Grab announces initiatives to reduce environmental impact
By Digital News Asia June 23, 2021
- New feature allows users to purchase carbon offsets at less than US$0.10 per ride
- Partners Hyundai to launch new EV pilot programmes to address ownership cost
GRAB has announced new initiatives that reinforce its commitment towards reducing carbon emissions and its environmental footprint.
This includes allowing users to select a carbon offset feature integrated within the Grab superapp, the company said in a statement.
At the same time, Grab and Hyundai Motor Group will launch new electric vehicle (EV) pilot programmes to make EV ownership more affordable and accessible, while jointly developing a roadmap to accelerate EV adoption in Southeast Asia, it said.
The new initiatives were unveiled in conjunction with the release of Grab’s first annual environment, social and governance (ESG) report.
“The health of our business is intrinsically linked to the welfare of our communities and the protection of our environment. In order for our business to grow and succeed in the long run, we must work towards building thriving communities where our partners have sustainable income opportunities, while protecting our environment for generations to come,” Anthony Tan (pic), said group chief executive officer and co-founder of Grab.
“Our first ESG report reflects our commitment to build a business with a double bottom line, while ensuring transparency and accountability to our stakeholders.”
Carbon offset initiatives
Grab’s new carbon offset feature is set to be launched in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in July before being rolled out to the rest of the region. It will let consumers purchase carbon offsets at less than US$0.10 per ride, said Grab.
The amount will go towards reforestation and conservation projects managed by local non-governmental organisations.
Grab said it has partnered with EcoMatcher, a certified B Corporation, to work with vetted foundations and NGOs to plant trees. Users will receive a dedicated tree when they have completed a designated number of carbon-neutral rides.
Through EcoMatcher, Grab users will be able to virtually travel to their trees, name their trees, view photos of their newly planted trees, and learn more about the farmers who planted their trees, it said.
Grab users can also plant a tree through EcoMatcher using their GrabRewards points from the end of June.
The trees, Grab said, will be planted in GrabForGood Forests in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam through partner organisations. These are dedicated spaces for Grab’s tree-planting initiatives under the carbon offset programme.
The trees in Malaysia is planted by the Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre (TRCRC), which was established in 2012 to restore tropical rainforests and address the critical rate of biodiversity loss in Malaysia.
“Over the years, we have taken steps to reduce our environmental footprint, such as investing over US$200 million to build up the number of electric vehicles and hybrids in our car rental fleet in Singapore, as well as saving close to 380 million sets of single-use plastic cutlery from being used in 2020,” said Cheryl Goh, group head of marketing and sustainability at Grab.
Grab acknowledges that the shift to EVs will require an ecosystem of partners, including governments, charging infrastructure providers, and automakers – all of which they are actively working with to grow the EV ecosystem together through pilot initiatives and step changes.
To that end, Grab has announced an expanded partnership with Hyundai Motor Group to accelerate EV adoption in Southeast Asia.
The two partners will launch new pilot programmes in Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam focusing on addressing current barriers around total cost of EV ownership, Grab said.
The pilot programmes will test new EV business models such as battery-as-a-service and car-as-a-service leasing arrangements, and EV financing options tailored to Grab’s driver and delivery-partners, it added.
Grab and Hyundai will also conduct an in-depth feasibility study on the gaps and barriers to wider EV ownership and adoption, as well as develop a joint roadmap to make EVs a more viable option for on-demand mobility and delivery services, it said.
Minsung Kim, vice president of the innovation division at Hyundai Motor Group, said: “With Grab having the largest driver network in the region and Hyundai’s comprehensive mobility solutions, we are confident that together we can help to increase the adoption of EVs and ultimately reduce carbon emissions throughout the region.”
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