- Apr 19, 2021
- Social Responsibility
JD ESG: JD’s Ongoing Commitment to Rural Revitalization
by Kelly Dawson
JD.com’s 2020 ESG report released today underscores the e-commerce giant’s commitment to rural revitalization and poverty alleviation, as already recognized last month when the Beijing Municipal Government awarded JD with the Poverty Alleviation Collaboration Award.
“Through e-commerce, finance, public welfare and other platforms, we provide education subsidies, employment opportunities, production resources and development channels for poorer regions, developing our own value in eliminating absolute poverty and realizing rural revitalization,” the report states.
“As outlined in the report, JD remains absolutely committed to rural revitalization efforts,” said Baozheng Long, vice president of JD.com and vice chair and secretary of JD Foundation, which was created in September 2014 with the mission of advocating corporate responsibility for a higher quality of life, and supporting public welfare. “Going forward, JD will continue to promote the development of the countryside economy, and will aim to ensure sustainable business for people in these areas.”
Much of JD’s efforts in these areas follow founder Richard Liu’s long-held belief that the company should provide people with the tools to not only survive but build thriving businesses. “We want to provide a sustainable way to help people in rural areas,” Liu previously said. “We’d rather teach them to fish than give them fish.”
For example, as of Sept. 30, 2020, JD had helped 110 impoverished counties put more than 3 million local commodities online, and achieved RMB 100 billion yuan in poverty alleviation-related sales, directly driving more than 1 million impoverished households to increase their income, according to the report.
Additionally, from September 2019 to February 2021, JD’s social e-commerce platform Jingxi has helped tens of thousands of farms sell products to consumers across China, selling out over one million local specialties.
JD’s in-house logistics network has played a key role in helping rural farms bring produce to the rest of the country, with the company’s expertise in other areas also proving essential. In Hubei province’s Zhuxi township, JD has provided support for local farmers of the plant Konjac in the form of improved logistics, supply chain, marketing and digitalization, resulting in significantly increased revenues for the farmers, according to the county.
Additionally, more than 80% of JD’s front-line employees are from China’s rural areas.
“We help establish a more productive and sustainable future in terms of promoting employment, enhancing rural revitalization, improving social efficiency, driving high-quality consumption, facilitating the digitalization of the real economy, and supporting supply-side structural reforms, thereby proactively being accountable for social responsibility,” the report notes.
Led by the ideas of social innovation and entrepreneurship, the JD Foundation has also organized Internet charity fundraising projects like “Exchange Old Clothes for Love,” a clothing donation project that successfully recycled more than 47,300 pieces of clothing in 90 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and more. In addition to being a public welfare project, “Exchange Old Clothes for Love” also aimed to promote environmentally friendly, low-waste lifestyles.
In 2020, JD Foundation donated around RMB 200 million yuan; and its online donation platform raised RMB 19.77 million yuan and collected more than 1.27 million charitable items, with the total participation of around 3.75 million people.