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Alibaba Group Announces Carbon Neutrality Goal by 2030

by | Dec 22, 2021 | Faces & Happenings | 0 comments

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (“Alibaba Group”) announced a pledge to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030 and introduced a Scope 3+ target, a pioneering initiative aiming to facilitate 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization across its business ecosystem by 2035.

Details about its goals, including thinking and definition of the newly introduced concept of Scope 3+, are shared in the inaugural Alibaba Carbon Neutrality Action Report. Alibaba aims to provide updates annually with progress verified by accredited auditors. 

Alibaba Group is committed to carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 21 emissions by 2030, and has set a 50% carbon intensity reduction target for Scope 32 by 2030 using 2020 levels as baseline. Alibaba Cloud will bear responsibility for a higher Scope 3 target and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 in all three scopes. 

Alibaba Group has committed to join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and has aligned its decarbonization measures and strategy with the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge, a critical target to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change as outlined by the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

Alibaba will adopt a systematic and science-based approach to plan and manage decarbonization initiatives. It includes leveraging energy-saving and efficiency-improving technologies to reduce emissions; actively transforming the energy structure with progressive use of renewables; and exploration of carbon removal initiatives. As a general principle, the company prioritizes carbon reduction over removal, and removal over offset. 

In addition, as a global leading platform company, Alibaba is committed to taking greater responsibility to pioneer the concept of “Scope 3+,” which refers to the emissions generated by a broader range of participants in the platform’s ecosystem, currently outside of the Scopes 1, 2, and 3. It has initiated the “1.5 Gigatons for 1.5°C” project, committing to facilitate 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization in its ecosystem by 2035. 

“We aspire to be a force for positive, innovative change in society. Our ESG strategy is predicated on our mission to be a good company that will live for 102 years and it is the vital foundation for Alibaba’s future development,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

“We will leverage our unique influence as a platform operator to mobilize actions and behavioural changes among consumers, merchants and partners in China and around the world with our newly proposed Scope 3+ target of reducing 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2035.” 

Alibaba also announced a new three-tier ESG governance framework to oversee, enable and support the achievement of its carbon neutrality targets and broader ESG goals. The dedicated ESG governance body includes: 

  1. A Sustainability Committee at the board level chaired by Jerry Yang, an independent director. Other board members include Walter Teh Ming Kwauk, Joe Tsai and Maggie Wu 
  2. A Sustainability Steering Committee responsible for strategic planning, goal setting and management 
  3. An ESG cross-business action group consisting of representatives from each business unit at the working level responsible for coordination and execution 

Meanwhile, Alibaba aims to continue to improve information and data disclosure and reporting mechanisms. Starting in 2022, Alibaba will aim to release its ESG report annually, in which concrete and specific annual progress will be included. All reports will adhere to the most reputable metrics laid out in domestic and international standards and will be verified by accredited auditors.

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