How can a taxi company be carbon neutral?

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An illuminated taxi sign positioned amongst leaves

Consider this: an app that facilitates the movement of vehicles on a country’s roads
claims to be carbon neutral – and even, if a user selects the option, carbon positive. It’s a bit cheeky, isn’t it? Especially at a time when a company’s environmental impact has never been under so much scrutiny.

It’s true that our roads are more congested than ever. You’ll have read the headlines, and we’ve all noticed that if you drive around any of the UK’s cities, traffic has increased compared with just five years ago. In fact, a Department for Transport (DfT) study last year predicted that traffic in England and Wales will increase by up to 51 per cent by 2050. It doesn’t sound good – but bear with us.

Feel the electricity

Although there’s likely to be more traffic on the roads – these figures are based on population growth predictions – carbon emissions should theoretically go down due to the number of these vehicles that’ll be electric. If you’re using the Gett app in London, you’ll already see a Gett Electric class, which will exclusively hail you an electric cab; this means you can travel emissions-free in serious comfort – these glass-roofed cabs make for a particularly sleek, quiet and smooth ride. We’ve partnered with LEVC to get this up and running, and we’re also directly incentivising drivers to use these new electric cars via a reduced commission scheme. Numbers are small at the moment, but we expect them to increase dramatically over the next few years.

A Gett taxi driving along a busy road

Neutral ground

Carbon-neutral programmes work by offsetting the carbon produced by a journey. We can guarantee that this has been happening for every ride with Gett since September 2018. Every quarter, sustainability consultancy EcoAct verifies the carbon-output calculations of all Gett journeys in the UK – and from this, we buy carbon credits that fund carbon-offset projects. These internationally certified programmes include helping to reverse deforestation in the Amazon and supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in India.

The green light

As for carbon positive – well, our app now gives you the option to hail from the Gett Green class in London. Not only will carbon emissions from these rides be offset, but an optional 20p donation will be made to some central London schools, including those identified in the Mayor of London’s air-quality audit programme – and we’ll match customer donations up to £5,000 per school. This money is already being invested in green walls and air filtration units for these high-risk schools.

While these schemes are all extremely important to us, here’s the other thing we rarely say: unlike some other apps, we don’t actually add any more cars to the roads. We just ensure the ones that exist already are put to the best use possible. So, we make it easier to hail a black cab and we allow existing fleets of private cars to carry out more efficient journeys. We want to get our customers where they need to be, but in the right way. We call it ‘getting there smarter’.

Find out more about our carbon-offset scheme, and download the Gett app, here.