Better cities, delivered
At Wolt, our mission is to make the cities we’re in better places for our customers, merchants and courier partners. This means that we are also mindful about our impact on local communities and the environment. In the past, we’ve compensated for the carbon emissions of deliveries made through our platform, but we want to do more.
Late last year, we conducted a materiality assessment to help us better understand our key social and environmental impacts and prioritize our efforts. We collected feedback from hundreds of people on our team, over 4,000 courier partners and 400 merchants, and interviewed each of our senior leaders. Building on this feedback, we’ve now updated our sustainability roadmap and focussed our efforts on five key aspirations.
Success means working together
For us, sustainability isn’t just a one-person job – or a one-company job for that matter. To succeed with our sustainability goals we have to work with our partners, customers and peers to drive positive change. And we’re already off to a pretty good start. We’ve found some amazing partners who we’re working with in each of our pillars. Check some of them out below.
Reducing our emissions with electrical vehicles
Living in the city, we all know that pollution from traffic is a nuisance. With thousands of deliveries being made on our platform every day, we’re very aware that this is a key area for us to focus on. While we’ve bought offsets and compensated for these emissions since 2019, we believe that the future is about working to prevent these emissions from happening in the first place.
With more than 180,000 active courier partners in 25 countries, this is no easy feat, but the potential impact to get our partners to switch to less polluting vehicles is massive. So, our first step has been starting with the basics and calculating our carbon footprint. At the same time we’ve been building local partnerships, for example with electric moped companies, Ebike providers and electric car leasing agencies to help our partners make the switch.
We’re proud to be partnering with VOK, CityQ, GoCiklo Urban Arrow and Twowheel to test new vehicles in Scandinavia, and Swobbee in Germany! We’re also working with Leaseplan in Slovakia to explore how courier partners can access more affordable leases on more efficient cars including electric models.
Earlier this year we also partnered with EIT Urban Mobility, to find ways to partner with local cities to scale our efforts.
Reducing packaging waste with reusables
Packaging is great for keeping take-away meals safe and warm, but it can also be a big problem for our environment, especially our oceans. But there is a better way! In addition to offering our merchants partners with the chance to purchase environmentally preferable single use packaging through us – starting in Denmark – we’ve also partnered with several reusable packaging partners including Vytal, Kamupak and OPA in more than 6 countries, to give our customers the chance to reduce waste from their orders.
Since starting our work late last year, we’ve already seen customers place more than 120k orders (and growing!) with reusable containers! We’ve also started our work to make single use utensils the default opt-out option for our customers and will be scaling this work globally in the coming months.
Responsibly recycling our courier and merchant gear
Another area where we can have a direct impact on the environment is the Wolt gear used by our courier partners, including our iconic blue delivery bag and the ipads our merchants use to accept Wolt orders. One of the partnerships that we’re most excited about when it comes to minimizing the impact of our delivery bags is our partnership with a Danish company called Tarprec. Through Tarprec, we now collect and responsibly recycle all of our courier partner bags and heating plates in 14 countries in Europe. Up to 96% of the waste from our bags is diverted from landfill and repurposed in new products such as road signs and stuffing. Since starting this pilot in 2021, we’ve recycled/diverted more than 25,000 kg of waste.
Working in partnership with Mentech, we also collect and recycle all of our old and broken IT equipment, including iPads from our merchants! While this programme is currently only available in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, what we love most about Mentech is that they focus primarily on repairing and refurbishing old products first, rather than just on recycling them. Since working with Mentech in 2022, we’ve reused, recycled or refurbished thousands of IT items from old cell phones, computer screens and printers, to boxes and boxes of old cables and more!
And we’re just getting started
At Wolt, we believe that sustainability is not a destination, but a journey, and it’s one we’re committed to take! While we’re just getting started (and we know we have a lot of work ahead of us) we also know that by working with our partners, there is no limit to the impact we can have!