back to article Alibaba's e-commerce arm counts carbon to encourage you to buy more stuff

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched a tool on Monday that encourages "eco-friendly consumer behavior" by rewarding customers for purchases and "green" activities on its apps with discounts on more stuff. It works like this: Consumers earn points when they buy "low-carbon" products or select eco-friendly options on …

  1. 3arn0wl

    CO2e

    I applaud and support any effort to reduce emissions, but the cynic inside does wonder if this is an attempt to get consumers to buy more stuff from them. The article is spot on:

    "But all that verbiage glosses over the issue of whether encouraging people to buy more stuff that has to be hauled around the world might have a negative environmental impact."

    From an environmental pov, the best purchase is the one not made - the Diogenese philosophy. However, from time to time, we all need to replace stuff that gets broken, or upgrade stuff because it is no longer capable of doing the job. It's up to the consumer to think about what they really need, and how to source it in the most environmentally friendly way.

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Mushroom

    When you look at the reality of CO2 production, where it is made and for what usage, then you realize that most on the ads you see now to convince you to buy new stuff to 'save the planet' are just plain BS leading in fact to the opposite effect.

  3. druck Silver badge

    "carbon ledger platform,"

    I hope they haven't used blockchain for that ledger, would defeat the object of saving CO2!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ehm…

    > But all that verbiage glosses over the issue of whether encouraging people to buy more stuff that has to be hauled around the world might have a negative environmental impact.

    Ever stopped to think why we talk about "sustainable development" and how that concept came to be, in the 80s?

    The keyword there is *development*. In a nutshell, the "sustainable" part is roughly synonymous with "let's kick the can down the road and make this our children and grandchildren's problem, meanwhile we continue to produce (and consume)".

    I suggest doing a Google scholar search for papers on the subject dated roughly 1979-1989.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    88

    Whole different meaning in the West.

    If any Chinese marketing person reads this: avoid using that number in Western Europe unless your target market are a bunch of cab hailers.

  6. EricB123 Bronze badge

    How Many Layers of Bubble Wrap

    I use Lazada (an Amazon-like e-commerce company owned my Alibaba) quite often and am amazed by the many layers of bubble wrap used on my purchases when they arrive. I have received bags of ground coffee that are "protected" by many layers of bubble wrap.

    Lazada needs to educate it's member stores on sustainable packing techniques.

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