Last month Transport For London stripped Uber of its license because: “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility”. While to many it came as a shock to strip one of the most popular forms of transport from the UK’s capital, for others this was no surprise. In this economy, you’re not going to get far if you don’t mix ethics with business.
Uber has been steadily attracting more and more heat from the public as each week a new story about their abuse and evasion of the law hits the headlines. From obstructing regulations to sexual assaults to unfair worker’s rights, Uber’s name has become increasingly tainted amongst the public.
Many people have been battling with their morals and their love of convenience every time that they order an Uber. Because Uber has totally transformed the way that we understand travel. It’s affordable and it’s (relatively) safe, and this is liberating. Over 600,000 Londoners signed a petition to save Uber, which claimed that having ‘a safe, reliable and affordable ride’ means that Uber must exist.
What this exposes is the tension between the obvious necessity for the service that Uber provides and the demand that this is done ethically. From the treatment of drivers to the treatment of passengers to the sourcing and management of the supply chains, Uber’s business model failed ethically.
But where Uber has failed, other’s are taking note and are excelling. We have been working with Piing – a car company that was set up in response to Uber’s failings – to support their vision of creating a movement around affordable, safe and reliable transport that is also ethical.
Piing describe themselves as “the ethical cab app.” They “offer a fair ride to our drivers, riders and communities we work in.” Piing are taking ethics seriously. They are providing the serious alternative to Uber in a world that appreciates feeling good about the companies they choose to give their money to.
Ethics and trust go hand in hand and we’ve been supporting Piing to help them to develop their business models in a way that makes it fairer for drivers, safer for passengers, and better for neighbourhoods and the environment. Just by riding with Piing you’re helping the world to become a better place.
This is the time for ethical business. Think to Lush, AirBnb, The Body Shop, and any business that has Bcorp status. We’re enacting our social and ethical beliefs in our commercial lives on a daily basis, and companies need to keep up. As the story of Uber has shown, cutting corners by trading in your ethical standards won’t work anymore. We’d rather Piing it.