Glovo, the global delivery service that has rapidly expanded to more than 25 countries, is making sustainability a top priority amidst its growth. Sébastien Pellion, the company’s head of Social Impact and Sustainability, is leading the charge towards aligning Glovo’s mission with ambitious sustainability goals, ensuring that the company’s expansion remains profitable and beneficial for society.
At the recent Green Future Conference in Split, Pellion highlighted Glovo’s plans to achieve its sustainability objectives. He emphasized the company’s vision of providing easy access to anything in cities through its digital marketplace, connecting couriers with partners such as supermarkets, restaurants, and retailers. With approximately 20 million active customers worldwide, Glovo aims to become a super app, offering diverse delivery services.
Pellion acknowledged that businesses must analyze their impacts to incorporate sustainability into their core operations. Glovo recognizes the negative impacts it generates, including single-use packaging, dietary influence, food waste, and the use of combustion vehicles by its fleet of couriers. However, the company also acknowledges the positive impacts it creates, such as convenience, time savings, support for local businesses, and the provision of essential services during crises.
To maximize positive impacts and minimize negative ones, Glovo has established three key pillars: leveraging technology to support NGOs, driving growth in its ecosystem, and reducing its environmental footprint. The company facilitates donations to NGOs through free logistics and fundraising opportunities within the app. Glovo also supports small local businesses, addresses the gender gap in the tech sector, and aims to reduce its carbon footprint across its operations and ecosystem.
To offset its carbon emissions, Glovo collaborates with various companies, including Pachama, a tech company that verifies reforestation projects using LiDAR technology. Glovo’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its own operations, as it addresses emissions from restaurants, supermarkets, and even food waste generated by customers. The company aims to deliver 92% of orders with sustainable packaging, utilize food surplus for 10% of orders, employ non-combustion vehicles for 67% of deliveries, and bundle 30% of orders to optimize courier routes.
Glovo is implementing strategies to achieve these targets. It operates a global e-commerce store that offers affordable sustainable packaging to small local businesses, raising awareness among customers about partners using sustainable packaging. The company also allows customers to opt out of cutlery, reducing plastic waste. In combating food waste, Glovo discounts short-dated products to sell them quickly and collaborates with third-party logistics partners to transition their fleets to electric vehicles. The electrification of the fleet is a crucial challenge, as it represents a significant portion of Glovo’s carbon footprint.
Pellion emphasized the urgency of prioritizing fleet electrification, as it not only addresses emissions but also aligns with future regulations that may restrict the use of combustion vehicles in certain areas. While the cost of electric vehicles remains a challenge, Pellion draws a parallel to renewable energy, where initial costs eventually normalize. He believes that electric vehicles will follow a similar path.
Glovo’s commitment to sustainability reflects a growing trend in the delivery industry, as companies recognize the need to minimize their environmental impact while maintaining growth. By embracing sustainable practices, Glovo aims to create a positive societal impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.