Lime, the electric scooter and bicycle company, wants to go “lime green” by becoming a carbon neutral business.
On Tuesday, Lime announced a partnership with NativeEnergy that will allow it to buy renewable energy credits to charge its fleet. Since people charge most of the scooters in their homes, Lime can’t completely control the company’s energy consumption.
Still, Lime will use renewable energy purchased from local utilities and NativeEnergy renewable energy projects to charge bikes and some scooters.
Lime will also buy carbon offsets to balance out the emissions that come from its operations and management fleet, like the trucks and other vehicles that go out to fix and replace damaged bikes and scooters. The company also said it wants to make its offices more energy efficient and that it’s exploring on-site solar energy as an alternative power source.
As with electric cars, Lime’s scooters aren’t necessarily powered by clean energy just because the vehicles aren’t burning fossil fuels. As noted in Scientific American, “it all depends on where the electricity comes from.”
Scooter competitor Bird has touted the green side of scooters since its inception, claiming the electric rides don’t pollute or contribute to traffic. In marking its one-year anniversary last month, Bird said its riders have saved 12.7 million pounds of CO2 emissions. But this doesn’t take into account the source of the electricity powering its scooters.
This past Earth Day, Lyft announced its ride-hailing service is carbon neutral. Like Lime, Lyft is purchasing carbon offsets — which is not the same as eliminating carbon emissions from its vehicles.
Still, in the wake of a terrifying new UN climate change report, at least these companies are taking small steps toward a more sustainable future.