Sam Arons - Director of Sustainability at Lyft

Sam Arons - Director of Sustainability at Lyft

As the Director fo Sustainability at Lyft, Sam Arons oversees the company's sustainability and climate impact efforts. Lyft was one of the first companies to join former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “We're Still In” movement to pledge their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. Shortly after, the company outlined their Climate Impact Goals to do their part to address the threat posed by global climate change. 

Sam came to Lyft after 10 years at Google where he developed the company’s sustainability efforts as Senior Lead for Energy & Infrastructure. Prior to his time with Google, Sam researched wind energy and plug-in vehicles at Williams College and UC Berkeley, respectively.

Sam Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Lyft's new carbon offset program, offsetting 100% of the GHG emissions associated with Lyft rides

  • Lyft's goals to use 100% renewably powered autonomous vehicles

  • Greening America's cities with shared, electric, autonomous vehicles

  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Sam's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say that solving climate change really requires a village and no one of us can do it alone. So for me, I have really reached out to my networks and tried to get to know as many different people as I can because we're going to need to partner with all sorts of different people to realize this future that we all want to see. So I would recommend other professionals think about doing the same thing.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

One thing that I'm really excited about right now is something called the Three Transportation Revolutions and this is a kind of an initiative and a concept from a professor, Dan Sperling who is at the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies. The three revolutions in transportation are shared, autonomous and electric vehicles. Combined, those three aspects of where transportation is headed can have a potentially very positive effect on the world. I'm excited to be involved in helping to make that happen.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

You know, I always liked the classics. I would say, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. That was one of the inspirations for me to get involved in this work.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

For those folks who may be looking for a way to do corporate renewable energy purchasing, there is a great program run by the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado called the Business Renewable Center, BRC. Basically, they run a very effective bootcamp for folks to really get up to speed quickly on how this whole renewable purchase the thing work, how it fits into the electricity grid, how do you convince your CFO to do it etc. It's a great workshop. I've been privileged to be an instructor at that workshop. I'd highly recommend it to anybody who's looking to learn more about that.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Lyft?

So we have a few publications that we've put out recently. One is Lyft's Climate Impact Goals - a blog post. You can search for that online. We also have a medium post that describes our recent carbon neutrality announcement, so you can also search for that one online. And finally, my LinkedIn profile has a bit more information as well. So check it out.