Modern businesses have strategic advantages over predecessors from just a few decades ago. These include the globalization of businesses through e-commerce, the availability of more resources, improved communications, the Internet of Things and more. However, in the process of taking advantage of modernization, today’s businesses also face unique challenges that did not affect predecessors. These include dehumanization through increased automation, increased emphasis on environmental impact and more.
China is home to more than 1.4 billion people, so its businesses must rise to become true leaders for businesses in other countries. They must lead the way through sustainable and inclusive business activities. One Chinese e-commerce company is doing just that. JD.com is often referred to as China’s Amazon, and its founder and CEO, Richard Liu, has taken a major step to raise the bar.
The company, also known as JingDong, was launched as a traditional business with physical stores, but it transitioned to an online platform when the SARS crisis broke out across the country. Liu guided the company to tremendous growth through its online platform. Today, the company serves more than 300 million regular users and has served more than a billion unique customers.
In order to meet its customers’ needs, JD.com must effectively manage logistics to deliver goods to customers promptly by using its large fleet of delivery vehicles. It also maintains huge warehouses, and it leaves a mark with manufacturing processes. The experienced team at JingDong are aware of the significant impact that the company has on the environment as well as the incredible impact that its initiatives could have. Richard Liu has focused his attention heavily on improving its processes and standards to promote sustainability and conservation without detracting from its customers’ experiences.
Annually, the company releases its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, and the most recent report released indicates substantial improvements that the company has made or intends to make soon. One of the steps that it has already taken is to install a solar photovoltaic energy generator on its leading logistics center in Shanghai. By doing so, it dramatically reduced carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels. The company intends to complete additional projects like this with the goal of maintaining the largest ecosystem of solar panels mounted to roofs by 2030. Its plans include covering more than 77 square miles of its properties with solar panels. Liu hopes to improve the environment through the company’s efforts as well as raise expectations for other companies.
Another step that JD.com is taking is to transition to “new energy” vehicles. It is currently in the process of incorporating more than 5,000 of these green vehicles into its fleet in markets across China. These include hydrogen-powered, hybrid or all-electric delivery vans and trucks as well as solar-powered delivery tricycles. Richard Liu intends for the entire fleet to be comprised of green vehicles within the next two years.
JingDong has already moved forward with its Green Stream Initiative, which uses modern technology to reduce emissions and maximize the utilization of resources. One of its efforts under this initiative is the use of durable and reusable “green boxes” as a replacement to traditional cardboard boxes.
The company also strives to stimulate economies in some of China’s poorest and underserved communities. To date, it has hired more than 25,000 people from these communities. It also has expanded its delivery services to ensure that people living in these rural areas have easy access to the goods they need in their personal and professional lives.
These are only some of the efforts that Liu and his team are taking to pave the way toward a better future. As an industry leader, other companies are certainly being inspired to follow suit.