On 18 January, Wolt, a major urban delivery company and a partner of EIT Urban Mobility, launched its Better Cities fund in Copenhagen.
The fund, which is worth €400,000, will help accelerate the decarbonisation of last-mile logistics by offering financial support for Wolt’s courier partners to rent electric bicycles and mopeds.
“80 percent of Wolt’s carbon footprint comes from the deliveries our courier partners make everyday,“ said Jamieson Saab, Global Head of Sustainability at Wolt. The challenge is that drivers want to be sustainable but often cannot afford the high cost of electric bikes or mopeds. Therefore, the fund is a starting point for “how we can reduce our carbon footprint by helping courier partners shift to electric vehicles [through] financing with leasing [and] make the shift to something that is low- or no-emissions,“ explained Saab.
Better Cities Fund kick-off event
To kick off this initiative, Wolt organised test drive days in January across the four Nordic capitals: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo. These events provided courier partners with the opportunity to personally experience four different types of electric bikes and mopeds. Wolt partnered up with South Pole and Two Wheel Company to implement the fund and help to enable the shift to low- or no-emissions.
“Every city wants to get rid of cars and this is exactly what is going on in Copenhagen“, explained Michael Axelsen from Two Wheel Company. Wolt can be a major contributor to this transition. By providing an alternative to fossil-fueled cars, which pollute and take up much space on the streets, small electric vehicles are a space-saving, climate-friendly alternative.
“One of the challenges that cities don’t necessarily realise is that in order for them to meet their climate commitments, we need to work together”, said Saab. The cities can co-benefit from the fund, as it is a step towards emission reduction. New partnerships and infrastructure investments can be part of the collaboration.
The climate consultancy South Pole helped Wolt to put their climate strategy into practice. “This resulted in the project, where we tried to engage the courier partners and support them in the modal shift towards electric vehicles,“ said Gian Autenrieth, Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy at South Pole.
Test drivers participating in the trial expressed their satisfaction with the opportunity to explore electric vehicles. Some underscored the significance of the fund in making sustainable transport options more accessible, overcoming the usual financial barriers associated with such electric alternatives. One courier partner was happy to feel part of the shift towards sustainability: “I would love to be part of an overall solution. […] I am pretty much against driving around with a burger in a car.”
EIT Urban Mobility is happy to support Wolt’s mission and connect the company with other stakeholders eager to promote the shift towards sustainable urban mobility.