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Reducing Carbon Emissions

We assess the carbon footprints of our own equipment using the lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology, and minimize our energy consumption at every phase of the product lifecycle. In addition, a series of technical and managerial measures help us to save energy, use renewable and clean energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Huawei campuses. Our work also extends up and down the supply chain: We encourage our suppliers to set energy saving and emission reduction targets, and work with our partners to help customers in a diverse range of industries cut their energy consumption and emissions using ICT solutions. 

In 2020, the global environmental non-profit CDP scored more than 5,800 companies for their efforts to tackle climate change, and Huawei was one of the few companies that were recognized with a prestigious 'A' score for our actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy.

Green Products: Minimizing Our Carbon Footprint

Huawei produces a wide range of products, from smart devices to wireless access, fixed access, data communications, optical transmission, and intelligent computing. Our carbon footprint assessment shows that for network equipment and customer-premise equipment, the largest part of the carbon footprint is generated in the use phase.

If we can cut the energy consumption of ICT products at the source, and increase the use of renewables, our products will have a much smaller carbon footprint. To this end, Huawei has kept innovating in energy-saving technologies to increase product energy efficiency. Our ICT products are enabling energy conservation and emission reduction in a wide range of industries, contributing to a greener world.


Data Centers: No Longer Energy-intensive

Today, there are more than 4 billion Internet users. They access a wide variety of smart services, from online shopping and online study to social networking and online entertainment. Every one of these services is built upon data centers. Data centers are the heart of a digital economy, but they also consume large amounts of energy. An ultra-large data center consumes nearly 100 million kWh of electricity every year, and according to an estimate, data centers are responsible for 1% of global electricity usage. To make data centers less energy-intensive, Huawei has made the cooling systems of data centers significantly more energy-efficient.

STORY-Full Liquid Cooling Makes Data Centers More Energy-efficient

AI applications, high-performance computing, and GPU servers have driven the power consumption of a data center rack as high as 20 kW, 30 kW, or even 50 kW. This increase in power density has posed an unprecedented challenge to conventional cooling systems.

  • 237.5 tons

    Annual CO2 emission reduction for a 50-kW cabinet

To address this challenge, Huawei developed a full liquid cooling solution. In a closed liquid-cooled cabinet, all heat is dissipated in liquid, reducing the power consumption of cooling systems by 96% and cutting the power usage effectiveness (PUE) from 2.2 to 1.1, compared with a conventional air cooling solution. For a 50-kW cabinet, the annual power saving amounts to about 500,000 kWh. That is equivalent to a reduction of about 237.5 tons1 of CO2.

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A closed liquid-cooled cabinet: All heat dissipated in liquid

STORY- iCooling + Indirect Evaporative Cooling for Smarter Data Center Cooling

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iCooling saves Huawei's cloud data center in Langfang 27.64 million kWh of electricity every year

In data centers, cooling systems consume a huge amount of electricity, second only to service applications, so reducing the power consumption of cooling systems is key to making data centers more energy efficient. Huawei's indirect evaporative cooling system is typical of natural cooling solutions. It fully utilizes natural cooling effects, greatly reducing the power consumption of cooling systems.

Traditional cooling systems were mostly manually adjusted. However, as data center loads and their environments constantly change, manual adjustment can no longer keep up with the rapidly changing heat load. To prevent energy from being wasted, cooling systems need smart brains that can intelligently adjust and deliver cooling as necessary.

Huawei's iCooling solution, which integrates big data and AI, enables data centers to learn to save power and automatically optimize their power efficiency, making on-demand, intelligent cooling a reality. The solution reduces data centers' PUE by 8% to 15%.

  • 13,129 tons

    Annual CO2 emission reduction at Huawei's cloud data center in Langfang after iCooling was deployed

This solution is deployed at Huawei's cloud data center in Langfang, where it delivers savings of 27.64 million kWh of electricity every year, or 13,129 tons1 of CO2 emissions. 

Green, Intelligent Connectivity

Connectivity is one of Huawei's core businesses. Every advance in connection technologies means a leap forward for humanity. New connectivity technologies like 5G, optical networks, and IPv6 are bringing us closer to an intelligent world. If we want to live a sustainable smart life, the intelligent world must also be a green world. To provide green, intelligent connectivity, Huawei innovates in every aspect of our communications networks, including 5G, optical networks, IPv6, and site energy.

