#TECH: Helping firms reduce carbon footprint

REDUCING carbon emission in business operations is one on the top agendas in many companies, but implementing it has always been a challenge for many, especially small companies.

According to cloud technology service provider Alibaba, one way of reducing a company's carbon footprint is through investment in digital software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

Alibaba cloud intelligence and general manager of Enterprise Service Cloud William Xiong said in Malaysia, about 40 per cent of companies have adopted the digitalisation path, and around 60 per cent have yet to embrace it.

"However, in terms of achieving carbon footprint reduction in their operations, many companies lack the expertise and knowledge to implement it," he said.

An analysis by Accenture shows that by migrating from local IT infrastructure to cloud computing, enterprises can reduce their carbon footprint by 84 per cent on average.

Gartner, meanwhile, predicted that by 2025, more than 85 per cent of organisations will adopt a cloud-first principle, and more than 95 per cent of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms.

"Promoting the transition to the cloud is a critical measure for carbon reduction and efficiency enhancement not just for Alibaba, but for the economy," said Xiong.


Alibaba Cloud recently announced the global launch of Energy Expert, its AI-powered sustainability solution to help customers worldwide measure, analyse and manage the carbon emissions of their business activities and products.

"It's a SaaS solution that provides actionable insights and energy saving recommendations to help customers accelerate their sustainability journey," said Xiong.

He said that the initiative is aligned with Alibaba's carbon neutrality pledge, which was unveiled in 2021. The company pioneered the "Scope 3+" concept and has pledged to share its energy-efficient technologies with its customers and business partners, uniting them in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

Managing carbon emission is important not just for the environment purposes, but for business continuity.

Xiong cited a report that the European Union has taken measures by adopting a groundbreaking carbon tax law that would impose a tariff on imports from countries that failed to take strict steps to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.


The Energy Expert solution helps customers automate the carbon accounting and reporting process at a corporate and product level, and obtain real-time sustainability impact statistics for them to make informed decisions.

"It enables customers to identify the sources of the carbon emissions from their business activities, as well as the full life cycle of their products, based on the PAS 2060 and ISO 14064 standards on carbon neutrality," said Xiong.

Besides that, companies can also quantify their carbon footprint through a prebuilt calculation model leveraging public emission factors dataset and Energy Expert's proprietary dataset.

Additionally, it provides visibility into their real-time carbon emission patterns and the progress of their sustainability performance through visualisations on dashboards and online reports.


Commenting on local companies' implementation of such a solution, Xiong is optimistic about Malaysian companies.

"Malaysian companies are very open and have high readiness to adopting new technologies," he said.

Locally, Alibaba has supported a number of businesses from asset management, manufacture to Internet in Malaysia to achieve their sustainability goal with its sustainability and carbon management platform.

Among its clients include UEM Edgenta, Hond Tat Industries, Mesiniaga and VSTECS Bhd.

He said the Malaysian government was also promoting carbon neutrality efforts with the 2050 aspiration towards a carbon-neutral nation.

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