Swapfiets has become the world's first bike subscription company to be recognised for its social and environmental performance by being awarded B Corp status. The company is working towards 100% climate neutral business operations and 100% circular production where every component will be reused, repaired or recycled.
To be granted B Corp certification, companies must receive a minimum score of 80 on an assessment of "social and environmental performance" conducted by the non-profit organisation B Lab.
Swapfiets – who we have previously picked out as one of the best e-bike subscription services – finally attained B Corp status after a two-year approval process.
“It is in our nature to question the status quo,” said co-founder and sustainability director Richard Burger. “We firmly believe in the transition from a linear to a circular economy with a closed chain.
“We smartly use the data from our bicycle repairs to design sustainable products and extend the life cycle of our bicycles. We are proud to join the B Corp community and see the certification as an additional promise and responsibility to our members.”
Burger says that the company’s view of property and the scarcity of materials has always informed its approach.
“The 'stop owning, start using' message is still at the heart of everything we do and, in light of the climate crisis and resource scarcity, is more topical than ever.”
Swapfiets offers both e-bikes and conventional bikes on a subscription basis. It says production of its unpowered Deluxe 7 is now 88% circular.
“Based on an independent life cycle assessment and analysis of our data, algorithms, and machine learning, we optimise our impact where possible and we have mapped out where we need to work harder,” said Burger.
“No one said it would be easy, but we, like other companies in the B Corp network, are determined to achieve our ambitious goals.
“In doing so, we take a vulnerable position, are transparent about our ambitions and speak honestly about the challenges associated with pioneering in a complex and rapidly changing world.”
As well as having all of its offices, shops and production facilities switch to 100% renewable energy, Swapfiets is also currently experimenting with a number of recycled materials.
Metal has a high climate impact and so the firm has been employing a new type of recovered plastic where possible. It says this allows bicycle parts made of metal to be replaced.
It is also experimenting with recycled materials and smarter design for saddles, among other things.