Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Low-Carbon Travel & Resource Conservation: Alibaba's Impactful Initiatives


Alibaba Group achieved a 12.9% reduction in net carbon emissions from its direct operations during its fiscal year, as stated in the company's annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report released on Monday. The Hangzhou-based company is actively adopting smart energy management and increasing the utilization of clean energy in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Furthermore, Alibaba reported a significant decline of 22.907 million metric tons in carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) across its broader ecosystem during its fiscal year from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.
Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO, Daniel Zhang, expressed the company's commitment to achieving its carbon neutrality goals and highlighted the progress made in the past year.
Alibaba has been leveraging its platform power to encourage decarbonization across its wider ecosystem, involving participants and partners in commerce, logistics, and cloud computing.
Regarding its cloud computing subsidiary, Alibaba is making strides toward its objective of operating all global data centers on clean energy by 2030. The proportion of clean electricity generated from sources like solar, water, and wind in its self-built data centers in China rose significantly from 21.6% in the 2022 fiscal year to 53.9% in the 2023 fiscal year. Additionally, the company improved its overall power usage effectiveness of data centers, reducing it to 1.215 compared to 1.247 the previous year, through the adoption of energy-saving technologies such as liquid-cooling server technology and power management optimization.
Notably, the 2022 report provided an update on the company's sustainability efforts, with specific progress revealed for its Scope 3+ goal of cutting 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions across its digital ecosystem by 2035.
According to an annual survey conducted by Uptime Institute, the global industry average for 2023 was 1.58.
Alibaba Cloud is actively contributing to enhancing efficiency and reducing emissions for its corporate users by transitioning them from traditional IT to cloud computing.
A recent report from Carbon Trust, commissioned by Alibaba Cloud, revealed that adopting cloud server technology allows Alibaba Cloud users in China to avoid 85.5% of emissions.
The cloud platform's Energy Expert, driven by AI, has been instrumental in helping 2,580 enterprises worldwide to monitor, analyze, and optimize their carbon emissions since its launch up to March 31.
Alibaba has been at the forefront of promoting green logistics, low-carbon transportation, and sustainable retail stores in collaboration with its partners, aiming to green the value chain.
In the logistics sector, Cainiao Group, Alibaba's subsidiary, managed to reduce packaging materials by 184,000 tons in its fiscal year 2023 by encouraging shipments with used packages.
Leveraging digital technologies, Cainiao established a green recycling chain for used packaging in partnership with China's dairy giant Yili, including intelligent recycling boxes and an online green delivery-themed interactive community.
Similarly, in cooperation with Nike, Cainiao conducted nationwide door-to-door recycling across 30 Cainiao campus stations in China.
In the retail space, Alibaba's business groups, including Sun Art Retail, Intime, and Freshippo, have adopted packaging recycling programs and implemented energy-saving renovations like air conditioner upgrades to reduce the carbon footprint along the value chain.
To encourage low-carbon behaviors among consumers on Alibaba's platforms, the company introduced its group-level carbon ledger, and as per the report, around 187 million users participated in emission reduction through the carbon ledger during the period.
During the last fiscal year, more than 30 million individuals opted for low-carbon travel options like walking on Alibaba's navigation platform Amap. This collective choice resulted in a substantial reduction of 215,000 MtCO2e in carbon emissions. Additionally, users of the food delivery platform Ele.me made a positive impact by opting out of cutlery on over 1.4 billion orders, thus conserving valuable resources.
Even small actions can make a significant difference. Cainiao encouraged consumers to contribute to recycling efforts by leaving cardboard boxes at pick-up stations for reuse. As a result, over 23 million boxes were collected and recycled at Cainiao Posts during the reporting period.
“We hope that more and more peers will explore the future of sustainable development together, create value beyond business, and jointly build a healthy, comprehensive, and mutually prosperous sustainable ecosystem,” said Zhang.