Why did Alibaba decide to do an ESG report?
We wanted to articulate to all our stakeholders how we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of public trust. Trust is essential for the health and sustainability of Alibaba's business, and consumers and merchants place tremendous trust in our online marketplaces and platforms. Moreover, investors are also increasingly looking for better disclosures around governance and sustainability. While we regularly communicate our social impact strategy to domestic shareholders in China and we disclose a lot of detail in our SEC filings, we recognized that having a centralized document with a narrative and disclosure around all these subjects in one convenient place would be helpful for all our stakeholders.
Just a year ago, Alibaba celebrated its 18th birthday. We are a mature company and we wanted our communications to investors and other stakeholders to reflect that. We will hold ourselves to an even higher standard on the path ahead in the areas that matter the most to us: corporate governance, platform governance, cybersecurity and data privacy, environmental sustainability and social impact. We have publicly stated we want Alibaba to last "at least 102 years", which would span three centuries. To be a company that lasts that long, we need to be solving problems in society, and to be managing risks and opportunities for the long term.
What's new in this ESG report?
Our report is structured around the seven ESG priorities that we have identified as most important, and this is the first time that we have publicly highlighted these as priorities.
These areas include:
This report centralizes all the information around these key priorities in one place to make it easier for all stakeholders to understand and engage with us on ESG issues. In this report, we also provide more in-depth understanding of the Alibaba Digital Economy and the Alibaba Partnership.
Are there any new disclosures and what are they?
In some of these areas, the disclosure is not materially different to what is already in the public domain, but the narrative is new and hopefully helpful. This applies to corporate governance, intellectual property protection, and social impact. In some of these areas, we have made some new disclosures, both qualitative and quantitative, for cybersecurity, data protection, and environmental impact.
What was the materiality assessment process for this report?
We undertook a materiality assessment that included input from internal and external stakeholders. In particular, we surveyed 50 institutional shareholders representing around US$65 billion of our market capitalization, on a non-attributable basis, as well as seeking input from our customers and employees. Their input and this process led us to identify the issues covered in this report as most critical to the sustainability of our business.
Do you plan to publish any of the specific feedback and how you are addressing it?
We do not plan to publish feedback that was sent to us directly and privately, but we will use it to improve our reporting in the future.
Will you be producing a new ESG report each year?
We are still evaluating how often we will publish an ESG report. We look forward to feedback from our stakeholders. We do plan to provide periodic updates to our ESG strategy and activities in the future.
Alibaba's robust technology capabilities help us manage platform governance risk and build trust with brands.IPR protection
Our values, culture, and ability to attract a talented workforce are critical to long term sustainability.Human Capital
We are committed to minimizing the environmental impact from our data centres and logistics network.Environment