VNET Group Released Its Carbon Neutrality Action Report 2022


On September 23, 2022, VNET Group (VNET.US), which is a leading innovation-oriented enterprise in China's new digital infrastructure industry and the first Chinese IDC company listed on the US stock markets, officially released the VNET Carbon Neutrality Action Report 2022 (hereinafter referred to as the Report). The Report set out actions to achieve carbon neutrality targets from four aspects: carbon neutrality governance framework, how to achieve green development of data centers, how to improve the operational efficiency and energy efficiency of infrastructure, and how to drive the value chain to promote the Company’s low-carbon transformation.


In the 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report of VNET Group which was released in April 2022, VNET Group put forward the carbon neutrality targets for the first time, and was committed to achieving operational carbon neutrality in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and achieving 100% renewable energy use in operations by 2030. The carbon neutrality targets were set out, mainly based on a good understanding of VNET Group’s carbon emissions situation and the nature of operational carbon emissions.


The Report disclosed the carbon emissions of VNET Group in 2021, and proposed more detailed measures to improve energy efficiency. According to the carbon emissions survey results, the greenhouse gas emissions of VNET Group mainly belong to Scope II emissions, which mainly refer to the emissions generated from purchased electricity. Therefore, VNET Group will focus on Scope II emissions, and constantly make use of digital, visualized and intelligent energy information to identify the processes that can further improve the energy efficiency of data center business in the whole lifecycle and other businesses of VNET Group.

Developing the “4C” path to carbon neutrality

Taking multiple initiatives to accelerate the pace of low-carbon transformation

From the perspective of the overall carbon neutrality strategy, VNET Group adhered to the scientific guiding principles, fully assessed climate-related risks and opportunities, and developed the “4C” path to carbon neutrality, which is strictly aligned with the Company’s strategy and business characteristics. According to the “4C” path to carbon neutrality, we should leverage renewable energy transformation, energy-saving technologies, carbon sink, carbon emissions trading, upstream and downstream empowerment of the industrial chain and other methods to achieve our carbon neutrality targets from four aspects, including carbon avoidance, carbon reduction, carbon offset and carbon empowerment.


With the development of business, VNET Group will continue to accelerate low-carbon transformation. We will stabilize the greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the proportion of renewable energy consumption, implementing energy-saving and energy-efficient technologies and measures, and reducing emissions and dissipation. In addition, we will strengthen multi-party cooperation, assist customers in carrying out carbon neutrality plans, and encourage suppliers to implement green production. And we will actively strengthen cooperation with power companies to continuously promote sustainable power system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source.

Promoting the green development of data centers 

Three pillars empower IDC in the whole lifecycle

As a leading enterprise with 26 years of experience in the IDC field, VNET Group has been committed to promoting and leading the high-quality development of data center industry. In particular, with the vigorous development of new infrastructure and the official implementation of East-data-west-computing Project in China, how to build green data centers has become a widespread concern in the industry. Combining its own business development and carbon neutrality targets, VNET Group takes energy-efficient equipment and technologies, intelligent management system, and the construction and application of new power system as three pillars to empower the energy conservation and carbon reduction in all aspects, such as data center planning, design, construction, O&M and optimization; and launches green, safe, reliable, and intelligent data center solutions in the full lifecycle.


While focusing on the research and application of energy-saving and low-carbon technologies, VNET Group organically combines the application of energy-saving technologies with intelligent management to jointly promote efficient energy conservation of data centers. For example, based on AI algorithm, the data center-dedicated AI energy efficiency management technology of VNET Group is designed for the analysis and processing of various system operational data. It can train and improve the physical system model, and perform computational reasoning, so as to output the optimal control strategy and parameters. The AI energy efficiency management technology can reduce the overall energy consumption of air conditioning system, and increase energy efficiency by 5%-15% every year. Meanwhile, it can also indirectly reduce the O&M expenditure, and improve the operational efficiency of data centers. In the future, large-scale promotion and application of the AI energy efficiency management technology will play a significant role in reducing the energy consumption and carbon emissions of data center industry and promoting sustainable economic development. At present, the technology has been widely promoted and applied in various data centers of VNET Group, and won the “2021 Data Center Science and Technology Achievements Award - Second Prize” issued by China Association for Engineering Construction Standardization.

In addition, VNET Group has actively promoted the construction of an innovative green and low-carbon power system from different aspects. For example, we actively increased the proportion of renewable energy consumption, built distributed photovoltaic projects, and constantly explored the innovation and application of renewable energy technology, in order to alleviate the problem of insufficient power supply capacity. In terms of renewable energy consumption, we not only applied energy storage technology in standby power system, but also constantly explored innovative energy storage technology and application scenarios. A green power management platform was developed, in order to promote green power trading and help data centers and even the big data industrial park achieve lean & green power management.


It is noteworthy that VNET Group has accelerated the exploration of renewable energy. On the one hand, we should optimize the energy structure of purchased electricity; On the other hand, we should explore the frontier of emerging energy. For example, VNET Group has cooperated with many hydrogen energy technology enterprises to explore ways to break the bottleneck of large-scale application of hydrogen energy. In September 2022, VNET Group launched the hydrogen energy pilot-scale experiment and research project to explore the first domestic solution of using stationary hydrogen fuel cell as a primary power supply for long-term power supply of data centers, and explored a new technology route for zero-carbon data centers in the future.

Multidimensional use of AI and other digital technologies

Comprehensively improving the operational energy efficiency of infrastructure

In the process of pursuing carbon neutrality targets, VNET Group realized that, instead of improving the energy efficiency of a single process, we should integrate various decentralized equipment, software and systems into an interconnected, unified and coordinated system, in order to make full use of resources and energy and achieve centralized, efficient and convenient energy efficiency management. In terms of improving the operational efficiency and energy efficiency of infrastructure, VNET Group is committed to achieving intelligent management and control of infrastructure operations, and leveraging AI, digital twin, big data and other technologies to accelerate the construction of intelligent infrastructure management and control platform.


Relying on the cutting-edge digital twin technology and diversified operation and management scenarios, VNET Group launched the Intelligent Navigation Platform, which is an innovative product in the field of intelligent O&M. The platform can help users in various industries to reduce O&M labor cost, and continuously improve O&M quality and management level. For instance, the Intelligent Navigation Platform features centralized intelligent monitoring, energy monitoring and management, intelligent capacity and other functions, which are powerful tools to help customers achieve efficient green O&M management with low power consumption.


Taking the energy management module as an example, O&M personnel can timely monitor various data such as energy consumption, energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and carbon use efficiency of the data center; develop the optimal operation strategy and set corresponding equipment parameters while taking into account the integrated AI control system, so as to reduce the system’s energy consumption. Furthermore, the Intelligent Navigation Platform system can leverage digital twin technology to record simulations in the physical world and digital virtual space and predict data center operations in the whole lifecycle, and thus achieve the optimal allocation of information resources and material resources. At present, the Intelligent Navigation Platform has been successfully applied in multiple data centers of VNET Group, effectively reducing PUE by about 1%-10% and improving resource utilization by about 10%.


In addition, VNET Group is vigorously promoting energy efficiency monitoring and the R&D of “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality” management platform. The platform consists of three parts: carbon emissions data acquisition and energy consumption monitoring system, intelligent accounting system of carbon emissions data, and carbon footprint tracking and supervision system. The platform can provide real-time information on the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of each energy consumption system and production line. This is conducive to helping customers tap their energy saving potential and carry out energy-saving transformation.

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