Modo: Leading Car Sharing in North America & Enabling Local Community Organizations

Modo is a member-owned not-for-profit carsharing co-op with 300+ locations in Metro Vancouver. It started in Vancouver’s West End in 1997, was the first carsharing co-operative in North America and the first English-speaking carshare in the world! Modo helped carsharing start up on four continents, and they continue to lend a helping hand whenever they can. Modo donates carsharing to support the great work of more than 60 local organizations, including Take a Hike Foundation, Qmunity, Eastside Culture Crawl and farmers markets across the region.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

ModoByTheNumbersAnswer: Vehicles are our biggest purchases, and we don’t have any local made options, but we do purchase about 20% of vehicles from local owned companies. A similar amount – about 20% of office supplies and vehicle related consumables like oil – are also sourced from local owned companies. On all our other purchases we make a huge effort to buy from local owned companies and buy local made products. 100% of our creative is from local owned companies – from branding and design, to printing and vehicle decals. Between 90–100% of all services are from local owned companies. 90% of our vehicle servicing is done locally, all of our software contracting has been to BC companies, and all our other services like cleaning, accounting, banking, marketing, legal and financial services are local.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?

Answer: Modo is strives to be an excellent employer, reflecting the communities in which we’re based. We’re proud of our hiring record among the queer and disabled communities, and would like to promote racial diversity among staff. Since we were a carsharing leader, a lot of fledging organizations reach out to us for guidance. We’ve helped to mentor, support and promote many smaller carshare co-ops around the country. We also enable the work of great local community groups by donating carsharing services.

Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: Carsharing means fewer cars are on the road, and that means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less traffic in our region. So our whole business model has an environmental benefit. Modo drivers produce 0.32 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year, which is 10–36 times less than the average driver. More than 40% of our members get rid of a car within one year of joining, accounting for 3,000 less cars on the road so far. We reduce our office’s footprint through office composting and comprehensive recycling. We only use green and homemade cleaners for our office, and usually opt for homemade cleaners for our car interior cleanings as well. We’ve only ever used 100% post-consumer recycled paper, even back in 1997 when that meant a poorer and beige-r paper quality. And we are increasingly moving toward a paper-light office. We’re part of some key programs to reduce our footprint – we’ve done our Climate Smart inventory, and have participated in the Fraser Basin Council’s Fleet Right Sizing.