Alipay is leading the way in climate change. The third-party mobile and online payment platform, check https://global.alipay.com/platform/site/ihome is showing the best ways to innovate and impact the climate positively. The Alipay Ant Forest in Wuwei, China is a major beneficiary of this course. A tweet posted on 30 March 2021 on Alipay’s Twitter handle https://twitter.com/Alipay/status/1376908486521552905; shows how this works. Apparently, you can plant virtual trees through walking, biking, etc and the team will do the actual planting.
My “classmates” Paul and Shirley visited the Alipay Ant Forest in Wuwei, China, planted some Suo Suo trees and chatted with local farmers! Have you tried planting trees from your mobile phone😉?#alipayantforest #gogreen #godigital #trees #sustainability #techforgood pic.twitter.com/WOcpAGBmJd
— Alipay (@Alipay) March 30, 2021
Owned by Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, Alipay was founded in 2004, a year after its launch. The platform serves around 900 million users. This is a 100% increase from 2016’s close to 451 million users, according to statistica.com. Alipay is utilizing this influence to make the world a better place by offering climate sustainability solutions.
So far so good!
The Ant Forest project is powered by Alipay’s app and rewards the users with green energy points; https://unfccc.int/climate-action/momentum-for-change/planetary-health/alipay-ant-forest. This happens when the user engages in activities that make the world a better place. Some of the ways to earn these points are through the purchase of sustainable products, biking, and walking, etc. With time, the points grow into virtual trees. Alipay matches the virtual trees with real ones. This happens through their partnerships with local non-governmental organizations with the same mission and vision. Other than plant trees, they also protect conservation areas.
As I write this, the project has attracted over half a billion people. Consequently, close to 100 million trees have been planted and 112,000+ ha have been covered as a result. Not just that, over 12,000 ha of a conservation area is now protected under the Ant Forest project and its collaborations with locals. This has impacted the lives of 400,000+ individuals as they’ve ended up employed. Time will tell how much impact the project will have on people and the climate. Even as China enjoys growth, the rest of the world should watch, learn and copy.
We already have a trendsetter. Therefore, the implementation should not be a problem as there’s a project ongoing which we can easily follow for ideas.
The issue of sustainability will always come up when thinking about such a project. It costs money to make such ideas happen. For that reason, some people or companies may hesitate to take action. Well, Ant Forest has proven that it is possible to make the change while still making more money. So far, the project has earned over $US 8.4m. This is through partnerships with local farmers and leading e-commerce platforms. The farmers do their work by developing in-demand agricultural products. Then, Alipay connects them to e-commerce platforms that provide a market for these products. In the end, the farmers earn millions in form of income.
Therefore, it is possible to earn extra money from such projects as long as you have the right business model in place. Alipay has already set an example to follow. In case of any challenges, you can always go back to refer.
Technology for Sustainability
The take-home lesson here is; we can use technology to help save our planet. It takes great ideas, partnerships, and the involvement of everyone for this to work. From the developers to users of a tech product, to regulators and others; this is a collective responsibility to save our world. As we enjoy our tech innovations, let’s stand together to restore our climate. Global warming has been on the rise recently, but that can change if we take action. Alipay has been leading the way and now it is time for all to follow. Alipay is not the only organization pursuing a sustainability project, there are more. But, that should not keep us in our comfort zone. Let’s continue the climate change revolution and save our world!
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