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Alibaba saved 7 million trees in 2017 alone – here’s how they plan to do more

Cainiao Network Technology Co., Ltd, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, has announced the most comprehensive green campaign in China’s logistics industry to date – Alibaba Green Logistics 2020.

Enabled by world-class technologies, the campaign represents the joint efforts across the Alibaba Group to improve material recycling, packaging, route planning and delivery methods in order to work towards a greener future.

According to the press release, Cainiao hopes to apply AI algorithms by 2020 to drive smart routing in 40,000 villages, and the goal is to shorten the average delivery journey by 30% in rural areas.

This will be done concurrently with the deployment of new energy vehicles to 100 cities in China, with the aim of minimising the company’s carbon footprint.

Additionally, Cainiao will also expand the coverage of e-shipping labels, an initiative launched by the company in 2014, to 40 billion parcels by 2020.

Lin Wan, President of Cainiao Network, said: “The logistics industry across the world is looking for green solutions that go hand-in-hand with increased efficiencies.

“Cainiao, with its market-leading technology, a vast logistics data platform, partners in the Alibaba ecosystem and other industries along the supply chain, has the potential to do much more that will benefit future generations without compromising the interests of our customers now.

“Green is an important element in building a brighter future for the logistics industry,” he continued.

Alibaba Green Logistics 2020 will be launched across a number of the businesses in the Alibaba Group.

Tmall, Taobao and Xianyu will increase the use of recycled packaging; Lingshou Tong will reuse delivery boxes to serve millions of mom-and-pop stores; and Ele.me will encourage users to place orders without asking for disposable cutlery.

These are some of the examples of how the Alibaba ecosystem intends to promote green logistics through this campaign.

Pursuing green logistics has been a long-term commitment for Cainiao. In 2016, Cainiao initiated the Green Logistics Project in collaboration with 32 logistics partners.

The following year, the company established the Cainiao Green Alliance Foundation, China’s first charity foundation specifically focused on alleviating the environmental impact caused by logistics.

The foundation pledged RMB300 million (S$62.8m) to research the promotion of green logistics, consumption and supply chain.

Driven by Cainiao’s green initiatives, in 2017 alone the company decreased its carbon footprint by 136,000 tons, saving seven million trees.

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