Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2023) — To evaluate the environmental impacts of shared micromobility and understand how shared modes like bikes and electric scooters can help contribute to sustainability goals, cities need actionable, comparable data from micromobility operators.
Assessing the Environmental Impact of Shared Micromobility Services: A Guide for Cities is the first comprehensive guide to support cities in navigating the process of understanding emissions from shared micromobility.
Focusing on life cycle emissions assessments (LCA), the guide builds on existing LCA standards and presents micromobility-specific guidance to assist cities in clarifying their use cases for environmental impact data, requesting the right data from operators and using insights to inform policy and program design. The guide also encourages a more aligned approach to LCAs.
The guide was developed with input from a working group of representatives from city governments, micromobility operators and subject matter experts from North America and Europe.
“The collaboration of our cross-sectoral working group was an exceptional example of a win-win-win,” said Leah Lazer, a Research Associate for the New Urban Mobility (NUMO) alliance, which convened the working group. “A standard, rigorous approach to micromobility emissions assessment will produce more accurate, comparable information to inform city decision-making, give operators clarity on how to conduct LCAs and bring the micromobility industry in line with cutting-edge LCA practices."
As shared micromobility modes become a more widespread part of urban transportation systems, more cities want to understand their environmental impact, the differences among operators and how micromobility can contribute to broader sustainability goals.
“All vehicles have an impact on the climate,” said Andrine Gran, former Micromobility Manager for the City of Oslo, Norway, and a contributor in the working group. “While some cities are experienced in assessing local greenhouse gas emissions, it can be difficult to assess a vehicle’s entire life cycle. This guide helps both cities and businesses understand how to best measure and compare LCAs to develop sustainable cities and fair indicators for micromobility operators.”
“Existing LCA standards and developments can be applied to micromobility, but because micromobility includes relatively new modes, questions remain about best implementation practices to obtain comparable and robust environmental assessments, such as how to set the system boundaries, prioritize data collection and appraise the robustness of results,” said Anne de Bortoli, PhD, Carbon Neutrality Research Lead at CIRAIG, Polytechnique Montréal and an expert who was part of the working group. “This guide answers the most important methodological questions and bridges the gap between LCA experts and the organizations using this approach to support their environmental strategies.”
A more aligned approach to estimating and reporting micromobility emissions also benefits the private sector by enabling micromobility operators to more efficiently and transparently generate and share data with the cities.
“Until now, cities and the industry have lacked a unified way of measuring and comparing the environmental impact of micromobility,” said Welmoed Neijmeijer, Head of Public Policy for Micromobility and Car-sharing at Bolt, a European micromobility operator that was active in the working group. “Bolt contributed to this guide because we believe that a standard methodology for measuring environmental performance is essential for enabling operators to adopt a rigorous, transparent approach to evidence-based sustainability action.”
Assessing the Environmental Impact of Shared Micromobility Services: A Guide for Cities is available now here. Please direct media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NUMO is a global alliance that channels tech-based disruptions in urban transport to create joyful cities where sustainable and just mobility is the new normal. Founded in 2019 as an outgrowth of the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, NUMO convenes diverse allies and leverages the momentum of significant revolutions in mobility to target urban issues — including equity, sustainability, accessibility and labor — impacted by the shifting transportation landscape. NUMO is hosted by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. For more information, visit www.numo.global
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