Like many of you, it was heartbreaking to watch videos on social media last week showing thousands of Jump bikes being scrapped as fallout from the Uber/Jump deal with Lime. Last …

Like many of you, it was heartbreaking to watch videos on social media last week showing thousands of Jump bikes being scrapped as fallout from the Uber/Jump deal with Lime.
Last month, Lime announced it raised $170 million from investors. The investment round was led by Uber and, as part of the deal, Lime acquired Jumps (Ubers bike and scooter subsidiary) operations. However, based on news reports, it appears that Lime only took Jumps newer bikes as part of the deal and the unwanted, older bikes were discarded.
But theyre still bikes! One of the most enjoyable and timeless modes of personal transportation. Isnt there a better use for them? Wouldnt even donating them to charity be better?
Im not sure which company ultimately made the decision to get rid of the older bikes. But the simpler, faster, and/or cheaper business solution was to scrap them.
It left me asking myself does the mobility industry have a soul?
I want to be careful here to not have a holier than thou attitude. I have spent my career supporting companies making cost-benefit decisions and, like a lot of consumers, my personal carbon footprint has grown over time.
[Read: Alibaba is overflowing with cheap mail-order electric cars and I want them all]
But this was truly a head-scratching moment in an industry whose ethos emanates from a desire to create a positive impact. I looked at it and felt like something is missing
Drawing a parallel to impact investing
My career in finance has spanned many industries. One of them is impact investing which is defined by Wikipedia as investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Its complicated though. The social good desired from impact investing means different things to different people. For some, the motivation may be a mission to provide affordable education or healthcare to those in developing economies. For others, it may simply be setting up a commercial enterprise that creates jobs.  I think the same may hold true for mobility. For some, the motivation may be a mission to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the earth for generations to come. For others, it may be a passion for technology.
However, I have seen the impact investing industry move towards clarity and accountability by seeking to establish standards to define, measure and report impact.  With so many opinions, its been a slow-moving process and one which may take many more years to finish. Its definitely not perfect but its a worthy endeavor and progress is being made. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Impact Management Project (IMP) and the Operating Principles for Impact Management (OPIM) are becoming the new benchmarks for impact investing and measurement. The OPIM, for example, has almost 100 companies that have become signatories putting their name down that they are willing to be held accountable to those guiding principles.
Why doesnt mobility have something similar?
Its with this lens that I found myself wondering why doesnt the mobility industry have something similar?  Shouldnt there be a unified social or moral contract among mobility players and the cities and people they serve? Would this just add bureaucracy, or would it be a noble endeavor worthy of an investment of time from the mobility industrys CEOs, founders, and visionaries?
After last week, my personal conclusion is yes the mobility industry, and indeed all businesses, would be better served with guiding principles and accountability for decisions in times like this. Perhaps thats the soul thats missing.
The Urban Mobility Daily is the content site of the Urban Mobility Company, a Paris-based company which is moving the business of mobility forward through physical and virtual events and services. Join their community of 10K+ global mobility professionals by signing up for the Urban Mobility Weekly newsletter. Read the original article here and follow them on Linkedin and Twitter. 
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