Glovo claims to be first carbon-neutral player in the delivery industry

21 Jan 2022

Image: Glovo

The delivery company said it is planning a new set of ‘ambitious’ goals to further reduce its carbon emissions.

Spanish on-demand delivery company Glovo said it has achieved its goal of carbon neutrality and claimed to be the first in its industry to achieve this target.

Originally setting the target in December 2019, Glovo said it has been committed to neutralising 100pc of its carbon emissions, achieving this at the end of 2021.

Glovo initiated cutbacks in non-sustainable packaging and food waste, along with an increased use of electric vehicles in its fleet, rising by 2.24pc from 2020 to 2021.

The delivery company also entered into a partnership with offset marketplace Pachama to purchase carbon credits that supported the Brazil Nuts Concessions and the Madre de Dios forest preservation projects in Peru, and the Jari Pará Forest Conservation Project in Brazil. This offset Glovo’s carbon footprint by 25pc by the end of 2020, equivalent to more than 34,000 tonnes of CO2.

Finally, the company partnered with carbon finance consultancy group South Pole to expand its compensation initiatives in order to cover 100pc of its emissions. These initiatives include forest preservation, sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient cookstoves and renewable energy.

“We are grateful to companies like Pachama that make it possible to offset our carbon emissions in a reliable way, thanks to their innovative technology using AI and satellite imagery to verify reliability of reforestation projects,” Glovo’s head of social impact and sustainability Sébastien Pellion, said.

Glovo is now looking to new targets to significantly reduce its carbon emissions by 2030. Its new goals include more sustainable packaging to cover more than 92pc of its orders, making the bulk of its courier vehicles non-combustible, and sourcing 100pc renewable electricity for its own facilities and offices.

“Achieving our goal of becoming carbon neutral is the start of our climate journey at Glovo. We believe it’s the minimum any company should do to ensure they remain in business long-term on our planet,” Pellion added. “This ambitious but realistic plan will enable us to decouple our growth from the carbon emissions of our entire value chain.”

The food delivery company said its new emission reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. It added that its targets are consistent with reductions required to keep the rise of average global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius or lower by the end of the century.

Founded in 2015, Glovo hit unicorn status in 2019 after raising €150m in Series E funding. More recently, it scored a massive €450m in funding to help it go beyond food delivery.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the devastating long-term effects of climate inaction. It estimated that unless there are immediate and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, will be “beyond reach”.

Many businesses are starting to take action in their own organisations. Last year, more than 60 companies in Ireland pledged to set science-based carbon emission reduction targets in the coming years.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic