That's right – according to J. Michael Evans, president of the Alibaba Group, a new social compliance platform tested in Chinese cities might be the wave of the future.
"We're developing, through technology, an ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint. What does that mean? That's, where are they traveling, how are they traveling, what are they eating, what are they consuming on the platform?" he told the World Economic Forum this week, adding "stay tuned, we don't have it operational yet – but this is something we're working on."
Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans boasts at the World Economic Forum about the development of an "individual carbon footprint tracker" to monitor what you buy, what you eat, and where/how you travel. pic.twitter.com/sisSrUngDI
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) May 24, 2022
Want to learn more about Alibaba's carbon tracking tech? They summarized it in a March blog post, in which it's described as a platform to "encourage people to adopt low-carbon behaviors and be environmentally accountable."
Expect to earn 200 carbon credits when you lick your plate clean, and 554 credits if you take the subway, according to the measurement system devised by Guangzhou-based certification body CEPREI, in partnership with Alibaba Cloud.
The trick is to develop a model that translates individual activities into carbon credits and builds up a community that promotes a low-carbon lifestyle based on the carbon credits system.
More than 1,492 companies and communities use the platform, which has helped them save roughly 394,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Alibaba Cloud.
The system was tested out on the residents of Xinqiao Shiju, located in the southern city of Shenzhen. In a pilot program, the community's 589 residents received a 'personal carbon account to monitor power use and carbon emissions,' which saved a reported 37.77 tons of carbon emissions (no calculations provided).
According to Xiao Lei from Alibaba Cloud, "We've been trying to combine behavioral science with technology to change people's perceptions and make low-carbon fashionable."
Not everyone's a fan.
I thought it was common knowledge carbon footprint was invented by oil companies to deflect blame
Just like the UK produces 1.1% total global emissions, and China produces 28%, but there is a relentless push for lower in the UK, when it barely makes a difference in grand scheme
— Danny (@ChaoticNeutralQ) May 24, 2022
I'm sure governments and/or unelected officials will not use this for nefarious purposes.
— Tracy (???????????? ) (@chigrl) May 24, 2022
what is this growing obsessions' with tracking people?
— T1491 (@TR61491) May 24, 2022
And of course…
He flew thousands of miles to this event on a private jet https://t.co/OPlMUvGGlW
— ESG Hound (@ESGhound) May 24, 2022