Thinking outside the box to deliver CO2 reduction targets
Increasingly, businesses are having to meet more and more demanding sustainability targets. Many of these are closely tied to their supply chain or manufacturing processes, and little attention is given to how their employees get to and from work.
However, there is a new model rapidly changing the way we commute to work, as well as helping businesses meet CO2 reduction targets. It’s called “Rideshare-as-a-Service (RaaS)”, and it is a new carpooling concept with the ability to promote change in the workplace. Rather than thinking of High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) as an imposition of privacy, RaaS offers organisations and their staff a new avenue for delivering sustainability targets.
As of June 2018, the Paris Accord has been signed by 194 states and the European Union, of which 177 states, including Australia, ratified it. Together, the signatories of this historic agreement represent more than 88 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. They must now fulfil their promise to prevent global temperatures from reaching two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In an effort to support this global initiative, Australia has committed to reducing emissions to a minimum of 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER), corporate groups and facilities that produce emissions over a certain level must report their emissions. This makes larger emission producers accountable, which is commendable. However, there are still many members of the corporate community that do not fall within this criteria, yet they are significant producers of CO2 emissions.
For large producers that require carbon offsets to meet their requirements, there are many types of carbon credits currently being developed within Australia and around the world. Should an organisation be unable to reduce their emissions enough to satisfy the regulators, carbon credits may be purchased.
In addition, some organisations are embracing Electric Vehicles (EVs) to help solve the problem. Such technologies may contribute to a reduction in emissions, but the benefits are outweighed when you consider the carbon footprint required to design, manufacture and power an EV.
Until we completely integrate sustainable practices into the economy, there lies an opportunity to think outside the box. As a novel, innovative way to measure and offset carbon emissions, RaaS could be the answer.
Rideshare services, which came to the fore with the disruption of the taxi industry, currently vary considerably. ‘E-hail’ vehicles, for example, should be excluded from the RaaS concept, as they do not contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions or congestion because, in reality, they are still single occupancy vehicles - much like the taxis before it.
A more appropriate model is carpooling, a true-to-its-name form of rideshare, which provides the aggregation of emissions data that organisations require to meet their targets. It enables people to share their commute with multiple people on-route to work, to help reduce the number of vehicles needed to bring the workforce into the office.
While some might argue that it is up to the government to provide the infrastructure and services for ‘smart, liveable cities’, business owners are well-placed to take responsibility for curbing congestion and incentivising alternative modes of transport to and from the workplace.
Consider the fact that 69 percent of Australians still drive to work. If this figure were reduced by just 10 per cent, it would equate to approximately 90 kilotonnes of CO2. Applying a flat rate of $AUD10 per tonne of carbon dioxide, the savings generated would be $900,000. Additional benefits would arise from the decrease in congestion, as well as an increase in productivity.
It’s time business and industry explored the possibility of transforming single-occupancy vehicles into ridesharing solutions offering certified methods to align with their scope 2 emissions reporting responsibilities. By enlisting the millions of single-occupancy vehicles (SOV) on our roads every day, a RaaS solution could have a significant impact on CO2 emissions.
Using Rideshare-as-a-Service solution, businesses can:
- adopt an appropriate model for aggregating vehicle environmental impact data
- align data utilisation with internal initiatives
- provide data-driven outcomes that impact on a global stage.
In summary, our society produces an excessive amount of vehicle emissions that in the long-term will impact the liveability of our cities and regional centres. By delivering new, endorsed methods for reducing these emissions, ridesharing can provide organisations and institutions with more robust sustainability practices that will help everyone meet their commitments.