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Climate Change

Alibaba flexes digital muscle to cut 1.5 gigatons of carbon

Promising neutrality by 2030, e-commerce giant wants stakeholders to join by 2035

A worker prepares boxes for Alibaba's giant Singles Day internet shopping festival at a Tmall logistics center in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- When a company pledges to reduce its carbon footprint, it starts by cutting emissions from its own buildings and vehicles. It can also opt to use renewable energy rather than purchase coal-generated electricity. For an e-commerce giant like Alibaba Group Holding, it can also team with partners up and down the value chain to, say, reduce excessive packaging and use greener delivery trucks.

Alibaba took it a step further Friday. In its first-ever "Carbon Neutrality Action Report," it vowed to "leverage" its digital platforms to encourage its entire ecosystem -- tens of millions of merchants and roughly a billion consumers -- to think and act greener. The goal, the Hangzhou, China-based company said, is to reduce 1.5 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions over 15 years by 2035.

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