Featured Sustainability •

Lime and Sprout: From Powering the Data Center to Powering Carbon-Free Mobility

Depending on where you live, you or your friends and co-workers have ridden green on an electric Lime vehicle—headed to a game, to the office, or to explore a new part of your city. In most major urban centers, shared electric vehicles have become the much-preferred mode of cost-efficient, time-efficient, and energy-efficient transportation.

As the world’s largest electric shared vehicle company, located in nearly 250 cities globally, Lime is on a mission to build a future where transportation is shared, electric and carbon-free. In 2021, Lime became the only shared electric vehicle company to have a validated company-wide science-based carbon emissions target, comprehensive of its supply chain and downstream emissions, through the Science Based Targets Initiative. SBTi–a partnership of the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, Carbon Disclosure Project, and WWF–is the world’s most rigorous corporate climate target protocol. Lime’s SBTi-validated carbon reduction target is consistent with the Paris Accord goal of limiting warming to 1.5C.

You might wonder how Lime is planning to get there. One step in that path is through partnerships with organizations and companies that both share our values and commitment to carbon reductions–and are specialized in taking on this challenge. One of those partners is Sprout.

Sprout is a certified provider of hardware lifecycle solutions. Its proprietary platform, known as SmartERP, delivers highly sophisticated supply chain and end of life results. Sprout maintains a strict zero-landfill policy and thus reuses, resells, and recycles (or repurposes) all the equipment that they manage.

In 2021, amidst a barrage of raw materials constraints and global logistics shortages, Lime was transforming its service centers, where e-bike and e-scooter batteries are recharged. This required hundreds of holding racks. A traditional supply chain would design, manufacture, and ship these racks from thousands of miles away, not to mention the additional material, as well as the thousands of miles that raw material would have to travel to a foreign manufacturer, before being made into products that the company can use.

But these were not traditional times, and Lime and Sprout are not traditional companies.

Instead, Sprout and Lime came up with the idea of retrofitting server racks from a major social media company. Throughout the summer of 2021, Sprout repurposed all incoming server racks to create battery charging cabinets, while Lime worked with locally-based contract manufacturers on a design built around the repurposed servers. In the end, no new materials were sourced, no equipment traveled halfway around the world, and server racks that had seen just one lifecycle of use are now set to last another decade for a purpose highly similar to the one that they were designed for.

“At Lime, we’re always looking for partnerships which advance our sustainability goals,” said Andrew Savage, Vice President and Head of Sustainability at Lime. “We’re thrilled to be working with Sprout to give new life to our old, unusable Lime vehicle parts. Sprout’s technical expertise offers a unique opportunity to re-use broken e-scooter and e-bike parts.”

“Sprout is not just dedicated to shaping a circular economy–we’re obsessed with making circular supply chains as tight as possible,” said Shelly Li, CEO at Sprout. “We’re proud of the exceptional alignment that we have with Lime. Together, we prioritize reusing before reclaiming, and reclaiming before recycling. And we’ll continue to do so in pursuit of a carbon-free future for all.”

Additional second-life solutions and projects are already in the works as Lime and Sprout continue to expand globally.

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