Alibaba Group announces goals for carbon neutrality

Published on: 22 December 2021 12:10 PM

A Brief Summary

Alibaba Group announced targets to achieve carbon neutrality in its operation by 2030. The new launch aims to eliminate 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2035. Alibaba also announced a collaboration with the Science-Based Targets initiative(SBTi), An organization that strives to limit climate change. Alibaba has a 3-tier ESG governance to oversee the achievements of its new climate initiative.

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Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA and HKEX: 9988, "Alibaba" or "Alibaba Group") today announced a commitment to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2030, as well as a Scope 3+ target, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at facilitating 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization across its business ecosystem by 2035. The inaugural Alibaba Carbon Neutrality Action Report contains details on the company's goals, including the thinking behind and definition of the newly introduced concept of Scope 3+. Alibaba intends to give annual reports, with progress being audited by authorised auditors.

"We want to be a catalyst for positive, innovative change in the world." Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang stated, "Our ESG approach is built on our vision to create a decent company that will exist for 102 years, and it is the fundamental foundation for Alibaba's future success." "With our newly proposed Scope 3+ aim of lowering 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2035, we will harness our unique influence as a platform operator to organise actions and behavioural changes among consumers, merchants, and partners in China and around the world."

Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality

Alibaba Group has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 21 emissions by 2030 and has set a target of a 50% reduction in carbon intensity for Scope 32 by 2030, using 2020 levels as a baseline. Alibaba Cloud will be responsible for a greater Scope 3 target, with all three scopes aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030.

Alibaba Group has pledged to join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and has matched its decarbonization initiatives and strategy with the "Business Ambition for 1.5°C" promise, a vital target set by the 2015 Paris Agreement to avert catastrophic climate change impacts.

Alibaba will develop and manage decarbonization projects in a methodical and science-based manner. It entails reducing emissions by utilising energy-saving and efficiency-improving technology, actively reforming the energy structure through the gradual use of renewables, and exploring carbon-removal projects. The corporation promotes carbon reduction over removal and removal above offset as a general rule.

Aspiration "Scope 3+" is a first.

Furthermore, as a worldwide leading platform firm, Alibaba is committed to assuming greater responsibility in pioneering the idea of "Scope 3+," which refers to emissions generated by a broader variety of users in the platform's ecosystem, which are currently outside of Scopes 1, 2, and 3. It has launched the "1.5 Gigatons for 1.5°C" programme, pledging to decarbonize its ecosystem by 1.5 gigatons by 2035.

"We believe that the usage of digital platforms can help to enable a low-carbon circular economic model that can help us meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree target." "The concept of 'Scope 3+' is based on the possibility of leveraging our digital platforms to influence and advocate for low-carbon products, services, and behaviour among a broader group of stakeholders in our ecosystem, and share our energy-efficient technologies and innovative business tools with customers and business partners to reduce the carbon footprint together," said Dr. Chen Long, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Chair of Alibaba's Sustainability Steering Committee.

Alibaba will continue to work with and partner with leading expert organisations across the world to strengthen its carbon reduction monitoring and metrics in Scope 3+.

Dedicated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Governing Body

Alibaba also unveiled a new three-tier ESG governance framework today to oversee, enable, and support the company's carbon neutrality aspirations and other ESG objectives. The ESG governance body consists of the following members:

  1. Jerry Yang, an independent director, chairs a board-level Sustainability Committee. Walter Teh Ming Kwauk, Joe Tsai, and Maggie Wu are among the other board members.

  2. A Sustainability Steering Committee is in charge of strategic planning, goal-setting, and management for the organisation.

  3. An ESG cross-business action group, made up of working-level officials from each business unit, is in charge of coordination and execution.

Meanwhile, Alibaba hopes to strengthen its data and information sharing and reporting mechanisms. Starting in 2022, Alibaba plans to provide an annual ESG report that includes concrete and precise annual progress. All reports will be validated by certified auditors and will correspond to the most respectable measures outlined in domestic and international standards.