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Global Ride-Hailing Firm on the Trend of Launching Carbon Offsetting Service

Diep Nguyen
BizLIVE -

The Indonesian firm is the first in the ride-hailing industry to offer a business-to-consumer carbon offsetting service, which was launched in partnership with tech startup Jejak.in.

Global Ride-Hailing Firm on the Trend of Launching Carbon Offsetting Service
The firm is the first in the ride-hailing industry to enable customers to offset their travel emissions.
Gojek has launched a feature that enables customers to offset the carbon they generate on their travels by planting trees.
The Indonesian firm is the first in the ride-hailing industry to offer a business-to-consumer carbon offsetting service, which was launched in partnership with tech startup Jejak.in.
To use the service, customers calculate their carbon footprint using their average daily use of transport, and offset their emissions by making a payment through the app. 
The payment goes towards tree-planting schemes in Jakarta, Central Java and East Kalimantan run by Indonesian conservation group LindungiHutan.
A 1-kilometre journey on a motorbike in Jakarta requires about 0.05 trees to offset the carbon, at a cost of IDR3,500 (US$0.20). A 1km journey in a car in Jakarta requires 0.15 trees to offset, at a cost of IDR10,500 (US$0.70). The costs are lower for trees planted outside of Jakarta.
Users can check on the progress of the tree-planting schemes through a monitoring dashboard, where they can view reports on the growth of their trees.
Gojek has about 190 million users in Southeast Asia, but the offsetting service will only be available in Indonesia to begin with, the company told Eco-Business
To get the initiative going, the company said it would double the number of trees planted by users for the first six months from launch, before the platform is expanded to other locations. Gojek has a presence in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. 
Though Gojek’s carbon offsetting service puts it at the front of the pack—ahead of main Southeast Asian rival Grab—the firm follows other ride-hailing players in Europe that have tried to rein in their carbon footprint.
European ride-hailer Bolt went carbon neutral last year, using renewable energy and emissions reductions projects to cut carbon, at no cost to its customers.
Uber charged customers in London 15 pence (US$0.20) extra per mile to help Uber drivers upgrade to electric vehicles in early 2019.
Gett, a cab hailer operating in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Russia, offset all of its emissions in 2019, and charged customers an extra 40 cents for a “carbon positive” journey, with the funds going towards projects to improve air quality around schools.
A study released in February found that ride-hailing trips in the US result in an estimated 69 per cent more climate pollution on average than the trips they displace. No studies have been done on the impact of ride-hailing services on roads in Indonesia, which are among the most congested in the world.
News of the offsetting service emerges three months after Gojek announced it would be cutting 9 per cent of its workforce, mostly in Indonesia, and stopping some services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tree planting and monitoring will be carried out in collaboration with LindungiHutan, an environmental conservation platform in Indonesia. To ensure transparency and accountability, users will be given access to a monitoring dashboard, where they can view reports on the growth of their trees. These reports will be updated three times a year and will include photos and data, including the tree’s height, trunk diameter, and health status.
For the first six months after launch, Gojek will match donations for every tree planted by users. The platform also plans to include more locations, types of trees, and carbon offset options, such as tree adoption.
The carbon offset feature is part of Gojek’s GoGreener initiatives, which are aimed at enabling everyone within the Gojek ecosystem to participate in efforts to care for the environment.
“We will continue exploring new ways to leverage technology to help consumers live environmentally responsible lifestyles,” said Gojek’s co-CEO and co-founder Kevin Aluwi in a statement.
Gojek’s GoGreener initiative was first introduced on the GoFood platform in September 2019. It claims to have reduced 10.3 tones of single-use plastic through the introduction of a paid cutlery initiative and reusable delivery bags for driver-partners. Other sustainability initiatives under GoGreener include an ongoing pilot project to allow electric vehicles to be used on the GoRide service.

DIEP NGUYEN