JD.com ramps up sustainability efforts

JD.com collects used clothing from customers for reuse in impoverished areas.

China’s JD.com has announced that it is ramping up its efforts to make e-commerce more environmentally sustainable.

In a statement issued on Friday (23 March), JD said that it is working with the World Wildlife Fund and Tencent Foundation to participate in Earth Hour with the expansion of its ongoing efforts to reduce consumption-related waste.

Last week, JD.com launched the fourth round of its clothing recycling programme, which has collected roughly 1 million items of clothing since it started in 2016. The company collects used clothing from customers using its in-house logistics network, and partners with organizations to either redistribute the clothing for reuse in impoverished areas of China or to recycle the fabric. In the newest drive, some clothing collections will also be donated to charity organizations to be sold.

The company is partnering with 83 suppliers, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo and Haier, to develop more environmentally friendly products by using more recycled materials and reducing use of plastics.

JD.com is also working with WWF to educate Chinese consumers on the certification process of the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council, for eco-friendly fishing practices and sustainable seafood.

“Earth Hour isn’t just about turning off the lights for 60 minutes,” said Libo Ma, head of CSR department at JD.com, who is also general secretary of the company’s charity affiliate, JD Foundation.  “It’s a reminder for us as both businesses and as individual consumers to always be aware of our impact on this planet. It’s a moment to look at what more we could and should be doing.”

JD.com is also currently converting its fleet of 2,000 delivery vehicles to electric vehicles in China, and is working with partners to convert hundreds of thousands of others in the next three years, which would save several million tons in emissions per year.

The company is also researching biodegradable packaging and said it is “constantly looking for other ways to reduce e-commerce waste”.

“The e-commerce revolution is changing people’s lives for the better,” Ma said. “But it is also an opportunity to change the culture of consumption.”

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