April 22 is Earth Day, a global celebration of our planet and a time to take stock of how we can preserve it for future generations.
For this special edition of the Alibaba Weekly News Roundup, Alizila journeyed across the Alibaba Group ecosystem to discover how business units, retailers and consumers put sustainability first.
It is a worldwide effort, from solar panel installations in Peshawar warehouses to recycled nylon in Prada’s Italian ateliers to wetland conservation on Alibaba’s main campus in southern China.
The internet platform company has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and slash carbon emissions by 1.5 gigatons across its digital ecosystem by 2035.
Read on to discover how Alibaba and its partners are marking Earth Day this year, and check out Alizila’s sustainability hub to read about activities happening year-round
Alibaba.com Records Surging Demand for Sustainable Products Amongst B2B Buyers in Germany, U.K.
Organic, eco-friendly and renewable-energy products are in hot demand among shoppers in Germany and the United Kingdom on Alibaba’s B2B marketplace Alibaba.com.
Products in these categories run the gamut from plant-based straws to solar-powered garden lights, with hundreds of new sustainable products added monthly, according to the platform.
“Not only has Alibaba.com seen a big increase in sourcing needs for sustainable products, the platform is also a “hidden treasure trove” for such products with up to 6 million sustainable products to choose from,” Roland Palmer, General Manager of U.K., Benelux & Nordics for Alibaba, said in a statement.
Refillable cosmetics and organic detergents are proving particularly popular in the U.K., with 64% and 58% annual growth in purchases, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the German market, facial cleansers made from organic and vegan ingredients recorded a 78% annual growth in purchases, while orders of organic shampoo gel rose 76%.
“We’re proud to host an ever-increasing portfolio of sustainable and eco-friendly products and work with suppliers around the globe to create a more sustainable future,” noted Nik van der Beek, Head of Marketing at Alibaba.com Germany, in a press release.
Daraz Pakistan Works to Reduce Environmental Impact this Earth Day
The Pakistani operations of Alibaba’s South Asia-focused e-commerce platform Daraz have committed to going paperless, relying more on renewable energy and only using recycled packaging, among other efforts recently laid out by a top executive.
Ahmed Tanveer, Chief Operating Officer of Daraz Pakistan, shared several efforts being made at the company to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which lay out a path to make the world a better place.
Environmental responsibility is key.
“For Pakistan in particular, the country ranks as the 8th most vulnerable to climate change threats, as evident by the recent devastating floods which submerged one-third of the country and affected 33 million people,” said Tanveer in a recent statement.
The platform’s Pakistani operations produce around 3,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, according to Tanveer, in its offices, supply chains and delivery services.
To reduce this, Daraz has installed solar panels in its Lahore and Peshawar warehouses. It is minimizing the use of fossil fuels and has pledged to become 100% paperless. As an e-commerce company, it also works to increase the amount of recycled packaging for orders.
“Creating awareness for the right mindset and educating people about the challenges should be a priority for all organizations, as this will create the drive to reinforce the right behavior,” he noted.
Read more about Daraz’s ESG efforts here
Brands Launch 500 Sustainably-Made Items on Tmall Luxury Pavilion
From plastic bottles to marine waste, global fashion labels on Alibaba’s high-end marketplace Tmall Luxury Pavilion are exploring environmentally-friendly materials for their Spring/Summer 2023 collections.
This month, American luxury brand Ralph Lauren released its Earth Polo series on the platform. Made entirely of recycled plastic bottles, every shirt in the collection contains around 12 bottles.
Likewise, British fashion label Stella McCartney recently launched a shoulder bag made from plant-based vegan leather. Leather-like fabrics can be made from mushrooms, types of cacti, pineapples and more, according to the platform.
Other big luxury names are putting a sustainable twist on classic products.
Italian fashion house Prada re-released its iconic line of black nylon handbags made from recycled marine plastic, while Valentino has unveiled a limited edition run of vegan leather sneakers.
Alibaba, L’Oréal Work to Make Beauty Industry Greener in China
Alibaba and L’Oreal launched a “88 Decarbonization Day” celebration this week to inform consumers about the importance of low-carbon goods and their environmental impact.
The event will run from April 21 to 23 and highlight L’Oréal products representing the three R’s: reduce, recycle and replace.
Earlier this month, Alibaba signed a three-year partnership with the world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oréal, to promote a circular economy in China’s beauty industry.
“Sustainable development has become a consensus and commitment across national borders, and it is also the common pursuit of every company with a sense of social responsibility,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang during a speech on April 6 to a Sino-French business group in Beijing.
Read Alizila’s full story here
How Alibaba Deploys Green Technologies Throughout Its Offices
The Hangzhou-based company has been ramping up efforts since 2020, ensuring all new buildings meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standard, the second-highest certification level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“To influence more people, we can always start with ourselves. We can take actions at our campus and among our colleagues to drive for greater change,” Felix Liu, President of General Services Administration at Alibaba, told Alizila in an interview.
Green practices are happening inside and outside. An AI-based program reduces air conditioning and heating needs in offices, while street lights on Alibaba’s main campus now operate using solar power, according to Liu.
Read the full transcript of the conversation here
Alibaba Cloud’s Energy Expert Helps Companies Meet Emission Targets
Companies around the world are working to reduce their impact on the earth, and many are turning to the emissions-tracking platform Energy Expert for help.
The software-as-a-service tool created by Alibaba Group’s cloud computing arm tracks greenhouse gas output and helps clients develop a path toward carbon neutrality.
“Energy Expert has helped us simplify the process, reduce errors, and prepare for a compliance exercise that we will be undertaking,” said Sharifah Bakar Ali, head of Strategic Business and Market Development at UEM Edgenta Berhad.
The Malaysian asset management and infrastructure company has used the tool to streamline its ESG strategies, and it plans to integrate Energy Expert into its own system.
This article has been updated to include news from L’Oreal’s conference in Shanghai on Friday