JD makes sustainability efforts

The Chinese e-retail giant JD.com has announced plans to help its business become more environmentally sustainable.

JD.com released a statement last week saying that it is working with the Tencent Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund to take part in Earth Hour. It is taking steps to reduce consumption-related waste.

As part of this commitment, JD.com launched its fourth clothing recycling programme, that has collected almost a million items of clothing since it began operations in 2016. It collects unwanted clothing from customers using JD Logistics and either redistributes that clothing or recycles the fabric. In the fourth edition of the programme, some clothing will be sent to charity organisations to be sold on.

The Chinese giant is working with 83 suppliers that include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo and Haier in developing more environmentally friendly products, reducing the use of single-use plastics and more recycled materials.

In addition, JD.com is working with WWF to help educate Chinese customers 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.”

In addition the firm is converting much of its fleet of delivery vehicles to electric. 2,000 are being converted now, and its partner organisations are doing the same over the next three years which could amount to hundreds of thousands of vehicles. This could reduce emissions by millions of tonnes a 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.”