Ola launches initiative to reduce carbon emissions in three Indian cities


India’s most popular transportation smartphone application has launched a new initiative that aims to take shared and sustainable mobility to a new level, by making dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in three of the country’s major cities.

Rideshare company Ola has launched a 15-day first-of-its kind ‘#DoYourShare’ campaign, encouraging participants to adopt shared mobility options and help reduce negative impact on the environment by cutting carbon emissions across three Indian cities: Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The Ola initiative is powered by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization working towards creating a low carbon economy. Using WRI’s expertise, Ola aims to cut carbon emissions by 400 tonnes in each of the three cities over the fortnight of the campaign.

The campaign has been ‘gamified’ – the cities will compete against each other to meet a set target in reducing their carbon emissions. Ola has installed billboards at prominent junctions in the three cities, to display and track carbon emission reductions made by commuters using ‘Ola Share’ rides.

The billboards, together with live digital counters on social media, will track the emission level reductions in real time, and will encourage commuters to do their share towards building a green, sustainable and congestion-free city. Using the Ola mobile app, users across 102 Indian cities can book from over 450,000 cabs and 120,000 auto-rickshaws and taxis. The company also offers a range of shared mobility services on its platform, including the commuter ‘Ola Shuttle’ bus service and ‘Ola Share’ ride-sharing system.

“Shared mobility is the new paradigm for sustainable transportation,” explained Raghuvesh Sarup, head of categories and CMO at Ola. “With our ‘#DoYourShare’ campaign, our goal is to help cities reduce on road congestion and unhealthy traffic jams, by encouraging more and more commuters to opt for Ola Share. It will be interesting to see the three cities race for clean air, as their citizens compete to contribute towards reduced emissions. We intend to take this campaign to other cities as well, and to relentlessly work towards building sustainable mobility solutions for the country, as we advance on our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.”

Vivek P Adhia, head of business engagement at WRI India, said, “Initiatives promoting sustainable transportation, such as Ola’s ride-sharing offering, have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint on the environment. Internationally consistent and locally relevant approaches being adopted by major players would help in better planning and engagement in this space. We believe the proliferation of such initiatives would help support ambitious climate action at the ground level, and play a key role in accelerating progress towards India’s national commitments of 33-35% intensity reductions made at Paris COP21 last year. We are thrilled that Ola is using our toolkit to measure their emissions impact on the environment. This is the first step in contributing towards environmentally friendly cities in the country.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).