Alibaba Group has joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a group of over 200 businesses, to support its drive to make global value chains more sustainable.
WBCSD’s member companies represent a combined revenue of over $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees, including such marquee brands as GE in the US and Japan’s Toyota.
“Alibaba’s position as the largest e-commerce and digital technology company from Asia to join WBCSD will bring valuable platforms and technological capabilities to our collaborative efforts,” said WBCSD’s President and CEO Peter Bakker in a statement.
WBCSD and Alibaba will start by collaborating on climate action, particularly in finding innovative ways to leverage Alibaba’s platforms for broad decarbonization. It will also work with WBCSD members on avoided emissions, that is, emission savings outside of a company’s own value chain.
WBCSD announced Alibaba’s membership ahead of COP28, which is set to take place in Dubai. The annual conference is intended as a venue for governments to agree on policies to limit global temperature rises.
ESG in Action
Alibaba, an ecosystem with over a billion users and millions of small businesses, has pledged to not only hit carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030 but also slash carbon emissions across its digital ecosystem by 2035, its so-called Scope 3+ target.
“Alibaba is committed to responsible corporate practices and environmental stewardship,” said Alibaba Group’s Chief Financial Officer Toby Xu and Chair of its Sustainability Steering Committee.
In the fiscal year that ended March 2023, Alibaba shrank its Scope 3+ emissions by 22.907 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, an industry-standard measure.
To cut Scope 3+ emissions beyond its own operations and direct value chain, Alibaba is leveraging its digital technology and platforms to enable and engage a wider group of stakeholders to promote low-carbon products, services and behaviors.
Among the tools it offers customers is its Energy Expert that can generate carbon footprint inspection and product analysis reports. These reports can be uploaded to certification bodies for one-stop certification and carbon labeling. As of March 31, Energy Expert had served 2,580 enterprises worldwide.
Alibaba said in its latest ESG report it had 409 brands, 1.91 million products and 187 million consumers participating in emission reduction through its Carbon88 ledger platform and Low-carbon Friendly Products Program.
“We are excited to collaborate with WBCSD on advancing our climate actions, along with other initiatives, that contribute to a net-zero and sustainable future,” said Xu.