Alibaba Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2030

At the company’s Investor Day held on December 17, Alibaba Group released a pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, also announcing a pioneering initiative aiming to facilitate 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization across its business ecosystem by 2035.

Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba, said, “Despite many challenges, we are convinced that a sustainable future will be a circular economy driven by new technologies and new energy, which is a self-requirement that Alibaba must have as a responsible technology company.”

According to the results of the third-party carbon inventory, in 2020, Alibaba‘s greenhouse gas emissions totaled 9.514 million tons, of which the direct greenhouse gas emissions within the control of corporate entities and the greenhouse gas emissions generated by operating electricity consumption were 510,000 tons and 3.71 million tons, respectively.

In view of the carbon emissions at its own operational level, the Alibaba Carbon Neutrality Action Report released at this event proposes to achieve it mainly through efficiency improvement, emissions reductions, the use of clean energy, carbon elimination and carbon offset.

Alibaba plans to replace all its own short-distance fuel vehicles with electric cars by 2030. It also plans to accelerate the intelligentization of logistics transportation tools, including expanding the coverage of electric unmanned logistics vehicles and accelerating the R&D progress of automated driving trucks.

In addition, digital technology will be invested by Alibaba in the construction of green industrial parks on a larger scale to promote energy conservation and carbon reduction. At present, intelligent Internet of Things and sensors are widely used in Alibaba located places, which can adjust air conditioning and lighting according to the flow of people. In the future, all self-built parks will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and green building standards of China. The report shows that in the past two years, the per capita energy consumption of Alibaba employees has dropped by more than 10%.

In 2020, the greenhouse gas emissions indirectly generated by Alibaba‘s business ecosystem was about 5.294 million tons. Alibaba pledges to reduce that carbon intensity by 50 percent by 2030.

Reducing Alibaba employees’ travel carbon footprint will also become the direction of company innovation. Alibaba said that employees will be encouraged to reduce carbon emissions through a series of innovative measures, including carpooling and taking company buses. In the first 10 months of this year, more than 90,000 employees participated in carpooling.

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In order to ensure that the carbon reduction target is achieved on schedule, Alibaba has also set up a new three-tier governance structure, including a Sustainability Committee at the board level, a Sustainability Steering Committee responsible for strategic planning, goal setting and management and an ESG cross-business action group consisting of representatives from each business unit at the working level responsible for coordination and execution.