Europe’s largest e-scooter companies, TIER, Voi and Dott, are committing to a set of sustainability standards that address environmental and social issues related to the industry. According to a press release, the coalition will appoint an independent body to monitor, evaluate and transparently report progress on all commitments. The new sustainable practices consider the full lifecycle of e-scooters — as well as the employees who maintain them and the city citizens who use (or tolerate) them. Starting with manufacturing, the companies pledge to use at least 20 percent recycled material in all new e-scooters from 2021, and to purchase all new e-scooters with swappable batteries from 2020. Regarding operations, five different measures come into play: responsible growth and no more flooding streets with vehicles; running all warehouses on green energy by the end of 2020; using only electric vehicles for recharging and fleet maintenance by end of 2021; preventing e-scooters from being dumped in rivers and canals, and retrieving them when possible; and finally, “no precarious ‘gig’ work in any market.” This final point states a commitment to living wage standards but no timeline for it.
Finally, the companies pledge to recycle or reuse all e-scooters and to offset carbon emissions.
Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, acknowledged the slieu of commitments is just a start, one that other micro-mobility providers should follow: “Today's announcement is a welcome step toward what should be an industry-wide standard, and we hope other operators follow suit by adopting this as a minimum on which to build.” In a statement, the trio of e-scooter CEOs called on other companies operating in Europe to join them. The announcement follows TIER CEO Lawrence Leuschner’s offer to find a new home for, or recycle, any e-scooters and bikes being scrapped by other e-mobility providers. Lawrence also recently pledged to give 100 percent of his returns on his shares in TIER to Blue Impact, a German fund that invests in startups tackling environmental issues.