(Source – Shutterstock)

Measuring sustainability with a carbon management solution

Sustainability is on the agenda for all organizations today. Even if they don’t really want to do it, failure to have some form of sustainability in the business could lead to investors and customers looking elsewhere.

In fact, numerous studies and surveys have constantly highlighted how customers are more willing to support and invest in businesses that have a clear agenda on sustainability. But there is one problem though, how can businesses manage their sustainability?

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) last year saw commitments being made toward sustainability. This includes having an enhanced transparency framework for reporting emissions, common timeframes for emissions reduction targets as well as mechanisms and standards for international carbon markets.

As such, for most businesses, sustainability would mean reducing their carbon emissions in whichever way possible. Large enterprises continue to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and have even unveiled sustainability plans for the long run.

To enable businesses to measure, analyze and manage carbon emissions of their business activities and products, Alibaba Cloud has announced the global launch of Energy Expert, a new sustainability platform. The software-as-a-service offerings also provide actionable insights and energy-saving recommendations to help customers accelerate their sustainability journeys.

Aligned with Alibaba’s carbon neutrality pledge unveiled last year, the company pioneered the “Scope 3 +” concept and has pledged to share its energy-efficient technologies with its customers and business partners, uniting them in their collective efforts to reduce carbon footprint.

According to Chen Lijuan, General Manager of Product and Solutions at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Energy Expert is designed to help companies achieve their carbon neutrality goals through advanced technologies and streamlined solutions.

“We hope our proven innovation can be helpful for our global customers to achieve their net-zero targets through insightful actions and informed sustainability practices,” commented Chen.

Energy Expert automates carbon accounting and generates online carbon report. (Source – Alibaba)

Energy Expert helps businesses automate the carbon accounting and reporting process at a corporate and product level, and obtain real-time sustainability impact statistics for them to make informed decisions. Organizations can identify the sources of the carbon emissions from their daily business activities as well as the full life cycle of their products, based on the PAS 2060 and ISO 14064 standards on carbon neutrality.

They can also quantify their carbon footprint through a prebuilt calculation model leveraging public emission factors datasets and Energy Expert’s proprietary datasets. Additionally, it provides visibility into their real-time carbon emission patterns and the progress of their sustainability performance through visualizations on dashboards and online reports.

In addition, the solution provides cutting-edge analytics on energy efficiency and emission forecasts through deep learning-based AI models hosted on Alibaba Cloud. To help businesses minimize their overall environmental impact, Energy Expert also offers actionable optimization plans with recommendations that balance business growth and environmental impacts. These can include increasing the use of clean energy, reducing excessive electricity consumption during peak times, and optimizing the supply chain ranging from sourcing materials to shipping products.

Currently, Energy Expert works with recognized industrial organizations worldwide such as TÜV Rheinland to provide authoritative online carbon footprint accounting and certification, helping customers to easily validate and communicate their energy-saving progress with stakeholders.

Energy Expert has already been deployed in China since February this year with over 2,000 companies. It has generated energy savings of over 2 million kilowatt-hours per day or a reduction of 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions since February.

At Alibaba’s Xixi headquarters in Hangzhou, the solution has helped to optimize energy efficiency at the headquarters, reducing power consumption by 30% during non-peak times and saving 17% of air-conditioning energy use in the summer.