Minimizing the environmental footprint of our operations is a long-term initiative at Huawei and we use a number of approaches to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions. These include implementing an ISO 50001-based energy management system, launching energy conservation programs, making managerial and technological improvements, and utilizing clean and renewable energy. Our goal is to help fight climate change. Through operational and technological measures, we saved 33.57 million kWh of electricity in 2017. We also built solar power stations on our campuses, generating 17 million kWh of electricity. These measures combined to reduce our CO2 emissions by more than 45,000 tons.
We have introduced third-party experts to assess energy efficiency on our Shenzhen and Dongguan campuses. In this pilot project, we identified 36 areas for improvement in energy-saving. In 2017, we improved on 22 areas. Specifically, we upgraded the chiller plants and cooling tower fans with variable-frequency drives in the air conditioning system, and analyzed the big data from the system to develop a mathematical model. By running virtual tests of energy savings, we were able to configure the building automation system for automatic maximum savings based on the conditions outside. Over the course of a year, this system saved 4.6 million kWh of energy, equivalent to a reduction in carbon emissions of 4008tons.
We use clean and renewable energy to build environmentally friendly campuses with low carbon emissions. Our Hangzhou Research Center and Southern Factory in Dongguan completed construction of their smart PV plants in June 2012 and March 2015 respectively and connected them to the grid. The two PV plants together have a capacity of 19.3 MW, and generate 17 million kWh of electricity each year, equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of over 15,000 tons. In 2017, Huawei continued to increase its investment in PV plants. Currently, the PV plant in Beijing Research Center is under construction. The project is planned to have a capacity of 771.3 kW, which will meet the majority of the energy needs of the research center.
To achieve Huawei's 2020 carbon emissions target, we launched a series of projects and activities aimed to save energy and reduce emissions in 2017. In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, we also renovated air-conditioning systems, upgraded light controls, and reduced energy consumption of our manufacturing and lab equipment. These measures created additional reductions in CO2 emissions of 22,000 tons.
As our business continues to grow, we have seen a significant increase in the electricity consumption of our labs and data centers. To reduce operating expenses and improve the utilization of clean energy, we engaged in in-depth discussions with our electricity suppliers, and worked to encourage them to sign an agreement with a gas power plant that has installed clean energy capacity. The supplier ended up getting 932 million kWh of electricity from clean energy sources, all of which will be supplied to Huawei in 2018. Huawei obtained a statement on reducing GHG emissions from a third party certification organization, saying our carbon emissions reduction is estimated to reach 450,000 tons.
In 2017, the GHG emissions of our China Region operations totaled 1,876,496 tons, an increase of approximately 18.4% from 2016.
This increase is attributable to two factors. First, our business grew significantly, with annual revenue increasing to US$92.5 billion, up 23% from 2016. Second, we expanded our building facilities.
Reduce carbon emissions per unit of sales revenue by 30% compared to the base year (2012) by 2020.
In 2017, our CO2 emissions per million RMB of sales revenue were 3.11 tons, 9.3% lower compared to the base year.