JD.com is making progress in its construction of the first carbon-neutral intelligent industrial park for China’s logistics industry, with the Xi’an a logistics park expected to be carbon-neutral on the operations level by early 2022.
At nearly 300,000 square meters, JD’s logistics park in Xi’an has deployed 100,000 square meters of rooftop solar PV with a capacity of 9 MW, which generated a total amount of about 8,500 MWh of electricity from January to October in 2021 equivalent to providing electricity for about 3,900 Chinese households for a year, and reducing carbon emissions by approximately 5,670 tons when compared to purchasing electricity from local power plants.
In addition, Xi’an can meet heating needs through distributed air conditioning instead of a conventional boiler room in certain areas. New energy is widely used in forklifts and other special equipment, including 22 sets of charging terminals that can support charging 44 vehicles at a time. Streetlights in the park will also gradually be replaced by solar lights. With the support of advanced technologies including 5G, blockchain and AI, JD is also researching an industry solution for carbon neutral parks by further improving operating efficiency and lowering energy consumption.
JD.com pioneered a rooftop-distributed solar PV system in its Shanghai location in 2017, which now generates 3.11 million kWh per year, supplying the energy for warehouse lighting, automatic sorting, packaging, picking, and other activities. Currently, JD has completed the installation of PV systems at 12 logistics parks, while automation systems and robots also enable warehouses to operate without lighting. Such “dark operations” are said to help save an average of 2,283 kWh per minute at JD’s logistics parks, which is equivalent to the electric consumption of a normal household for one and a half years.
According to forecasts, the total production capacity of JD’s PV system will reach 100 MW by the end of 2021, which could provide energy for 50,000 households in a year. And in three years, the capacity is estimated to reach 1,000 MW contributing green energy to 85% of JD’s intelligent industrial parks.
In 2015, JD.com proposed the concept of “Slim Tape,” which cut the width of packing tape from 53 mm to 45 mm and helped reduce 400 million meters of tape in 2020 an amount that can circle the equator 10 times. Now, “Slim Tape” has been made standard for China’s postal industry and used in external logistics enterprises.
As early as 2015, JD.com also began to use reusable cold chain boxes for fresh produce business, making it the first e-commerce company in China to adopt reusable packaging. As a result, 180 million disposable foam boxes were saved from waste from 2015 to 2020. The reusable Green Stream Box, which can be used 50 times, was later introduced and is said to have been widely used in over 30 cities in China.
JD also initiated China’s E-commerce & Logistics Packaging Standards Alliance and worked with brands to redesign e-commerce goods’ original packaging to prevent transportation damage and reduce the need for repackaging. As of now, brands including P&G, Unilever, and others have reduced their use of logistics cartons and paper by 150 million pieces and 125,000 tons, respectively.
Over the past four years, JD has placed nearly 12,000 new energy vehicles in more than 50 cities across China and introduced more than 1,600 charging terminals, which can reduce up to 120,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year. JD Logistics is stated to be the first logistics company in China to introduce a fleet of hydrogen-energy vehicles, which have been put into use in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Foshan. In addition, by optimizing the warehousing network and transportation routes, JD can reduce the number of vehicles in transit, improve the full-load rate of round-trip vehicles and reduce vehicle waiting time.
JD.com aims to build a green and low carbon business model and is leveraging its core competencies to continuously decrease its carbon footprint and operate a cleaner supply chain system.