Responsible technology, sustainable future: How technology is helping companies to become carbon neutral by 2030 – Promoted Content

Climate change is becoming a hot topic around the world – it is a Pandora’s box that will continue to unleash complex consequences that are becoming increasingly difficult for humanity to assess and manage.

Responsible tech companies around the world should commit to becoming carbon neutral and act now, and in December 2021, Alibaba Group did just that. In the Alibaba Group Carbon Neutrality Action Report, the group committed to achieving carbon neutrality for its own operations by 2030. Working with stakeholders and partners across Alibaba’s digital ecosystem, Alibaba also aimed to reduce its value chain (Scope 3) emissions intensity by half by 2030, using 2020 levels as a baseline. Additionally, Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba Group’s digital technology and intelligence backbone, will take the lead as a digital infrastructure and service provider for a green economy, aiming to achieve Scope 3 carbon neutrality by 2030.

Digitization is key to building a low-carbon, circular economy

The global economy must move from a linear “take, make, dispose” model to a lower-carbon, circular model of “dispose, reduce, reuse, refurbish and recycle.” This is a non-negotiable way of achieving carbon neutrality and maintaining a healthy environment that sustains human life.

To achieve this robust transition to a low-carbon, circular economy, Alibaba Group will include the adoption of the following pillars for economic growth and environmental improvements:

  • energy transition from dependence on fossil fuels to universal use of clean energy with an emphasis on renewable energy
  • Scientific and technological innovationswhich focuses on low-carbon, zero and negative CO2 technologies
  • stakeholder economythat focuses on a collaborative governance model, where regulations and market mechanisms work hand-in-hand, where governments at all levels work with small, medium and large businesses, and where consumers and other stakeholders are all motivated to join forces with renewed system new economic system, social contracts and lifestyles

Increasing digitization presents a major opportunity for Alibaba Group, enabling the shift towards a sustainable economy – a “win-win” economy in which every advance in the economy improves the environment. This is made possible by increasing the penetration of digitization to increase the speed and efficiency of emission reduction. The adoption of reliable and scalable digital technologies makes it much easier to measure and manage our carbon footprint.

Why scopes are important

To ensure Alibaba Group achieves carbon neutrality and a greener future, the company has committed to joining the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C limit and has set itself the following goals:

  • Decarbonizing Alibaba
    • Scopes 1 and 2: By 2030, Alibaba will achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations
  • Greening of value chains
    • Scope 3: By 2030, Alibaba will work with its upstream and downstream value chain partners to reduce emissions intensity by 50% compared to base year 2020. Alibaba Cloud provides the core digital infrastructure and will achieve Scope 3 carbon neutrality in the same period.
  • Enabling a low-carbon, circular digital ecosystem
    • Scope 3+: Beyond its own operations and direct value chains, Alibaba Group is committed to using its digital platforms to encourage even broader participation. The company is committed to enabling 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization across its ecosystem by 2035.

While its own carbon neutrality plan is important, Alibaba Group has placed a major focus on “Scope 3+” to influence a broader set of stakeholders in Alibaba’s digital ecosystem and advocate for low-carbon products, services and behaviors.

How companies can reduce their emissions

There are many ways companies can reduce their carbon emissions and footprint, from transforming transportation to placing a greater emphasis on green logistics and cloud computing. For example, China’s urban and rural residents directly and indirectly emitted about 4.15 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, accounting for about 40% of total emissions. The constant challenge for companies is to encourage consumers to make more climate-friendly purchases.

Smart transportation

Transportation accounts for a large part of a person’s carbon footprint. The decarbonization of transport systems will not be successful without broad business and consumer participation. For example, Alibaba’s Amap uses intelligent navigation technology and behavioral incentives to drive emission reductions across the trillions of vehicle kilometers driven and greener transportation choices for millions of city dwellers. Further expanding this and mainstream adoption of the technology will require further coordinated efforts by public, private companies and governments.

Green logistics

Parcel shipments have seen a new round of sharp increases around the world since the pandemic began, and China’s total shipments surpassed 100 billion items in 2021. While these packages bring convenience, they also result in greater CO2 emissions. For all of its logistics participants, Alibaba strives to reduce emissions in every single express package, thereby moving the logistics industry closer to a low-carbon future. Cooperation with upstream and downstream partners ensures that companies contribute to the sustainability change of the entire logistics industry. This includes using inventory data and intelligent algorithms, optimizing box design and establishing a standardized circulation box system, and reducing box consumption from warehouse to warehouse.

cloud computing

Cloud computing plays a central role in facilitating energy-efficient electrification and digitization processes and is therefore an important and cost-effective emission reduction tool for both large and small companies. Digital collaboration has fundamentally changed the way organizations communicate and collaborate, significantly improving business agility and efficiency.

For example, Alibaba’s SaaS (Software as a Service) product for carbon emissions management is based on forecasting and load forecasting algorithms for clean energy generation. It offers energy-saving suggestions for small and medium-sized businesses and integrates a variety of low-carbon certification services into the product. Responsible technology, sustainable future: How technology is helping companies to become carbon neutral by 2030 – Promoted Content

Jessica MacLeish

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