Mobike Awarded with UN’s Top Environmental Prize

Over the past year, the percentage of people traveling China’s major cities by bicycle has risen from 5.5 percent to 11.6 percent.

The UN Champions of the Earth award ceremony was held in Nairobi, Kenya on December 5, 36 Kr reported. The UN awarded its 2017 Champion of the Earth (Entrepreneurial Vision) to Mobike, recognizing the company’s contributions to promoting green travel and alleviating air pollution and climate change. This is the first time a Chinese company has won the award in 13 years.

The founder and President of Mobike, Hu Weiwei, attended the ceremony to speak. Others who received the award with Hu were Chilean President Michelle Bachelet; Paul A. Newman, NASA scientist, and his space flight team; Jeff Orlowski, Emmy award-winner and director; Wang Wenbiao, chairman of Elion Resources Group; and the Saihanba Afforestation Community. The environmental ministers from 193 countries, representatives from NGOs and prominent environmentalists around the world were in attendance.

The award was created in 2004 to recognize organizations and individuals who have made special contributions and achievements to environmental protection and to promote environmental quality. Since its founding, 84 winners have been named, including national leaders, as well as individuals and organizations from the worlds of politics, science and business.

In addition, during the third UN Conference on Environment from December 3 to 6, Hu also participated in the high-level leadership dialogue with the leaders from the UN, politicians and business elites, as well as NGOs, about the actual solution to zero pollution.

During the conference, the first batch of 100 Mobike bikes entered the UN headquarters in Nairobi to provide low-carbon travel services for delegates from 193 countries. After the meeting, the 100 Mobike bikes will continue to operate in the UN park, serving all staff and visiting guests.

Mobike globally pioneered shared cycling models, aiming to use technology and business innovation to make riding convenient and to solve urban problems such as traffic congestion and air pollution. When it comes to how to integrate the environmental movement into an innovative business model, Hu said, “When you combine environmental protection, technology and business, it’s going to be very cool. We can make environmental protection a lifestyle and a sustainable business model.”

Erik Solheim, UN deputy secretary general and UNEP executive director, said, “Mobike has grown rapidly and become the world’s leading shared bike company. Its amazing development speed is not only because of a manager’s vision and staff dedication, but also the result of the green economy.”

“Bikes can not only change people and cities, but also the world. It is not only the symbol of peace, but also a weapon to fight the climate change,” Hu said in her speech.

One set of data shows Mobike has a significant effect in providing sustainable mobility solutions to cities around the world. Since it was established on April 22, 2016, Mobike has expanded to more than 200 cities in 12 countries, providing intelligent bike sharing service. Mobike has more than 200 million users worldwide. Every day, more than 30 million people use its bikes to travel. For last 19 months, the global users’ total ride mileage has exceeded 18.2 billion kilometers, slashing 4.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or about 1.24 million vehicles a year, from the road.

In April 2017, Mobike and THUPDI jointly issued the first Shared Cycling Industry White Papers. It reflects how urban traffic models and lifestyle changes have occurred due to bikes. Over the past year, when traveling, the number of bicycles in China’s major cities increased from 5.5 percent to 11.6 percent. Bikes connect destinations and bus and subway stations, making public transport more efficient and convenient.

Hu said innovation, technology and social participation are essential factors in achieving the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. Mobike hopes to work with governments, non-governmental organizations, cities, communities and enterprises, and to cooperate with the UN, to embrace green travel, and jointly building a future-oriented green economy defined by low-carbon travel.

This article originally appeared in 36Kr and was translated by Pandaily.