Every company has a choice to make in how their work will impact the world –– particularly when building something new. And choices made about how a new technology will impact the health of the planet and the health of our communities are among the most critical. This Earth Day, I’d like to share with you why Cruise’s commitment to a more sustainable, equitable transportation future has been core to our mission from the start –– and why we hope others in the AV industry will join us.
Climate change is the single biggest issue we face as a global community, and transportation is its single biggest contributor in the U.S. There is a rapidly closing window to change this course, and each of us has an opportunity to make an impact. Cruise knows the AV industry can –– and should –– help lead the charge to make such an impact.
Last year, Cruise challenged the AV industry to report the number of clean miles driven every year,. No one answered our call. This year, we’re doubling down on our Clean Mile Challenge to ensure the transportation of the future brings us forward on climate change –– not back.
Of the nearly 900,000 autonomous miles Cruise drove in 2021, not one added to CO2 emissions, and all were powered by 100% renewable energy.
That renewable energy is powered directly by our Farm to Fleet program, an initiative that sources solar renewable energy credits generated by family-owned farms in California’s Central Valley to power our all-electric fleet. Through this program — which is celebrating one year this Spring — we’ve offset nearly 229 metric tons of CO2 emissions (alongside significant other air pollutants) from California communities across our test miles, social impact deliveries, and ridehail pilot operations. For a point of comparison, that’s the same environmental carbon impact as saving 300 acres of old growth forest. These are the types of positive impacts that electrifying AV fleets can have on our environment and communities today.
The miles we travel and emissions offset are more than just numbers –– every single one is helping forge a safer, cleaner, better future of transportation.
This impact is compounded when we put zero-emission vehicles to work directly in support of local communities. We recently announced that our fleet of AVs, in partnership with San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and SF New Deal, have now delivered more than two million meals (and counting!) to low-income residents in San Francisco as part of our dedicated social impact program, Cruise for Good.
Through Cruise for Good, we have made 127,000 individual deliveries with our zero-emission fleet, powered 100% percent by renewable energy from our Farm to Fleet program. Since its inception, this meal delivery program has offset 100 metric tons of CO2 emissions alone. Additionally, the renewable energy powering our meal deliveries is generated in some of the same agricultural communities that support our partners’ nutritional assistance programs, while providing farms with new economic opportunities. It’s an entire ecosystem of sustainable transportation. One that has the potential to extend to reach every corner of our community, up and down the supply chain.
For Cruise, these proof points represent how a serious commitment to a sustainable transportation future — one that prioritizes sustainability across verticals, company goals, and issue areas — goes hand-in-hand with a more equitable one.
We take pride in our commitment to sustainability and we’re determined to keep pushing toward a greener future in every community we go to. For example, earlier this year we extended our dedication to powering our fleets with renewable energy in Phoenix, where we have been conducting our zero emission delivery program in partnership with Walmart.
But if we want the transportation industry to be a catalyst in tackling climate change at the rate we need — and provide our communities with accessible, all-electric transportation — then we can’t do it alone.
On this Earth Day — and every day — we urge others in our industry to concretely commit to an all-electric future. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s also critical to protecting our communities and our planet.