How Glovo is Empowering Sustainable Initiatives

Víctor Enciso April 22, 2022 · 6 min

Growth and scale, two widely acknowledged early business priorities at Glovo, soon became aligned with social impact: the bigger the business, the bigger the contributions it could make, and the more resources it could dedicate to tackling social and environmental challenges.

What we do at Glovo is less about corporate social responsibility, aiming to contribute to societal goals through supportive practices or policies, but rather it is about the company becoming a “corporate citizen”. This requires a recognition that, as a business, we have social, cultural and environmental responsibilities to the cities and communities in which we operate that run parallel to the economic and financial ones we have to our shareholders and stakeholders.

To talk about our involvement in the topic and our contributions, we interviewed Víctor and Felix from our Global Affairs team:


What efforts does a company like Glovo have to make to reduce impact on the environment?

Víctor: There are three main sources of greenhouse gas emissions from our operations: food waste, single-use packaging and delivery. 

At Glovo, we are neutralising 100% of our carbon emissions across the entire value chain. To accomplish this carbon neutrality, we measure our direct and indirect CO2 emissions to get a better understanding of their source, and how much we would have to offset. 

Today, we are not just operating completely carbon neutral but also have a clear roadmap to significantly reduce our environmental footprint by 2030. To achieve this target by then, we have set out the following strategies:

  • A sustainable courier vehicle mix, with non-combustion vehicles accounting for more than 67% of the total. Currently, 5 countries have a vehicle fleet with more than 40% non-combustion vehicles: Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Spain
  • To enable couriers to drive shorter distances, 30% of deliveries will be grouped.
  • More than 92% of orders to use sustainable packaging. In 2019, Glovo created an e-commerce for small businesses to buy sustainable packaging, enabling purchase of almost 2 million units in 2021 across Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco and Croatia.
  • 10% of orders to be delivered from food surplus, addressing food waste issues. In 2021 alone, more than 300,000kg of food waste was saved, whilst the equivalent of more than 579,000 meals were delivered through Glovo Access.

To address the remaining carbon emissions, we struck a partnership with offset marketplace Pachama and purchased ‘carbon credits’ that specifically supported the Brazil Nuts Concessions and Madre de Dios forest preservation projects in Peru, and Jari Pará Forest Conservation Project in Brazil. Each combined to balance Glovo’s carbon footprint by 25% by the end of 2020.

Through a new partnership with South Pole (climate change solutions) in 2021, Glovo has expanded its range of compensation initiatives to cover 100% of emissions across its entire value chain. Some of the compensation projects are located in Glovo’s markets of operation such as Kenya and Ghana. These consist of forest preservation, sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient cookstoves, renewable energy and much more.


How is Glovo encouraging employees to support a sustainable future?

Víctor: Glovo encourages its employees through a variety of initiatives and programs. One example is the corporate volunteer program Glovo Cares. Through Glovo Cares, we collaborate with NGOs and associations helping vulnerable groups. Also organize volunteering events supporting the community locally such as tree plantings and beach cleanups. In addition, employees can participate in the social program “riding for a cause”, our field volunteering activity where all employees can deliver orders as if they were riders. This internal initiative gives the opportunity to all Glovo employees to contribute to a social cause, since for each order that an employee delivers voluntarily, Glovo donates 15€ to a local NGO.


What is a cool project the sustainability team has been working on?

Víctor: A very cool project that the sustainability team have been working on, with the help of many other teams specially the procurement department, is the Packaging made by Glovo. This is a 100% biodegradable packaging design by Glovo with a special space to be customizable by the partner. This packaging is subsidized by Glovo to help partners to incorporate this concept into their operations daily. Also is available in small quantities to be adaptable to every partner’s needs and include recycle instructions.

We had a first release by October last year, 2021,  and we hit records at the GlovoStore sales, the second version will be available from May 2022.

Also techwise we are working with the UX team and the different data teams to understand where the information related to the packaging is better to be displayed for the customer in our customer app.

Interested to know more about our sustainability & social impact initiatives? Find more information here.