Foodpanda has recently released its first Social Impact Report, titled 'pandapurpose,' highlighting initiatives the company has taken to contribute to socio-economic and environmental sustainability challenges in Asia. As the largest food and grocery platform in Asia (outside China), foodpanda dedicated over US$35 million to support communities, help Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) digitise, train and upskill delivery riders across the region during the continued pandemic in 2021. The pandapurpose 2021 report showcases how foodpanda uplifted riders, merchants and customers thrive through technology across its 12 operating markets - Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
A key highlight in the report was the introduction of new digital tools that helped MSMEs expand revenue streams while training and upskilling riders and programs. Several local programs in Pakistan and Bangladesh successfully increased the percentage of economic participation from women entrepreneurs through the Home Chef program. At the same time, the overall women's ridership also increased compared to previous years.
During the pandemic, while many workers were displaced, foodpanda provided a crucial lifeline that created earning opportunities for more than 370,000 new riders in 2021. An additional US$6 million was invested in providing riders' welfare and benefits, such as safety training, insurance, and financial support for the purchase of bicycles or motorbikes.
foodpanda also spent more than half a million US dollars to support local governments and communities in the fight against COVID-19, with the distribution of food, essentials, and medical supplies to healthcare workers and people in need. The platform also spearheaded a vaccination awareness program to amplify local vaccination information in partnership with health ministries.
Furthermore, in 2021, foodpanda raised the level of economic participation from women across Asia, tripling the number of female riders in its fleet and financially empowering women MSME entrepreneurs on the platform through its Home Chef programs.
Moreover, with an expansive reach across 12 markets in Asia, foodpanda launched tech-enabled initiatives to help merchants, riders, and customers adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. To tackle environmental sustainability challenges in the food delivery industry, foodpanda worked with local partners to improve food sustainability and reduce plastic waste for a low-carbon future.
In 2021, foodpanda saved over 900 million pieces of single-use plastic cutlery through its cutlery opt-out feature, while more than 25,000 sustainable products (such as plant-based food) were made available on pandamart and foodpanda shops. Hong Kong and Taiwan became foodpanda's first markets to certify more than 70 green merchants for their sustainability practices. That program will continue to expand in 2022.
In 2021, foodpanda also became the world's first food delivery platform to offer cultured-meat dishes to its Singapore customers in a partnership with GOOD Meat. To lower the carbon footprint of deliveries, foodpanda encourages the use of greener transportation options - more than 20 percent of its fleet across Asia deliver on foot, bicycles or e-bikes.