From a simple idea to certification: How Blacklane’s rides went from 0 to 100 percent carbon offset within six months.
When Tommaso Luvini first started at Blacklane in 2017 as a sales trainee, he had no idea that within the year he would have helped lead Blacklane to become a certified carbon offset company.
The idea that a global mobility company like Blacklane could offset all of its emissions came while he was chatting with his fiancée about corporate social responsibility.
Buoyed by his discussion at home, he booked a one-on-one meeting with co-founder and CEO Dr. Jens Wohltorf to talk through his idea.
“I presented my idea, he was super happy about it, so he said ‘Yes, just start to do research, and give me some more numbers to see if it’s feasible to do it’,” Luvini said.
“I started to do that in my outside working time and then…(we had a) full proposal to say roughly this would be our tonnes of CO2 that we would create within a year, these are the possible options we have.
“We crunched the numbers, and Jens said ‘We are going to pay for it…we are covering all the costs so we can make sure all the rides are covered’.”
Luvini’s next step was to find a company that could help attach a value to the amount of CO2 emitted by Blacklane rides on a quarterly basis and who could then invest that money into eco-friendly projects.
After talking with a few companies, Luvini landed on Carbon Footprint Ltd., largely because of it’s incredible track record working with the UK government and other large NGOs.
In the last quarter of 2017, Blacklane began offsetting 100 percent of its rides around the world. Blacklane’s offsetting investments go toward the Mirkala Wind Power Project, run by Panama Wind Energy Private Limited in Pune, India. The energy produced by the 40 wind turbines goes toward the country’s power grid for its Northern, Eastern, Western, and North-Eastern regions.
Beginning in 2018, Luvini used the same principles to begin offsetting 100 percent of company operations — from work trips and hotel stays to office electricity and heating. No company-based action was left out of the carbon offsetting plan that had kicked off just months before.
“At first, my idea was to be on the ride level…then of course from there we saw that our rides were carbon offset, why not to have the company carbon offset,” Luvini said.
A taskforce has since been established to continue driving the company’s green initiatives. Recent achievements include a major investment in Havn, London’s first all-electric private car service, our commitment to offset emissions back to when we were founded in 2011 as well as our pledge to have 75 percent of our rides around the world done in electric vehicles by 2025.
Looking back, Luvini said he had no idea what to expect during his initial meeting with Jens Wohltorf, and is happy he was part of the push towards a sustainable future.
“It was very nice to propose a project after less than six months that I was in the company directly to the CEO,” he said.
“Especially in a new company. You get the feeling that if I want to do things, as long as they make sense, I have the space to do it in this company.”
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