An Uber driver is seen in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Uber Technologies Inc. is launching a handful of sustainability measures in Canada to help it reach lofty goals it has set for the market and beyond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

An Uber driver is seen in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Uber Technologies Inc. is launching a handful of sustainability measures in Canada to help it reach lofty goals it has set for the market and beyond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Uber unveils Canadian commitments to reach goal of being emission-free by 2040

Uber’s commitments come as the ride-hailing business has slumped in several markets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Uber Technologies Inc. is launching a handful of sustainability measures in Canada in an effort to reach lofty goals it has set for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant said Tuesday that it will encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles by offering rewards and savings for riders and earnings for drivers who use them and allocating $800 million in resources to the cause.

The company said its new and targeted approach to sustainability will help it reach two goals it has set: getting 100 per cent of rides in Canada, the U.S. and Europe completed on battery EVs by 2030 and ensuring all trips on the platform globally are emission-free by 2040.

Uber’s commitments come as the ride-hailing business has slumped in several markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, but global attention around climate change has not dissipated.

“We want to take this opportunity to do more, to do better and to do our part to drive the green recovery in our cities,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, in a media briefing Tuesday.

“Uber has a clear responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and today we are committing to … tackle the climate crisis more aggressively than ever before.”

When two-thirds of the world’s population was under lockdown in early April, carbon emissions fell 17 per compared with last year, but by June, the drop was only five per cent, Khosrowshahi said.

“Carbon emissions will return to normal soon,” he warned.

Canada has committed to eliminating 200 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by 2030 under the Paris climate change agreement. Studies have showed that COVID-19 measures have so far pushed the country’s emissions down 20 per cent.

Uber said the pandemic has hastened its climate change efforts, which include Uber Green, a service offering electric and hybrid vehicle rides.

It will operate in more than 30 cities this year, including Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo and Ottawa.

The service will use geofencing technology and focus on busy commuting hours and dense areas of cities to ensure the availability of Green rides.

Through the service, riders will be charged an extra $1 per ride. Half that surcharge will be given to the driver and the other half will flow to the Green Future program, which hopes to help drivers transition to EVs.

Uber will entice consumers by giving them three times the rewards points — eventually coming to Canada — for every Green trip taken.

Rewards can be used for discounts on rides or meals or donated to charities.

The company will also try to convince drivers to adopt more environmentally friendly vehicles by offering an extra 50 cents per Green ride to hybrid or EV drivers, $1 per trip for zero-emission vehicle owners and $1.50 for each Green ride for battery EV drivers.

It is committing $800 million in resources to help drivers transition to EVs by 2025 and partnering with auto companies like General Motors in the U.S. and Canada and Renault-Nissan across European cities to offer savings to those who make the switch.

Uber will also release climate assessment and performance reports detailing emissions stemming from trips on the platform in Canada and the U.S.

Its first climate report, released Tuesday, found Uber hosted 4 billion rides across the two markets from 2017 to 2019, but said that the current state of transportation is “unsustainable.”

Transportation emissions have grown faster than any other end-use sector over the last three decades and CO2 emissions from the industry account for nearly one-quarter of the global total, Uber said.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

ride hailingUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

Salon owner Philip Ferreira with the PPE collection box at The Natural Hair Salon, 618 View St. (Mariah Johal photo)
Victoria salon inspires more mask recycling

Anyone welcome to drop disposable masks in bin outside View Street shop

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read