CEO Update – April 2023
Why does Modo exist? We have a simple answer – to achieve our Social Purpose, which we define as transforming communities by connecting people with places in a way that is affordable, convenient, inclusive and sustainable. This has been part of our culture from our very first day and we reaffirm that focus with all our actions as a co-op.
During the last several years we have been working to better understand the extent to which we are realizing our Purpose. Are we taking actions that are aligned with and that advance our Purpose? That has been an evolutionary process that has seen us define a set of indicators that, taken together, measure our progress towards achievement of Purpose.
During 2022 we have considered indicators that fall into 6 broad categories: Our Members; Our People; Affordability; Convenience; Environmental Impact; and Financial Results. Data sources include annual employee and member surveys, Statistics Canada, and internal data.
It is in being transparent in our reporting to you that we hold ourselves accountable.
For members, we look at overall satisfaction with the co-op, diversity, the number of members actively using the cars, and the number of members leaving the co-op. Overall satisfaction remains consistently high at 95%, though we saw some softening in the “very satisfied” response. That appears to be related to a surge in vehicle use during summer 2022, a period during which we could not acquire cars fast enough and our response time to calls and emails lengthened. Both issues have been addressed.
As we continue to move away from the worst of COVID, I’m happy to report that the activity rate (% of members that used a car in the last 12 months) has continued to climb back toward pre-COVID levels and the rate of members leaving the co-op has fallen.
While we may widen our perspective in future, we look at diversity within the membership in relation to the general population, with a focus on gender and race. For gender, we see a ratio very close to equal numbers of women and men, and are proud of the fact that the percentage of members that identify as non-binary significantly exceeds the general population. For race, while the number of members identifying as a member of a visible minority is somewhat below census data for the general population, amongst newer members we see a different story, and are thereby optimistic that we are progressively closing the gap.
In this category we look at employee engagement and at diversity and pay equity across our workforce. From our annual employee survey we saw that 100% of employees agree that they understand and support Modo’s Purpose. And 96% agreed that our workplace policies, practices, and behaviours support a welcoming and inclusive employee experience.
As for members, we have thus far limited our view into employee diversity to gender and race, comparing ourselves to 2021 census data for the areas in which we operate. While our racial diversity is consistent with the general population, in terms of gender we employ a larger number of men than women, primarily influenced by the team that cares for our vehicles. We remain committed to attracting larger numbers of women to this team, including continuing to foster a culture that welcomes women.
Any discussion of equity in the workplace must of course touch on pay equity, and we look at pay equity for women and racialized persons. The primary gap we see here is with the leadership team. While our leadership team includes four women and four men, this higher paid group is predominantly white.
For affordability, we compare the cost to own a car with the cost to use Modo’s shared vehicles. In this case it is not the absolute number but the trend in the relationship between these two values that we contrast. I am happy to report that during the past year, as the cost of vehicle ownership has risen and we have held our prices unchanged, the needle has moved in favour of sharing. But you already knew that!
You have told us that proximity of shared vehicles to where you live and/or work is your primary definition of convenience. I’m happy to report that the percentage of members living within walking distance of at least three Modo cars has increased significantly during the year. In addition to the proximity of cars to members, we also look at proximity of cars in relation to the general population in the municipalities where we are active, to consider prospective as well as current members. In this case as well, we have seen a significant improvement as we continue to add vehicles to our fleet.
Car sharing in and of itself is inherently much less impactful to the environment than individual car ownership. Academic research tells us that each round trip shared car, the kind that Modo offers, eliminates from 9 to 13 vehicles, and their emissions, from the street. Despite these benefits, we know we can do better, and so we measure the overall emissions of our fleet. During 2022, while we did reduce fleet emissions (average gCO2/km) somewhat, we were constrained by our ability to acquire the number of electric and hybrid vehicles we wanted, due to supply chain challenges. There is more work to be done here.
During 2022 we saw strong growth in membership and bookings, proof that our value proposition is strong, and solid financial results that serve to bolster our resilience against any future challenges. More details will be made available at our upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM).
2022 was a very good year for our co-op on nearly every measure. Thank you for your support during the past year and be assured that we remain focused on realization of Purpose and the success of our co-op.