Cainiao makes substantial sustainability drive for 11.11 sales event

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Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced the results of its sustainability initiatives which it says culminated in a greener 11.11 sales event this year.

As part of its efforts to broaden its green initiatives, Cainiao embraced a three-pronged approach to reduce wastage during this 11.11 by tapping into technology-driven green innovations, reducing use of paper and plastics, and establishing industry partnerships to deliver greater impact.

For example, the company’s in-house-developed smart-packaging algorithms helped sort products into right-sized boxes and minimize waste from overpacking for 12 million shipments during 11.11. Machine learning and predictive analytics were also used to ensure accurate demand forecasts which allowed it to pre-stock popular products at locations closer to consumers. This, it notes, not only reduced delivery time but also cut down the delivery distance by an estimated 100km in total.

To ensure greater sustainability, nearly 100% of the packaging shipped from the company’s warehouses was biodegradable, and close to 50% of the paper packaging was tape-free. Widespread adoption of Cainiao’s electronic shipping labels among courier companies also helped to cut about 2.2 billion pieces of paper. Consumers can also recycle unwanted boxes at over 80,000 Cainiao Post stations located across China.

Lastly, to amplify the impact, Cainiao teamed up with nearly 500 brands – including Nestlé, Philips and P&G – to opt for reusable and tape-free packaging across its warehouses. This is said to have cut 86,000,000m of plastic tape use. Nestlé also joined Cainiao’s National Cardboard Box Recycling Day campaign to promote recycling across communities, including rewarding plastic recycling efforts with its products.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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