journey doesn’t stop there.
Any company that offsets or compensates for the greenhouse gases it emits can say that it’s carbon neutral. The reality though, isn’t that they’re emitting fewer emissions, rather that they’re supporting a project elsewhere to capture or reduce CO2 emissions.
As a single measure, carbon neutrality only puts a band-aid on the problem, when we need to treat the root cause. That’s why our primary focus is to actively lower the volume of greenhouse gases our services produce. We only offset as a last resort.
Already, we’re the first in our industry to team up with environmental experts to create a dynamic model that estimates our monthly carbon footprint for every city we operate in. With this tool, we not only keep track of our greenhouse gas emissions, we measure how much of a difference our reduction initiatives make. And from the warehouse to the sidewalk, we have integrated our dynamic model to cover every part of our value chain.
Here’s how our journey has unfolded, how far we’ve come, and what’s yet to be done.
Raising the industry standard: a dynamic model
Since 2020, we’ve worked with carbon footprinting experts, CO2logic, to create a dynamic model that allows us to estimate the carbon footprint for every kilometer ridden in the cities where we operate. We use this model to monitor our footprint per city per month – as opposed to annual calculations which are common practice among other companies.
Our CO2 model is so effective because it gives us an autonomous, regular, and reliable way to break down our emissions. With these detailed insights, we have a deeper understanding of our carbon footprint that allows us to pinpoint the highest emission-producing activities and focus our sustainability efforts there. Additionally, we can assess how well our environmental initiatives reduce our carbon footprint and can apply a more agile roadmap where we can review and revise our green approach to ensure the maximum impact.
Let’s take a look at an example from the city of Lyon. The model showed us that lost vehicles in the city significantly contributed to our carbon footprint. In response, we built a taskforce to tackle the issue and were able to lower the number of lost vehicles from 5% to 0.5% over the course of 2020. The result? We didn’t offset, we reduced our emissions by roughly 8 tons of CO2 per month.
Tracking emissions across the entire value chain
Our calculation model is based on the GHG Protocol, the most widely applied standard for estimating carbon emissions for a product or company. Because we take full accountability for all our greenhouse gas emissions, we apply the model across our entire value chain.
We don’t just track emissions from operating our e-scooter and e-bike fleets, we include our suppliers, logistics vehicles, warehouses, and recycling. Basically, anyone and anything that enables Dott to be on the road goes into the calculations. That means all three ‘scopes’ of the GHG protocol.
Scope 1 emissions
What we measure
All the direct greenhouse gas emissions related to our activities. For example, the fuel combustion from our logistics vehicles when they drive to change a battery in a scooter.
What we’re doing
We were one of the first in our industry to introduce swappable batteries for e-scooters and e-bikes. Rather than ship our fleets back and forth when their battery runs out, we now replace it on the spot with a full one. We are changing our operations fleet to be fully electric, cutting down further the emissions from our operations.
Scope 2 emissions
What we measure
Indirect greenhouse gases from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam. For us, that’s things like the heating in our warehouses and offices, and the electricity used to power our logistics vehicles, e-bikes, and e-scooters.
What we’re doing
We use renewable energy in all our offices and warehouses. Our new HQ in Amsterdam (which will be ready in early 2022) is located in the ‘green zone’ of the city, alongside the most sustainable and energy-efficient architectural projects in the city. The building cuts down heating needs with top-of-the-line insulation, among many other eco-friendly design elements.
Scope 3 emissions
What we measure
Other indirect greenhouse gases that are released from sources we don’t own or fully control. These include the production of e-scooters and e-bikes (materials, production, assembly, transport etc.), end of life management for e-scooters and e-bikes, business travel, IT equipment, and commuting.
What we’re doing
Through our ‘repair-first’ hardware policy, we use reusable spare and recycled parts to fix our vehicles and ensure our e-scooters and e-bikes have a long lifespan. Our first fleet of e-scooters is still in use after two and a half years out on the streets, while our next generation of e-scooters is set to roam for more than five years – which will contribute to lowering our emissions even further.
In 2021, Dott reduced emissions by 40% for every kilometer ridden compared to 2020.
Tackling the road ahead together
We’re not leading the charge solo. We’ve also partnered with innovative companies to research how to construct batteries that have a lesser impact on the environment and are more easily reused after their time at Dott.
We’re serious about sustainability and honest about our complete carbon footprint. Our mission is to free our cities for everyone, meaning to preserve them for the riders of today and those yet to hop on two wheels. We’ve been moving toward a greener world from the get go, and we’re determined to leave the smallest trace possible along the way.