Lazada sustainability head exits

Janet Neo has moved on from the Alibaba-owned e-shopping giant after two years in the role. She was the company’s first sustainability head.

Janet Neo former Lazada head of sustainability
Janet Neo was Lazada's first head of sustainability, joining the company in September 2020. Image: LinkedIn

The head of sustainability for Lazada has left the company.

Janet Neo was appointed vice president of corporate sustainability and government affairs in September 2020. She was the Singapore-headquarterd e-commerce firms’ first sustainability chief and was hired to formulate a sustainability strategy for a company in hyper-growth mode.

A Lazada spokesperson confirmed that Neo has moved on.

A replacement sustainability head is not being recruited, Eco-Business understands.

During Neo’s time with the company, Lazada worked to tackle the sale of illegal wildlife products on the platform and partnered with cosmetics firm L’Oréal to replace the plastic packaging used in deliveries with alternative materials.

In April, the company was criticised for an Earth Day promotion that labelled reduced-plastic products as “green” for a day.

In an opinion piece published about a year before the Earth Day promotion, Neo highlighted the huge environmental cost of e-commerce and the role brands need to play in reducing their impact by integrating sustainabiilty into their business strategy.

“Digital commerce companies can – and should – lead in reducing this environmental impact,” she wrote, citing efforts Lazada had made to reduce its packaging footprint.

Neo moved to Singapore from South Korea to join Lazada in 2020 after a stint as global strategy head for Global Green Growth Institute, a Seoul-based green economic growth organisation.

Over a career, she has worked in sustainability roles for Heineken and Fuji Xerox. She is on the board of directors of Temasek Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Singapore’s state investor, Temasek.

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