Lyft promises to make all rides carbon neutral

It will spend millions of dollars on carbon offsets during the first year of the program.

Lyft announced today that it will purchase enough carbon offsets to make every Lyft ride carbon neutral. Just within the first year of this program, the company says it will put millions of dollars towards the effort and expects to offset over a million metric tons of carbon. To make every ride carbon neutral, Lyft will fund "emission mitigation efforts, including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, forestry projects and the capture of emissions from landfills." The company 3Degrees will work with Lyft on the effort.

"The stark reality is that transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. As a growing part of the transportation ecosystem, we are holding ourselves accountable to being part of the solution," said Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green in a Medium post. "We're in the unique and fortunate position to be a driving force in bringing forward a more sustainable future, and we don't take that lightly." The company hired environmentalist Paul Hawken to be its environmental advisor last year and it signed onto Michael Bloomberg's We Are Still In coalition, committing to upholding the ideals of the Paris climate agreement after Donald Trump removed the US from the accord.

Both Apple and Google recently published updates on their efforts to offset their energy use with renewable energy. The new carbon offset projects funded by Lyft will be near its largest markets and all will be based in the US. "This action is not the full solution, but a real step forward," said the company.