According to figures certified by the China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC), Ant Group has once again “achieved operational carbon neutrality (Scope 1 & 2) for the second consecutive year, following the company’s initial achievement in 2021.”
This marks another concrete step for Ant Group “towards fulfilling its pledge made in March 2021 to achieve net zero carbon emissions across Scope 1, 2 & 3 by 2030.”
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol “classifies a company’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) into Scope 1, 2 and 3.”
Based on the Protocol, Ant Group, in its Carbon Neutrality Road Map, released in April 2021, defined its GHG emissions scopes as follows:
- Scope 1: direct & fugitive emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel by the company’s owned or controlled sources.
- Scope 2: indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased energy, such as heating or cooling networks.
- Scope 3: indirect emissions which occur in the company’s value chain, such as emissions from the use of leased data centers, employees’ business travel and their daily commute.
According to CEC certified figures, in 2022, “after reductions and substitutions, Ant Group’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Scope 1 & 2 totaled 21,087.93 tonnes of CO2e, which were fully offset by the company’s purchase of carbon credits from a Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Project, namely the CECIC Gansu Yumen Changma No.3 Wind Farm Project (VCS Project No.728).”
Through a combination of reduction, substitution and offset measures, Ant Group achieved carbon neutrality “in Scope 1 & 2 in 2022.”
CEC certified figures “indicate that Ant Group reduced a total of 68,665.35 tonnes of CO2e across Scope 1, 2 & 3 in 2022, up 81% from 37,909.87 tonnes in 2021.”
This is equivalent “to taking more than 28,000 cars off the road each year, assuming each car is driven 12,000 kilometers per year at 0.203 kilogram of CO2e per kilometer.”
The CEC was an official service provider “to the 2022 Winter Olympics, helping the Olympic Committee measure the effectiveness of its carbon reduction efforts.”
This reduction was mainly “due to the implementation of green computing technologies.”
These technologies “reduced about 62,000 tonnes of CO2e, which accounted for more than 99% of all carbon emissions reduced in Scope 3 during 2022.”
This was “a 110% improvement over the 30,000 tonnes of CO2e that green computing technologies reduced in 2021.”
Yijie Peng, Chief Sustainability Officer of Ant Group, said:
“At Ant Group, we believe a company’s commercial value creation should go hand in hand with social value creation. Technological innovations has always been an important pathway for us to achieve this goal. We are committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and will continue to explore innovative ways to help reduce our carbon footprint and that of the industry.”
Ant Group has been “developing and adopting green computing technologies since 2019.”
These technologies “include Green AI, a series of technologies such as elastic management, GPU memory pooling and virtualization, which make large-scale model training more efficient.”
For example, ATorch, Ant Group’s PyTorch extension library, “can double the utilization rate of AI computing power in large GPU cluster configurations compared to Megatron-DeepSpeed, an opensource deep learning optimization software suite.”
The use of ATorch has “led to energy efficiency gains and carbon emission reductions for AI model training operations, which the company uses to iterate its AI-based products and services for better customer experience.”
Ant Group also “uses other green computing technologies, such as online-offline hybrid deployment, cloud-native time-shared scheduling, AI-based auto scaling, and OceanBase enterprise-level distributed relational database to help improve energy efficiency of data centers.”
In 2022, Ant Group “joined the Low Carbon Patent Pledge and granted free patent access to its green computing technologies.”
The CEC’s carbon neutrality certificate for Ant Group for the year 2022 “is publicly available on the Information Platform for Carbon Neutrality, which is affiliated with the Environmental Development Center of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.”