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

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

Image/ Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin responds to Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision on Directive 067.

On April 7, 2021 the Alberta Energy Regular (AER) announced a new edition of Directive 067.

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Most Read