A TYPICAL road vehicle emits six to nine tons of greenhouse gases a year, according to the US Department of Energy. Road transportation’s large contribution to global warming has led to urgent calls for individuals and companies to minimize their travel-related carbon footprint.
The PLDT Group – comprised of PLDT, its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, and digital innovations unit Voyager Innovations – has found more ways to do that through a partnership with ride-sharing company Uber.
As an alternative to buying additional vehicles, the group has begun offering Uber rides to its employees. Those required by their functions to leave the office often, like sales personnel, are given an Uber for Business account which they can use for official trips. This is linked to a central payment account where their fares are automatically charged. This means the employees do not need to shell out personal money and file paperwork for reimbursement.
Moreover, an Uber dashboard enables the PLDT Group to see commonly used routes, and plan how to maximize future trips.
Uber for Business is currently on a pilot run among PLDT, Smart, and Voyager employees, and will eventually be rolled out to a larger base.
The PLDT Group is the country’s first and biggest conglomerate to use Uber’s digital solutions to improve fleet management. The Uber partnership is one of the group’s many efforts to enable Filipinos, its workforce included, to benefit from digital technologies like never before.
“By outsourcing transportation services on a per-need basis, we accomplish a lot of things – we minimize our carbon footprint while cutting our expenses on fuel, maintenance, insurance, and parking. Meanwhile, our employees enjoy stress-free mobility. They don’t need to drive and spend precious time looking for parking spaces. They can focus their energy on delivering awesome experiences to our customers,” said PLDT and Smart chief revenue officer Eric R. Alberto.
Also on a pilot run is an uberHOP service for Smart employees. Instead of riding separate vehicles, employees can converge in pickup points in Quezon City and Parañaque to share uberHOP rides to Smart Tower in Makati City. After work, they can share rides going back to Parañaque and Quezon City. Each ride can accommodate up to six passengers.
The PLDT Group’s initiatives with Uber complement its ongoing fleet management efforts. The group has deployed vans dedicated to transporting employees to its different offices in the Makati Central Business District. This eliminates the need for them to separately take cabs or their own cars for inter-office meetings and other business purposes.
The group also encourages its workforce to take other environment-friendly options, like conducting conference calls when these can take the place of face-to-face meetings.