I first met Steve, Clutch’s founder, at The Rebel House in midtown Toronto back in July 2019. We discussed a number of topics about the used car industry and the opportunity to build an amazing customer experience around car buying. Beyond the business, Steve and I quickly found out that we shared the same love for the outdoors, camping, and canoeing. He talked about his solo canoe trip that he was planning in Killarney Park and I shared the 10-day trip that I had done down the Beaulieu River in the Northwest Territories, 200 km north of my hometown of Yellowknife.
Over the next few weeks, we discussed the longer-term vision for Clutch over several dinners, beers, and coffees. We chatted about how we wanted to provide our customers with complete transparency around car buying through a tech platform and how we wanted to eliminate the stress of having to spend hours in a dealership haggling over price. We also talked about wanting to lead the industry from one that is ranked last when it comes to honesty and ethics to one that is known for putting the customer first and making a positive impact in the communities in which we operate.
Cars are vital to the way we live and work. They help us get to work, drop-off our children at school, and take our families on vacation. Gasoline-powered vehicles still constitute the substantial majority of cars on the road making up over 96% of all light-duty vehicle sales in Canada. Behind the oil and gas sector, the transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas in Canada and within the transportation sector, cars and light trucks are responsible for nearly half of the emissions.
At Clutch, we recognize that we have a responsibility to operate our business sustainably and ethically. Our exclusive focus on pre-owned vehicles avoids the significant environmental costs of manufacturing a new automobile. We have also committed to increasing our focus on electric vehicles. Finally, we have taken initiatives to directly offset the carbon footprint of driving a car.
Today, we are so excited to be publicly announcing our partnership with Tree Canada, Canada’s only non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. We started our relationship in May 2020 and since then, we have helped plant thousands of trees across Canada. Planting trees is one more step in fighting climate change. Trees store carbon in the land instead of the air and reduce the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. With the purchase of every Clutch vehicle, we are committed to planting three trees in the area in which the vehicle was purchased. This initiative will result in tens of thousands of dollars in contribution every year. This effort is part of our broader "Clutch Commitment" and we are inviting our customers to also contribute at clutch.ca/sustainability.
I feel very fortunate to work alongside a talented team of passionate and committed individuals. At Clutch, we are building a culture known for trust, transparency, problem-solving, and teamwork. We feel lucky to be able to come into work every day to build and create and recognize that we also have an opportunity to rethink the way businesses operate. Our partnership with Tree Canada is one of many steps in contributing to our overall mission to making a positive impact on our community. We’re just getting started and can’t wait to share more soon!