Last year, Veo went house hunting. We wanted to establish our home base in a city that shared our commitment to climate action and clean transportation. Santa Monica, California, quickly rose to the top of our list because of its strong culture of sustainability and reputation as a hub for tech and entrepreneurship. We also knew the city well: Veo has partnered with Santa Monica since 2021 to provide shared scooters and bikes to the community.
Becoming a California Certified Green Business
After establishing our office downtown, Veo spent the next year working to ensure our headquarters reflected our values. Veo worked closely with SustainableWorks, a local non-profit, to achieve Green Business Certification. Veo became a certified California Green Business after completing a rigorous process that covers key indicators of sustainable operations such as energy and water conservation, sustainable employee commuting, green purchasing, and waste reduction. As part of this process, we also developed Veo’s first-ever Workplace Environmental Policy statement, our “north star” commitment which outlines how Veo will continue to put sustainability at the forefront of our headquarters operations.
Greening our operations has been such a success that this month we are honored to receive the Grand Prize for the Sustainable Quality Awards, the oldest and most rigorous sustainable business award in Southern California.
Sustainable Connections with the Community
As Veo has greened our operations, we have also worked to ensure that our local community has access to sustainable transportation. After establishing our headquarters, we partnered with a social service agency in our neighborhood that supports people experiencing homelessness in the area. Veo provides the agency’s staff with free access to our shared scooters and bikes to support their efforts conducting outreach in the busy – and usually congested – waterfront and downtown areas. The agency’s outreach teams have taken over 500 rides to date, offsetting gas and other costs associated with operating by van.
Supporting the local community means ensuring that everyone has access to shared scooters and bikes. Veo provides affordable pricing options for Santa Monica residents, including a discount plan for residents and a membership option for low-income riders. And we’re learning that access to Veo is making an impact: in a recent user survey, more than half of Santa Monica riders said that the availability of shared scooters and bikes has allowed them to get rid of a car or decrease car travel. This is also true for our own CEO Candice Xie, who sold her car when she moved to Santa Monica so she could travel sustainability and get to know the community by shared mobility.
Santa Monica attracts over eight million visitors annually thanks to its great weather, vibrant commercial districts, and beautiful waterfront. Veo wanted to ensure these visitors can easily access shared scooters and bikes to explore all that Santa Monica has to offer without needing a car. We recently partnered with Santa Monica Travel and Tourism to hand out free helmets at various visitor kiosks throughout the city. Visitors are encouraged to use these helmets and keep them. Any helmet that is given back to a visitor kiosk after use is then donated to Santa Monica Spoke, a local bike advocacy group, in an effort to reduce waste
Veo couldn’t be happier to have the sustainable city of Santa Monica, California as our home base. We’ve made great strides greening our operations, and we’re already thinking about what’s next. Right now our local field team is piloting greener ways to swap out batteries and redistribute vehicles – keep on the lookout for us on the streets in a new electric van!