Modern businesses benefit from technologies and innovations that predecessors from even a few decades ago did not have access to and that have enabled incredible growth. Some of these technologies have supported globalization, improved communications, e-commerce, access to a remote workforce, the Internet of Things and more. However, issues related to environmental impact, the effects of automation on workers and other concerns have become more prevalent.
The need for change is clear, and smaller companies are looking at industry leaders for inspiration. Because China is home to more than 1.4 billion people, its commercial leaders are watched by companies around the world, and one CEO is blazing a path forward and inspiring others in the process. Richard Liu, who serves as a founder and CEO for JingDong, has taken bold strides to decrease his company’s environmental impact and to improve local economies across China. The company, which is more commonly known as JD.com, is China’s version of Amazon. This e-commerce company has a broad reach by providing regular service to more than 300 million consumers and reaching more than a billion unique customers.
With a population of more than 1.4 billion people, China’s most successful and prevalent businesses must rise to set an example for businesses worldwide. This includes by improving their sustainability, inclusiveness and more. Richard Liu is the CEO and founder of JingDong, which is often described as China’s version of Amazon. This e-commerce giant, also known as JD.com, has already taken huge leaps forward in these areas, and it plans to continue its efforts to achieve even more profound results.
When Liu founded the company, it had a traditional business profile with numerous retail store locations throughout China. The SARS epidemic forced change, so the company quickly transitioned to an e-commerce platform. In order to provide customers with the merchandise they need without delay, it must maintain a large fleet of delivery vans and trucks across China as well as numerous manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Richard Liu understands that his operation has a huge impact on the environment, but he is a visionary that sees the opportunity it holds.
Each year, Jing Dong publishes its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which itemizes projects that have been completed and that are planned or are in progress. In the most recent report, Lui revealed that a huge solar panel installation project at its Shanghai warehouse facility was finished. The effect is a reduced carbon footprint and less reliance on fossil fuels. The report indicates further plans to cover its facilities with the equivalent of more than 77 square miles of solar panels by 2030. When this is accomplished, the company would be the owner of the world’s largest roof-mounted solar panel system.
JingDong is taking other significant steps as well. For example, it is currently rolling out 5,000 green vehicles to replace gas-powered vehicles. These include solar-powered delivery trikes as well as vans and trucks that use hybrid, hydrogen or electric energy. This is an ongoing project, and the company plans to have a fleet that is entirely green within the next two years. It has also started replacing cardboard delivery boxes with reusable green boxes. To accomplish its social goals, it is focused on invigorating local economies in some of China’s struggling towns. More than 25,000 workers have been hired in these areas, and the company has expanded delivery services to these rural markets as well.
Because of the company’s large size, its initiatives can have a major impact on the environment and on the local communities that it is focusing on. More than that, because it is an industry leader, it provides motivation for other companies to make similar efforts.