HANGZHOU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Ant Financial, an affiliate of the Alibaba Group, has been ranked sixth in Fortune's annual Change the World list for its environmental protection efforts.
The list, which was released Friday and includes 56 companies this year, highlights companies that are "making measurable progress addressing important social problems...as a core part of their business strategy."
Ant, a first-time entrant and the highest ranked Asia-headquartered company on the list, was recognized for the environmental impact of Ant Forest, a platform for tracking individuals' carbon footprint.
Ant Forest allows users to collect "energy points" through their actions in the real world that can be used to grow virtual and, ultimately, real trees.
To date, 230 million users of Alipay, Ant's mobile and online payments app, have activated Ant Forest accounts, according to the company.
Ant Financial and its partners, including environmental NGOs the SEE Foundation and China Green Foundation, have thus far planted 10.25 million trees, equivalent to a 1.22 million-tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
"By integrating a fun game into the Alipay app, we have provided our users the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the fight against climate change," said Ant Financial's executive chair Lucy Peng.
"We believe our platform can power positive change well beyond the financial sector and there is much more we can do in the future," Peng said.
On Tuesday, Ant Financial announced the opening of Ant Forest's product and technology platform to non-profits, governmental organizations and international partners to further encourage innovation in environmental philanthropy.
Other Chinese companies such as Tencent and Mobike also made the list.