STORY-Building Energy-efficient 5G Networks for a Green Planet

  • 10 million kWh

    Annual power saving across the entire 5G network of China Mobile Hunan after Power Turbo was used

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Huawei's Power Turbo saves 3.5 kWh per day at each 5G site

5G applications have greatly enriched our lives and our ability to communicate. We can enjoy smarter lifestyles with faster networks, a better network experience, and better connected people and things. However, we cannot ignore the increasing energy consumption of 5G networks. The telecoms industry is faced with an urgent problem: How can we provide green network connectivity?

Huawei worked with China Mobile Hunan and China Telecom Guangxi on research into energy savings for wireless networks. Building on its Mobile Automation Engine (MAE), Huawei launched Power Turbo, a whole-network energy saving solution. As part of Huawei's three-level energy saving solution PowerStar, Power Turbo has three key strengths. This solution:

  • Applies intelligent technologies to wireless networks to analyze network co-coverage, enabling power saving across a wider network.
  • Learns historical service models, predicts future service models, and applies targeted energy saving policies at each network site for optimal power savings.
  • Analyzes the power consumption model of remote radio units (RRUs) and intelligently routes services to achieve network-wide energy saving across multiple bands and multiple radio access technologies (RATs), maximizing network energy efficiency.

Huawei also helped China Mobile Hunan and China Telecom Guangxi in their 5G energy-saving tests, the first such tests ever conducted in China. According to the results from the field test on the live network of China Mobile Hunan, Power Turbo produced savings of about 10% of the network's total energy consumption. Power saving per site per day was 3.5 kWh, which means the annual power saving across the entire 5G network would reach 10 million kWh, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 4,750 tons1. Huawei will continue to expand the Power Turbo solution in association with China Mobile Hunan, contributing to a greener planet.

STORY-Huawei's Optical Network Helps Create a Green Lifestyle

Optical networks are ideal for providing low-carbon connectivity because of their high bandwidth, low latency, reduced power consumption, resistance to interference, and small size. Huawei's optical cross-connect (OXC) and passive optical LAN (POL) technologies are being increasingly used in green, energy-efficient, and ultra-broadband networks.

At Dubai Creek Harbour, a 60,000-square-kilometer mega-development being built by Emaar Properties, the Middle East's largest real estate developer, Huawei's optical campus solution was deployed as part of a green and sustainable residential and commercial community.

Unlike conventional aggregation networks, Huawei's POL technology can break the 100-meter limitation for copper cabling, so it does not require multiple weak-current equipment rooms. This means 80% savings in equipment room space. In addition, the simplified network architecture has helped cut Emaar Properties' power consumption by 30% – about 130,000 kWh every year. That reduces CO2 emissions by about 62 tons1.

Green technologies allow networks to coexist with nature. Dubai Creek Harbour, powered by Huawei's optical network, is a model for new smart communities, and provides a blueprint for our future green lifestyle.

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Huawei's green optical network helps Dubai Creek Harbour coexist with its natural environment

STORY-Smarter and Greener Optical Modems

As people increasingly use online education, online offices, and online shopping, there has been an explosion of Wi-Fi devices. Most consumer devices, from mobile phones, tablets, and computers to home appliances and IoT devices, rely on Wi-Fi for Internet access. Wi-Fi networks are now a critical part of home infrastructure. Optical modems offer users direct connections to fiber broadband and the Internet, but for a long time, optical modems and routers were separate devices. This architecture was wasteful and energy-intensive. Power consumption increased even more recently, as optical modems evolved from single-band/Wi-Fi 5 to dual-band/Wi-Fi 6.

  • 1.5 billion+ kWh

    of electricity saved for 40 million+ households after Huawei OptiXstar was deployed, reducing CO2 emissions by 730,000+ tons

In 2020, Huawei integrated optical modems and routers into one product, and launched the Huawei OptiXstar smart optical modem series. This product series is the first of its kind. It features three levels of energy saving (algorithm, module, and architecture), enabling power savings in software, hardware, and the system as a whole. Huawei OptiXstar has Advanced Power Management (APM), which puts the device in different modes (active, dormant, sleep) at different times of day, depending on usage patterns. It offers a superior experience to users while maximizing energy savings.

