A fellow B Corp organisation, Forest is an affordable and environmentally responsible e-bike operator in London.
Via the Forest app, users can rent an e-bike as a means of sustainable and active travel. By partnering with impact-aligned corporate organisations such as Financial Times and Bloomberg, the operator offers 10 minutes of free rides to each user every day.
The company now has ambitious plans to double its fleet, bringing affordable and sustainable mobility to even more Londoners, and to invest in technology platform development – all with the backing of £5m of project finance from Triodos Bank UK.
As an organisation that is working to tackle urban pollution while increasing access to affordable transport – and thereby contributing to more liveable cities – the work of Forest aligns well with our mission and values. We spoke to co-founder Caroline Seton to find out more about the vision behind Forest and its plans for future growth.
What inspired the name Forest?
We want to focus on better air quality and lower CO2 emissions. While a tree removes CO2 from the atmosphere, people opting to make their journey on a Forest e-bike emit zero greenhouse gases. Working together, trees and people can drastically reduce the amount of CO2 in the air – just like a forest.
Congratulations on recently achieving B Corp accreditation. Can you explain what makes you London’s most environmentally responsible e-bike operator?
Thank you, we are delighted to have achieved B Corp accreditation. It was a huge team effort and one that we are really proud of.
We’re the only zero emission e-bike operator in London, which in practical terms means we use only electric, zero emissions vehicles or e-bikes to service the fleet and we use only certified renewable energy. Our accreditation also recognises our role in the community and our efforts as a good employer too.
How does Forest positively impact its customers’ wellbeing and carbon footprint?
Great question! There are lots of excellent studies proving the benefits of exercise on mental wellbeing, but we decided to ask our users. One of the general sentiments from our community was that cycling elicits a unique freedom of the mind from the daily rigmarole – in fact, 97% said their mood improved after riding a Forest e-bike. Some viewed the independence of a cycled commute or a thought-clearing leisurely ride as “meditative”, giving them a newfound “control” over themselves and their thoughts.
A rider even reported feeling like a “superwoman” while gliding through the city streets on the back of a Forest bike!
In terms of environmental sustainability, based on the assumption that 25% of our e-bike trips replace car trips, we have displaced 250 tons of CO2 since launch.
What achievements are you most proud of so far?
We are all enormously proud of the team and the community that is Forest. We held our inaugural Forest Festival last summer and were all blown away by the people that are devoted to improving air quality in London and the passion they share for Forest as a means to do this.
What are your hopes for the future of Forest? Do you have any ambitions to expand beyond the capital?
Our vision is to give free and sustainable mobility to people and cities. In practical terms, that means we want to work with partners to further reduce the cost of our service. We are currently 50% cheaper than our competitors on average but we believe we can do better. Reforesting the world is our goal and so London is just the beginning of a beautiful community that we hope to create globally, starting with new city openings in Europe next year.