Lyft Announces Carbon Offset Program, Saying It Will Make All Rides Carbon Neutral

The ride-hailing app Lyft, whose 1.4 million drivers shuttle passengers over a billion miles annually, has announced it will start offsetting the emissions from its network of cars by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as renewable energy and reforestation initiatives, Reuters reported.

“Lyft rides are now carbon-neutral through the direct funding of emission mitigation efforts,” the company’s co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, said in a blog post. “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.”

Projects that the company will invest in include “the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, renewable energy programs, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills,” Green and Zimmer wrote.

The company has not given an exact dollar amount for how much it would spend on offsetting emissions, but said the project is a “multimillion-dollar investment” and that its budget will increase as Lyft grows. Prices to offset a metric ton of carbon range from $4 to $19 for individuals, The Verge reported. Lyft, which completed 376 million rides in 2017, said within the year, it expects to offset about 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

The new carbon emissions plan is part of Lyft’s larger environmental strategy, which emerged after President Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord. The company previously pledged that all its autonomous vehicles would be electric, powered 100 percent by renewable energy. It also hired environmentalist Paul Hawken as its climate advisor. 

Lyft’s new carbon offset program “is not the full solution,” Green and Zimmer wrote, “but a real step forward.”