Each Huawei OptiXstar uses only 0.37 kWh per day, which saves users 38.5 kWh every year, compared with competing products. In 2020, the Huawei OptiXstar series was in service in more than 40 million households worldwide, saving over 1.5 billion kWh of electricity and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 730,000 tons1, equivalent to planting more than 30 million trees.

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Huawei OptiXstar for a green, connected lifestyle

STORY-Huawei NetEngine Helps China Unicom Beijing Move Towards Carbon Neutrality

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An engineer from China Unicom Beijing checking NetEngine

Ubiquitous connectivity is becoming a reality as we move towards an intelligent, fully connected world. We firmly believe that technology can contribute to a better planet. The shared mission of Huawei and our customers is to provide green connectivity and protect our planet. 

For the construction of its IP bearer network, China Unicom Beijing used Huawei's NetEngine 5000E-20 and NetEngine 8000, two green, compact high-end routers, to cope with increasing data traffic.

  • 2 million kWh

    of electricity saved by China Unicom Beijing after using Huawei NetEngine, cutting CO2 emissions by more than 900 tons

The Huawei NetEngine series routers use three key technologies: SuperCooling, mixed flow fan, and intelligent power supply. Compared with competing products, these routers cut power consumption per bit by 26% to 50%, helping China Unicom Beijing save 2 million kWh of electricity every year, cutting CO2 emissions by more than 900 tons1, equivalent to planting more than 40,000 trees.

STORY-iPowerCube: Off-grid, Diesel-free Power Supply for Hebao Island, Zhuhai

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Huawei iPowerCube power supply on Hebao Island, Zhuhai

  • 0

    carbon emissions from Zhuhai VTS station with the help of Huawei iPowerCube

On the southern coast of China, lays Hebao island, characterized by fine sand and clear water. It is here that a vessel traffic service (VTS) station has been built to support orderly, safe navigation and to protect the ocean environment.

As the island is far away from cities and towns, a mains power supply is impossible. The VTS station used to be powered by a pair of diesel generators and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), but this was noisy and energy-inefficient. Every year, it generated about 25 tons of carbon emissions, which put extra pressure on the already fragile island environment. Later, the station switched to a power solution that combined an off-grid PV system, one diesel generator, UPS, and a lead-acid battery, but problems occurred frequently. The solution had a high failure rate and poor reliability.

In 2020, Huawei conducted a field survey and found that Hebao Island has sufficient sunlight to deploy our iPowerCube off-grid, diesel-free power supply solution. This solution combines solar power and an intelligent lithium battery, replacing the complex old solution. iPowerCube ensures uninterrupted, reliable power supply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The solution has helped the Zhuhai VTS station save CNY220,000 in fuel costs every year and achieve zero carbon emissions, contributing to a greener environment at Hebao Island.

Digital Technology Helps Industries Save Energy and Reduce Emissions

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has accelerated the digital transformation of many countries. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), digital technologies could help reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15% – or one-third of the 50% reduction required by 2030. Huawei is undertaking its own digital transformation, and leverages innovative ICT solutions to help other industries go digital at a faster speed. That means business benefits for our customers and more protection for the environment.

STORY-Huawei HiCharger DC Charging Module for Green Transport

Electric, intelligent, connected, and shared vehicles represent the future of the global automotive industry. As the electric vehicle market grows, the demand for electric vehicle charging stations is increasing in step. With Huawei HiCharger DC charging modules, Enneagon Energy has built a charging site for electric taxis at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 that is safe, reliable, efficient, and fast.

  • 3,300 tons

    of CO2 emissions reduced by the charging site for electric taxis at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 after Huawei HiCharger DC Charging Module was used

The 30 kW Huawei HiCharger DC Charging Module is the industry's first product that has passed TÜV SÜD's Thresher comprehensive certification, with an annual failure rate of less than 0.2%. Leading the industry by 1%–2% in charging efficiency, Huawei HiCharger offers a charging capacity of about 7 million kWh each year, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by about 3,300 tons1. While helping customers build more reliable and efficient charging sites, we hope that we can work with them to promote green transport and build a low-carbon society.

