ByteDance, which owns video sharing app TikTok and recently began to offer cloud services, ranked third from last in Greenpeace East Asia’s 2022 climate ranking of China’s cloud providers, trailing Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu.
“ByteDance is not keeping up with its peers in China when it comes to climate commitments and renewable energy use. To date, eight major tech companies in China have committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, representing huge progress for the industry. Tech giants like Tencent and GDS have set ambitious targets and are starting to procure renewable energy at scale, but ByteDance has not even disclosed the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations,” said Greenpeace East Asia Climate and Energy Project Manager Ruiqi Ye, based in Beijing.
Tech giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu took the top three spots in the cloud provider category due to their climate commitments, increase in renewable energy procurement, and transparency, among other factors.
ByteDance received one of the lowest overall scores among cloud providers. Unlike many of its peers, ByteDance has not publicly announced any carbon neutrality or 100% renewable energy use goals, nor has it disclosed energy usage data.
Eight major Chinese tech companies have committed to achieve carbon neutrality (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 2030, an eightfold increase since April 2021. Six ranked companies have pledged to achieve 100% renewable energy use by 2030, compared to just one as of April 2021. Tencent, Alibaba and Chindata Group executed record trading of green power over the past year.
However, renewable energy usage rates remain low for all ranked companies when compared to their global competitors. Data center operator GDS is the only major Chinese tech company that reported a renewable energy use ratio above 30% in 2021.
Tencent is the only ranked company that has included supply chain emissions (Scope 3) in its carbon neutrality pledge. Four out of five ranked companies have not disclosed Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions data.
Greenpeace urges that China’s tech companies achieve 100% renewable energy use and carbon neutrality (Scope 1-3) by 2030. Companies must scale up procurement of wind and solar energy and actively disclose environmental data.
“When companies set carbon neutrality targets it’s critical that their entire supply chain is included, not just their own operations. In addition, companies should focus on direct procurement methods such as green power trading and constructing wind and solar power plants. Carbon offsets are not a substitute for direct emissions cuts and should not serve as an excuse for continued fossil fuel reliance,” said Ye.