Alipay, a Chinese company, is one of the most widely used online payment platforms in the world, with more than a billion users. It is used for day-to-day payments like using public transport, renting a bike, or buying groceries.
Four years ago, Alipay started the Ant Forest Project. This initiative was a reward-based system launched on the company’s mobile app. The users would get “green energy points” each time they would make an eco-friendly choice – rentinEnerenvironmentg a bike, buying reusable goods, etc. These green points grow into a virtual tree in the user’s phone. Simultaneously, Alipay also plants a tree and nurtures it, or works with NGOs to protect conservation areas.
Alipay took to Twitter to announce its success in this endeavour and said,
? ? Alipay Ant Forest turns 4 today! ?? Big thanks to all 550 million users who have helped planted a whopping 220 million trees, resulting in over 12 million tons of carbon emissions reduction. #fightclimatechange #techforgood #alipayantforest pic.twitter.com/u6D2qRLnfm
— Alipay (@Alipay) August 27, 2020
The initiative is an extraordinary one in the fight against climate change; it acts in favour of point 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has the power to sway market trends, where people’s sustainable choices will create a strong demand for eco-friendly commodities. This is the exact ‘bottom-up’ approach that is needed to combat climate change.
Alipay Ant Forest has also helped create around 400,000 job opportunities and USD 8.4 million in income by working with farmers to plant trees, develop organic agricultural products, and connect them with e-commerce platforms.