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Charging site for electric taxis at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport

Green Operations: Building Environmentally-friendly Company Campuses

As well as leveraging innovative products and solutions to help other industries go green, Huawei also takes steps to make sure our own operations are green, low-carbon, and sustainable. Guided by the principle of "low consumption, low pollution, high efficiency", we have been striving to build green, sustainable company campuses.

To create green campuses, we use as much renewable and clean energy as possible at the source, take technical and managerial measures to save energy during our operations, and properly dispose of hazardous waste and organize environmental awareness programs. These efforts have enabled us to cut costs, and achieve more efficient, sustainable, low-carbon operations. In 2020, about 220 million kWh of the electricity we used in China came from renewable energy sources, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 188,000 tons2.

Huawei's total energy consumption (2016–2020)

Energy type Unit 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Natural gas million m3 9.93 7.11 11.14 13.13 15.36
Gasoline Tons 358 600 347 650 608
Diesel Tons 116 256 77 106 107.7
Electricity (China) million kWh 1,686.53 2,070.95 2,355.04 3,020.93 3,467.14
Electricity (Overseas) million kWh / / / 210.32 134.56
Steam Tons 20,352 21,801 23,143 22,613 22,694

STORY-Huawei's Chengdu Research Center: Fully Powered by Renewable Energy

Huawei's Chengdu Research Center is located in Sichuan Province, which is rich in water resources. The center covers an area of 0.67 square kilometers and accommodates more than 10,000 employees. It has been taking active steps to create a green campus and a green operation and maintenance system. They believe that using renewable energy and building a green campus can help Huawei design products that are green from the very moment of conception and provide reliable, stable, and eco-friendly ICT products for customers worldwide. Together, they can contribute to a greener planet.

  • 200 million+ kWh

    of hydropower is supplied to Chengdu Research Center, reducing its annual carbon footprint by about 177,000 tons of CO2 emissions

Since 2019, the Chengdu Research Center has begun transitioning to hydropower, and now the campus is fully powered with renewable energy. Every year, over 200 million kWh of hydropower is supplied to the center. By switching to hydropower, the Chengdu Research Center has reduced its annual carbon footprint by about 177,000 tons2 of CO2 emissions. 

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Huawei's Chengdu Research Center in Sichuan

Huawei's GHG emissions in 2020

GHG Scope 1 Scope 2 Total
Emissions (t-CO2) 41,736 2,243,722 2,285,458
% of total emissions 1.83% 98.17% 100%

Scope 1 includes stationary combustion emissions, mobile combustion emissions, and fugitive emissions. Scope 2 includes indirect emissions from energy.

In 2016, Huawei set a carbon emission target (for Scope 1 and Scope 2) for 2020: Reducing carbon emissions per million RMB of sales revenue by 30% compared to the base year (2012). In 2020, our carbon emissions per million RMB of sales revenue were 2.56 tons. This represented a 33.2% decrease compared to the base year (2012), meaning that we beat our 2020 target.

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Total GHG emissions4 (2012–2020)

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Intensity of GHG emissions (2012–2020)

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Huawei's water usage in China (2016 to 2020)

In 2020, Huawei's water usage in China was 14 million tons, up about 8% year-on-year. This increase was largely attributable to growth in our business, larger construction sites, and maintenance of larger landscaped areas. Most of the water we consumed in our operations was used to water our grounds, in our canteens, and for air-conditioning.

In 2020, we completed multiple energy conservation projects on our campuses in China, including upgrading the packing in our cooling towers and adding variable speed pumps to the air conditioning units in our cooling stations, and installing LED lighting systems. These projects helped us save more than 11 million kWh of electricity, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 9,000 tons2. In 2020, about 1.55 billion kWh of the electricity we purchased came from clean energy sources, which was equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 620,000 tons3.

