JD.com is passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility

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While technology enables modern businesses to achieve profound levels of success, technology comes with a price. Various innovations have enabled the use of a remote workforce, improvements in communication and data sharing, globalization, e-commerce, connectedness through Internet 2.0 and numerous other benefits. These and other benefits of technology, however, have decreased the need for human labor in some cases, have negatively affected the environment and have had other consequences.

The largest and most influential companies have the ability to make a huge impact based on how they address these problems. In addition to the direct effects, their efforts may spur change in smaller companies. With China’s population exceeding 1.4 billion people, major corporations in this country are closely watched. JD.com, which is the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, had made huge strides in the right direction. Richard Liu, who is the company’s founder and current CEO, actively guides his company toward completion of incredible improvements.

The company, which is also known as JingDong, had humble beginnings with several retail locations scattered across the country. However, when the SARS epidemic broke out, Richard Liu was forced to make strategic changes to the company’s operations. He transitioned the company to an e-commerce company, and today, it serves approximately 300 million customers regularly. More than that, its total customer base exceeds a billion people.

This e-commerce giant’s business model requires it to maintain large warehouses and a massive fleet of vehicles for deliveries. Liu recognized the impact that this business model has on the environment, and he took action. For many years, JingDong has regularly published a Corporate Social Responsibility Report to communicate its efforts and goals directly to stockholders and to the public. It outlines completed projects and initiatives that are planned or are in progress.

JD.com recently released a new report, which outlined the completion of a large solar panel project in its Shanghai warehouse. Because of the magnitude of this project, the company dramatically reduced its overall reliance on fossil fuels for energy and its carbon footprint. This e-commerce company is not stopping there. It intends to complete other similar projects so that it covers a total of 77 square miles of its facilities with solar panels within the next 11 years. By doing so, JingDong would have the world’s largest system of roof-mounted solar panels.

This is only one of numerous projects outlined in this year’s report. For example, JD.com is actively transitioning its fleet of delivery vehicles to green energy vehicles. It is in the midst of a rollout of approximately 5,000 green vehicles to replace outdated gas-powered vehicles. The green vehicles include tricycle delivery vehicles that are powered by solar energy as well as vans and trucks that run off of hybrid, electric or hydrogen power. Within two years, the company anticipates that its entire fleet will be comprised of green vehicles.

In addition to these efforts, the company is moving away from the use of cardboard delivery boxes, which have a one-time use functionality. These are being exchanged for green boxes that can be re-used multiple times before being recycled. The company is also making a social impact by supporting some of China’s poorest rural communities. It has created 25,000 jobs in these impoverished areas to revive local economies. At the same time, it has improved delivery service to these areas to ensure that residents there had access to all of the products they need.

Richard Liu actively guides his company in these areas, and he continues to look for new ways to innovate positive change. His efforts have an immediate impact on the local economies and environment, but they reach farther. Companies around the world are watching his efforts and are being inspired to take positive steps toward change as well.

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