Bird

At a Glance

Industry

Transport and Warehousing

Project Types

Supply Chain, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy

Year

2019

Location

New York, NY

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

4,700 metric tons

Summary

Chad Hunter worked with Bird to research life-cycle assessment (LCA) models, develop a custom LCA scooter model, and used the LCA to drive sustainability strategy decision making at Bird.

Goals 

Bird, a global mobility company that specializes in dockless light electric vehicles for personal mobility. Bird enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Chad Hunter to better understand its carbon footprint of the shared dockless scooter life-cycle to reduce traffic and carbon emissions for cities seeking to decarbonize their transportation systems. Bird was also interested in developing a life-cycle assessment (LCA) model to benchmark the current scooter emissions and create a sustainability strategy to reduce its scooter’s carbon footprint. 

Solutions

To tackle these projects Hunter reviewed various LCA software’s and case-studies, finding no public LCAs for shared dockless electric scooters, he identified the best modeling framework for Bird and leveraged existing software tools from Argonne National Laboratory to accelerate the model development. After connecting with key internal and external teams to understand model capabilities and identify operational data needed, he developed a custom LCA model to accommodate the rapidly advancing industry. The model identified the manufacturing process as well as the collection and distribution of scooters were the highest carbon intensity aspects of the scooters lifetime. Hunter used this data to present actions that could reduce the scooter’s life-cycle carbon footprint and lay the foundation for a comprehensive sustainability strategy including environmental and economic benefits. 

Potential Impact

The LCA model that Hunter developed provides Bird with a cutting-edge quantitative tool to deeply understand emissions across all stages of the scooter’s lifetime. Hunter’s LCA model and analysis provides Bird with new tools to develop a comprehensive, data-driven sustainability approach that prioritizes strategies on environmental impact, economics, and ease of implementation. At Bird’s global scale, improving each scooter’s carbon footprint based on the LCA model findings could reduce GHG emissions by an estimated 1,100-4,700 metric tons each year and will further Bird’s mission to reduce traffic and carbon emissions while helping cities across the world meet their decarbonization goals.


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