Alibaba applies its innovative technologies to combat CO2 emissions

Climate change is a hot topic around the world, a top-notch issue bringing together world business leaders. In the face of adversity, international firms have a responsibility to act, fulfill their responsibilities, and lead by example.

The global economy must move from a linear “take, make, throw away” model to a low-carbon circular economy in line with the “scrap, reuse, recover and recycle” model. Alibaba aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Today, the consumption of natural resources is almost twice the rate at which the Earth replenishes them. A huge amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) have become the main cause of climate change, leading to the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, environmental degradation and pollution of the environment, air, soil and water.

It’s time to act

The catastrophes and numerous extreme weather events that have taken place in the past year are warning signs of the gravity of the situation. It’s a reminder that we need, on the one hand, to act faster, and on the other hand, to achieve economic development where non-renewable resources no longer depend on strong global dependency.

To achieve this, the global economy must move from a linear “take, make, throw away” model to a low-carbon circular economy in line with a “throw, reuse, recover and recycle” model. As one of the largest retail and e-commerce players in the world, Alibaba Group has an important role to play in supporting this transition.

Reducing emissions for sustainable development

Unchanged for 20 years, our mission is to make the life of entrepreneurs around the world easier. Today, this mission takes on a new meaning, and we are proud to take on the responsibility of overcoming the most serious problems in our society.

Our entire ecosystem cares: we not only want to improve the quality of life for consumers with easy access to goods and services, but also help companies – from young start-ups to large multinationals – grow sustainably by reducing their GHG emissions.

Based on this principle, Alibaba Group has decided to join the Science Based Targets initiative to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. And we have set new short- and medium-term targets for carbon neutrality.

Optimizing Our Innovative Technologies to Solve Huge Challenges

Alibaba has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 at its businesses., i.e. considered in tasks 1 and 2*. Therefore, we will have to make changes to the premises and vehicles of our company, as well as reconsider the way we receive electricity and heat.

We will also work with our partners up and down our value chain to reduce intensity by emissions by 2030, taken into account in Task 3*. Building on our legacy of innovation, we will increase our use of clean energy and improve energy efficiency. Additional initiatives, we will implement supplier environmental management plans through these incentive mechanisms to summarize their use. Of course, it won’t be easy. Goal 3 is perhaps the most difficult to measure and requires robust data collection. But we intend to optimize our technical knowledge, mobilize all our teams and intensify our efforts to overcome these challenges.

Ultimately – and this is exclusive to Alibaba – we have found an opportunity to expand the boundaries of our goals 1, 2 and 3. In this way, we will be able to better promote emission reduction behavior through technological innovations and new business models. .

To this end, we are taking on a pioneering role with the 3+ Goal concept, which covers the emissions generated by a wide range of participants in our ecosystem. This is the case for Tmall, China’s Alibaba B2C marketplace, for which the 3+ target includes total emissions from suppliers, merchants, and customers. By “total emissions” we mean all of their emissions: emissions from activities related to Alibaba products and services and emissions from other activities.

We are convinced that this will play an important role in achieving the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreements. We have also launched the 1.5 gigatons at 1.5°C project, where we will use our various platforms to achieve 1.5 billion tons of carbon reductions across our Target 3+ by 2035.

A collaborative three-step approach to achieving the set goals

First, we hope to stimulate a new wave of technology and business model innovation at Alibaba to inspire our teams and come up with innovative solutions to meet society’s pressing climate needs.

We also want to bring partners across our entire digital ecosystem, from brands to merchants and manufacturers to consumers, to make this transition happen together. This will lead to the promotion of greener products among consumers and a stronger promotion of green and responsible behavior among merchants and consumers. These behavioral shifts will impact decision making across all aspects of the brand’s value chain, including the search for more sustainable logistics and packaging solutions.

Finally, we look forward to working with partners, research organizations, academic institutions, and certification agencies to develop better digital systems for tracking, recording, verifying, and estimating carbon emissions. These efforts will serve to create a solid scientific and technological foundation for the transition.

We are convinced that Goal 3+ is a natural extension of the previous Goals. This challenge requires us to mobilize our efforts around innovative solutions that will accelerate global carbon reduction.

Technology will play a vital role in achieving our goals and bringing about long-term behavioral change for the benefit of our planet.

*Target 1 (Scope 1): direct emissions from owned or controlled activities.

*Target 2 (Scope 2): indirect emissions from the production of consumed energy.

*Target 3 (Scope 3): All indirect emissions (not included in Target 2) that occur in the company’s value chain, i.e. upstream and downstream emissions.