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Digital platforms play significant role in adopting greener transport

By Micah Kenneth | April 26th 2021
Micah Kenneth, Regional Manager, Ride-hailing, Bolt East Africa.

Climate change is increasingly becoming a global challenge, creating a dire need for socially responsible companies of all sizes to consider the effects of climate change and their respective roles in helping to mitigate its effects. No longer can companies turn a blind eye to their involvement in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Not only is this action required by companies that have operations that directly affect the environment through physical waste and emissions to develop strategies for countering their environmental impact. But rather a collective effort of all companies is needed to craft a framework in engaging and participating in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives. 

Climate change is an issue no longer on the back burner with some coining it a global emergency. In a post-Covid world, companies across the world have realized that not only are their consumers and customers demanding a more sustainable choice and business framework, but investors and regulators are actively demanding real change.

Digital Tech companies in Africa and across the globe have taken up the challenge of creating an enabling environment to contribute positively to climate change. Tech for good is seen as a powerful support in helping to provide a solution for sustainable living. 

According to a report from the International Telecommunications Union – a UN body, digital technology could help reduce the world's carbon emissions by 17 per cent, further revealing that the transport sector accounts for 21 per cent of global carbon emissions, with 73 per cent coming from short journeys.

This means, besides digitalization transforming our economy, it also has the potential to deliver a greener and more sustainable future. Transport service providers are essential in addressing carbon emissions and the associated environmental concerns. We are part of this ecosystem, and so, we need to hold ourselves responsible by being part of the solution.

We can use technology to achieve a more sustainable transport system. An efficient transport system will lessen the need for private cars. We can also use electric and hybrid cars, scooters and other forms of sustainable transport options within cities to accelerate the use of renewable energies and e-transportation.

Considering the fact that diesel and petrol engine vehicles still command the largest share of the market, it is prudent for the ride-hailing firms to balance their CO? emissions by supporting a number of carbon offsetting projects across the globe. These projects could include reforestation, supporting the use of renewable energies and helping educate communities on the importance of sustainability. 

Tackling the effects of climate change may require digital platforms to have a more holistic approach to drive the switch from high-cost energies to more affordable and renewable ones even at the household level.  

Every business needs to focus on how they can help restore and regenerate the earth’s resources. Taking time to plan an ESG agenda and framework is crucial and this year’s World Earth Day with the theme of restoration shows in sharp focus that together we must act now both on a corporate and individual level to play our part in shaping a greener tomorrow. 

The writer is the Regional Manager, Ride-hailing, Bolt East Africa.

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