Taking 2020 as the baseline year, Baidu plans to comprehensively build science-based pathways to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Baidu has continuously explored pathways to reducing carbon emissions in businesses such as autonomous driving and intelligent transportation, refining them into methodologies and capabilities open to society.
BEIJING, May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU and HKEX: 9888) (“Baidu” or the “Company”) today released its 2021 ESG report, providing updates on the company’s efforts to help advance a more sustainable economy through technology innovation.
“Over the past year, we have continuously explored the ESG value in corporate governance, pursuing the new ‘intersection’ of ESG value with an innovation-driven engine, as well as fulfilling our commitments to the environment and society,” said Robin Li, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Baidu. “We have every confidence to achieve ‘dual carbon’ goals, which are demanding commitments.”
The report details the company’s ESG performance in 2021 in key areas including green products & solutions, corporate governance, trust building, talent nurturing, service improvement and society philanthropy.
According to Ms. Meng Liu, Head of China Liaison Office of United Nations Global Compact, Chinese companies are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “I am pleased to see Baidu’s important initiatives and progress on ESG in recent years, including the release of a human rights system in November 2020, and launch of a special anti-corruption report and carbon-neutral target in March and June 2021, as well as the release of an annual ESG report for the third consecutive year. The UN Secretary-General Mr. Guterres earlier this year warned the world that ‘the information superhighway is clogged with hatred and lies’ and ‘we must go into emergency mode to put humanity at the centre of technology’. I believe more and more Chinese tech companies including Baidu have great potential to do more to support internet security and data privacy to protect citizens’ rights and make positive contributions to shape a healthier ecosystem and human-centered governance framework for new technologies.”
Below are some key highlights from the report:
Promoting Green Ideas:
In 2021, Baidu announced the goal of achieving carbon neutrality at the group level by 2030 and working with partners to achieve “zero-carbon growth” with AI. Several major developments towards this goal have been made so far:
Smart traffic for reduced emissions
Baidu’s intelligent transportation solutions are working to build a greener way of movement. Among the many solutions working to make this a reality, Baidu’s intelligent transportation system installed in Baoding, Hebei Province, has enabled a significant decrease of traffic congestion, leading to an average carbon emission reduction rate at each intersection at around 20% – 30%.
Harnessing clean power for data centers
Baidu uses an AI intelligent control system based on PaddlePaddle and is developing deep learning models tailored to data centers to monitor operation and optimize systems in real time. Over 600 patents have been granted for Baidu’s self-developed technologies in the field, helping to build low-carbon, energy-saving and environment-friendly cloud computing centers. In the case of Baidu’s Yangquan Data Center, the system has resulted in a power supply efficiency of up to 99.5%, enabling over 98% of cooling time to be free of charge. These achievements have led the center to be awarded the First 5A Green Data Center Certificate in China.
Incorporating resource conservation for a “greener” office
In 2021, Baidu adopted several actions to improve energy efficiency in operations including the installation of photovoltaic power generation equipment on unoccupied roofs at Baidu Campus and Penghuan Building which generates 1 million kWh of electricity annually, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 600 tons. Replacing ordinary lamps with 27,000 LED lights at Baidu Technology Park has saved 1.81 million kWh of electricity annually. In addition, the wastewater treatment system of Baidu Campus reused 3,836 tons of wastewater annually in 2021, turning wastewater into flushing water.
Baidu gives top priority to risk prevention and management and has established a risk management system led by the Board. In 2021, the company upgraded its philosophy of risk management and introduced the “three lines” risk management model to carry out regular internal risk identification as well as analysis and assessment. The company has also formulated the Baidu Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility Rules for Suppliers. In 2021, 100% of domestic suppliers were required to comply with these rules.
Open Source for AI:
Baidu has also been leading efforts to encourage a more inclusive and vibrant AI development community. As of 2021, Baidu has led 21 open-source organizations and more than 1,000 open-source projects on Github, with more than 18,000 community contributors and more than 370,000 stars gained.
Diversity and Inclusiveness:
Baidu is a firm believer in gender equality, ensuring equal access to employment opportunities for female employees, strictly abiding by the principle of equal pay for equal work. In 2021, women accounted for 43.2% of Baidu’s management team.
To learn more about Baidu’s ESG performance in 2021, access the full report here.
Founded in 2000, Baidu’s mission is to make the complicated world simpler through technology. Baidu is a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation, trading on the NASDAQ under “BIDU” and HKEX under “9888.” One Baidu ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.