Case studies
Integrating Climate Action into Every Transaction
Mark Chen
April 4, 2024

Hitch is solving intercity transportation by offering an affordable, personal, and safe ride-sharing service to consumers in Texas and Florida. Customers can easily book private or shared rides between cities. Hitch riders can choose to offset their ride with CNaught right on the application’s confirmation page. By leveraging CNaught’s API integration, Hitch can empower their users to make their rides sustainable.

Cofounder and CPO Tanuj Girish shares how Hitch leverages CNaught to stay focused on building their business while staying true to their sustainability goals.

Real impact comes with scale

The number one way people travel between cities is just by driving themselves. Roughly 90 percent of intercity travel is done in a vehicle with a single occupant, the driver. While there are various other ways people can travel between cities, the majority of intercity travel is done by car. 
There have been plenty of attempts in the past to solve this problem. A number of those attempts have tried to approach this from a sustainability-first approach, meaning to try to be more persuasive on the idea of saving the environment and reducing cars off the road. But the problem is, for most people, that's not the first thing on their minds. They're not willing to sacrifice convenience and price to think they're helping the environment. I think this approach led to issues down the line of not being able to provide a consistent service and those companies failed. 
To grow successfully, we indexed off the aspect that is most immediate to the customer: building a reliable network. In order to build a reliable network, we needed to make sure that we could provide an affordable price point and guarantee a high match rate. 
Once you have a certain amount of demand or volume, then you can start optimizing things like groupings and number of dispatch vehicles to start consolidating rides. How can you start to consolidate people who are traveling in the same window of time into one or two vehicles instead of five or six? Once you have that scale and can make those optimizations, you can start having a real impact. Alternatively, if we tried to index around sustainability too early, our efforts would only slow the business and not make that much of an impact. 
So I think there's a right time and place to start to have the volume needed to make an impact and this led us to consider what we can do in the short term. 

How growth-stage companies can take climate action now

So what can we do in the gap period between being too early to focus on sustainability to having enough volume to focus on it? CNaught was a really good use case for us. We integrated CNaught so riders who are conscious of their carbon usage can opt-in to offset their ride. This allowed us to give the option to users while removing the friction of maintenance and navigation of carbon credits.
Right now, our top business goal is to get to a certain volume where we can make a substantial impact. So any effort that distracts from that goal, say by having to manage the purchase of credits, would impede that underlying mission. The name of the game in our business is how we can service growing demand with the least number of vehicles. That not only helps the sustainability aspect we believe in, but it also it just helps the business in terms of cost, profits, et cetera. So it’s nice that the goals of growth and sustainability are aligned. 

Programmatically enable sustainability

CNaught is embedded on the final confirmation page. A user inputs their search parameters and they select a product and a time. Then the final page is the confirmation page to review all the details that they selected. There's a specific section on that page that includes a price breakdown. So we'll break down the price, including any promotions, and then there's a section right under that says ‘make your ride carbon neutral.’ That’s a quick check . And then that just gets added in as a new price line. We pass in the distance to CNaught, and the rest is automatically calculated.  

As growing companies juggle various priorities, sustainability often ranks high, yet achieving tangible impact may require reaching a certain scale. Some companies may defer sustainability initiatives until they’ve reached that scale. Hitch sought a solution that could yield immediate climate impact while prioritizing the business’s core needs. 

CNaught's programmatic, high-integrity carbon credit solution can support businesses from the very largest to those just getting started. Create easy and accessible user experiences integrated into your product the way you envision with our API. 

Learn more about our API integration here, or reach out to us to chat through your business use case here.