The Sharing Economy: Do e-scooters make the cut?
Sharing is as old as civilization itself. Corporations now are taking an old idea and creating a strategic model with the help of technology. This modern sharing economy, while having roots in sustainable practices, can often be mistaken as an inherently sustainable business model. We present the outcomes of a project on e-scooters as an example to emphasize the potential impacts and characteristics of a business operating within the sharing economy. To understand and gain public opinion, a survey was conducted gathering 222 responses regarding e-scooter usage in Edmonton, Alberta. Another source of information was the interview with a top executive of Lime Scooters, an e-scooter company operating in Edmonton. We found that while online platforms make resource sharing between peers easier to access, they are not always economically sustainable. Literature review on life-cycle analysis of e-scooters revealed that environmental sustainability is also not ingrained in practice, and careful consideration of business operations is needed to mitigate potentially negative impacts. In addition, thoughtful policies need to be considered and put into place in-order to encourage public and private trust. Overall, the sharing economy can be quite effective in creating a sense of community and social sustainability, but it should not be graded as a wholly sustainable practice without evidence.
Copyright (c) 2020 Brady Bailey, Sarah Sereda
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