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Electricity purchased by Huawei that came from clean energy sources between 2017 and 2020

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CTI certification on Huawei's GHG emission reduction

Major Energy-saving Projects on Huawei Campuses in 2020

No. Type City Project Name
1 Technological Dongguan Upgrading packing in cooling towers
2 Technological Dongguan Adding variable speed drives to chiller pumps for water chiller systems
3 Technological Dongguan Adding variable speed pumps to the air conditioning units in our cooling stations and optimizing their programming and operations
4 Technological Chengdu Replacing T5 fluorescent lamps with LED lamps in our facilities
5 Managerial Dongguan Resetting landscape lighting timers
6 Managerial Wuhan Running air conditioners efficiently and turning off unneeded lights
7 Technological Langfang Extending the use of HeatExchanger for cooling (free cooling) to March and September
8 Technological Langfang Disconnecting idle fume hoods from main systems
9 Managerial Shenzhen Putting air conditioners on an intermittent setting at night
10 Technological Shenzhen Updating the lighting systems in labs
11 Technological Shenzhen Replacing large chillers with small chillers
12 Technological Shanghai Installing LED lighting systems in offices
13 Technological Nanjing Replacing fluorescent lamps with LED lamps in offices, canteens, and equipment rooms
14 Technological Dongguan Installing LED lighting systems in public areas
15 Technological Shenzhen Adding more outlets and variable speed drives to the air-conditioning system in the document rooms

To better manage waste in our company facilities and minimize our impact on the environment, we hire certified waste disposal companies to classify and dispose of our waste. To reduce waste, we have also organized environmental awareness campaigns and activities, which have received a tremendous response from our employees. Our employees join in these campaigns enthusiastically, and have learned a lot about protecting the environment.

Management of solid waste, waste water, and waste gases on Huawei campuses

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STORY-Huawei Environmental Protection Week: Tech for a Better Planet

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Huawei Environmental Protection Week 2020

To celebrate World Environment Day, Huawei kicked off its Environmental Protection Week on June 5, 2020. Based in our Shenzhen campus, the campaign had the theme "Tech for a Better Planet". It included a ceremony for signing a commitment to protecting the environment; an online quiz, and an old-for-new electronics recycling drive. We encouraged every Huawei employee to do their part to protect biodiversity and the planet by doing things like turning off unneeded lights, saving water and paper, traveling green, and living a low-carbon life.

About 5,000 employees took part in some Environmental Protection Week activities at their workplace, and more than 50,000 employees accessed the online activity. Staff who participated said they personally learnt a lot about environmental protection during the activity and hoped that similar activities would continue to be held at other Huawei campuses in the future.

Green Partners: Encouraging Top 100 Suppliers to Set Emission Reduction Targets and Building a Greener Supply Chain

Huawei has incorporated environmental requirements into our procurement strategy and processes. Environmental factors are considered during supplier qualification, selection, review, performance management, and in selection of materials. In addition to complying with all applicable environmental laws and regulations ourselves, we are also building a competitive and green supply chain by offering proper incentives to suppliers. 

In 2020, we encouraged our top 100 suppliers to calculate their carbon emissions, set carbon emission reduction targets, develop plans, and implement programs. By the end of 2020, all the top 100 suppliers had calculated their carbon emissions. 93 suppliers of them had set targets for reducing emissions, and were implementing their emission reduction programs. The remaining 7 suppliers were also making progress. Total carbon emissions by Huawei's suppliers generated in the course of working with Huawei in 2020 were 12.46 million tons, down 300,000 tons compared with 2019.

STORY-IPE "Green Choice" Initiative: Building a Competitive and Green Supply Chain

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Since 2011, Huawei has participated in the Green Choice initiative, which was launched by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). To encourage suppliers to better manage themselves, promptly fix any problems, and maintain environmental compliance, we continue to use the IPE's Blue Map environmental data search during supplier audits and supplier self-checks. In 2020, we carried out regular checks on the environmental records of 900 key suppliers. In the IPE Green Supply Chain CITI Index, we ranked fourth among all IT companies and first among those from the Chinese mainland. In the IPE Supply Chain Climate Action SCTI Index 2020, Huawei ranked sixth among all IT companies and first among those from the Chinese mainland.

  1. By International Energy Agency emission factors.
  2. By China's regional grid baseline emission factors.
  3. See the CTI Certification on how the amount is calculated.
  4. Figures for 2019–2020 are for Huawei's global operations, while 2012–2018 are for our operations in the China Region.