Glovo is going carbon neutral NOW! #walkingthetalk

Sébastien Pellion - Head of Social Impact
Sébastien Pellion - Head of Social Impact Jun, 6th 2020 • 4 min read

In December 2019, Glovo announced its commitment to reach carbon neutrality by the end of 2021. The COVID-19 crisis shouldn’t slow down our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. On the contrary, it should remind us of the need to care for people and the planet before it’s too late. After the crisis we’ve just been through, thinking the unthinkable is a necessary state of mind. We can’t continue considering climate change as an abstract risk that won’t ever happen.

Since Day one, sustainability has been part of Glovo’s DNA: our last-mile delivery model is already more carbon efficient than traditional logistics, since one third of couriers collaborating with the platform use bicycles. If they were using vehicles traditionally used for urban logistics, they would have emitted more than 12,000 additional tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019! 

As a first step towards carbon neutrality, we will now start to compensate 100% of CO2 emissions derived from the vehicles of couriers. We will do it by investing in carbon credits through Pachama, a tech company that specialises in the monitoring of reforestation projects.

Why Pachama? We think it’s the coolest (and the best) carbon compensation company. Pachama’s technology is unique, as it can validate how much carbon is actually captured and stored by the forests. To do this, they use satellite images and LIDAR (a radar using visible light waves instead of radio waves) to understand where the trees are, and how tall they are. Based on the 3D images of the forests, and a few data points collected on the ground, Pachama uses machine learning to extrapolate how much carbon is stored in similar areas. 

Glovo is the second tech company to announce a partnership with Pachama, just after Microsoft did so in North America. To date, we already compensated all the emissions from the first quarter of 2020. That is 6,363 tonnes of CO2, which is about the same as the emissions from 20 planes carrying 300 people doing a round trip between Paris and New York! We invested our carbon credits in a reforestation project in the Madre De Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon, through which we will be helping to protect about 14,000 trees throughout the year. You can read more about the project here

Apart from our compensation efforts, we are working on a carbon emission reduction strategy, in order to reach our goal of becoming entirely carbon neutral by the end of 2021:

  • We are working on reducing the total distance travelled by couriers by increasing the efficiency of delivery through the bundling of orders (that is the possibility for the same courier to distribute several orders at once).
  • Secondly, we are designing solutions for all our partners to use sustainable packaging for their delivery orders. In 2019, we created the GlovoStore, where our partners can get discounts for buying packaging made from recycled or recyclable materials in Spain, Italy and Portugal (more countries coming soon!).  
  • We have started using the architecture of the app to accelerate the transition to a more circular economy: in May, we introduced the cutlery opt-in feature at checkout of the application. For each order, customers are now asked whether or not they need single-use cutlery for their meal, encouraging them to avoid generating waste and CO2 from a resource that could be put to better use. It’s a good example of the virtuous effect we can have on behavioural changes through our platform. 
  • Last but not least, we are tackling food waste – the largest source of indirect greenhouse gases emissions for Glovo – through joint initiatives with NGOs to collect food leftovers from our partners restaurants and distribute them to food kitchens. In Barcelona for instance, we are collaborating with Social Fooding, and have saved more than one tonne of food since the beginning of the year, representing more than 2,5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

We’ll keep working towards building a more carbon-efficient and sustainable urban logistics model by innovating together with our ecosystem of users, and by using our platform as a force for change in the way we produce, distribute and consume in our cities. Go Glovo!