China Unicom actively responded to the threat of climate change, improved the green management throughout the full life cycle of products, coordinated and promoted green management, network construction, operation and other work, built a green supply chain, innovated information-based solutions, empowered the green development of the whole society, thereby contributing to carbon peak and carbon neutrality, and promoting the formation of a green and low-carbon production mode and lifestyle.

Achieving Low-carbon Production
Promoting green and low-carbon technology for energy conservation
  • The Company introduced high-voltage direct current and direct power supply technologies to optimise the air flow of the server room and improve the cooling efficiency. The Company conducted in-depth research on key technologies for energy conservation of 5G network peripheral equipment, installed small air-conditioning and energy-saving equipment such as fresh air ventilator, and made full use of clean energy, appropriate hibernation, time-specific shutdown and other measures to effectively reduce the high energy consumption of 5G.
  • After construction was completed, the Company conducted electromagnetic radiation testing on the base stations and made the results public, accepting public supervision to ensure that the electromagnetic radiation from the base stations met the requirements of national standards.
Building a green supply chain
  • The Company enforced strict control from the source of equipment procurement, separately set out green and low-carbon requirements, and increased its weighting in active equipment procurement by 20%. The Company promoted green management throughout the life cycle of products, advocated green logistics, required suppliers to provide products that meet the requirements of green packaging, and imposed strict penalties on unqualified products in energy consumption.
Promoting green and low-carbon operation

The Company attached great importance to energy saving and consumption reduction in its operations, actively promoted paperless services, improved the level of digital office, strengthened energy consumption control requirements in office premises, and required rational use of water resources to further improve the efficiency of resource utilisation.

  • Promoting paperless services. The Company launched the “Electronic Business Registration Form for Non-physical Business Outlets” function nationwide, and recommended users to use it through China Unicom APP, China Unicom Online Business Outlets, 10010 hotline and other channels, with a total of 125 million transactions completed and more than 546 tonnes of paper saved.
  • Practising green office. The Company improved and optimised the management system of energy and resources conservation, strengthened the target management of water consumption, electricity consumption and energy consumption, and timely completed China Unicom’s carbon emission accounting and quota performance in 2021. It optimised the operation plan of air conditioning, elevators, lighting and other facilities in office buildings, and carried out energy-saving transformations.
  • Reasonable utilisation of water resources. The Company strictly complied with the relevant requirements of the Water Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution. In the main water resource usage scenarios, such as water-cooled air conditioning systems and domestic water use, water-saving technologies were adopted to improve water resource recycling. Necessary water appliances were added to the office building, and measures such as using residual boiled water and tea water for cleaning and watering flowers after cooling, and collecting rainwater for outdoor green space irrigation were taken to increase recycling. The reclaim water systems of buildings were improved to reduce the use of tap water. The cooling tower make-up water and return valves were adjusted to prevent water overflow. The water flow of buildings’ faucets was adjusted to avoid splashing and waste. The Company’s daily office and production and operation water mainly came from the unified water supply of the municipal government, and there was no risk of water pollution.
  • Improving the utilisation rate of materials. The Company increased the internal revitalisation of idle resources and revitalised materials amounting to RMB180 million. The Company strengthened the recycling of materials and reduced waste pollution. The Company completed the public auction for the disposal of scrapped assets of RMB630 million through the Internet auction platform, of which RMB90 million was from the disposal of rechargeable batteries and RMB540 million was from the disposal of other scrapped assets.
    The Company vigorously promoted trade-in programs and provided convenient door-to-door service to upgrade devices, thus reducing the pressure on the environment.
  • Spreading the concept of low-carbon and environmental protection. Internally, the Company organised publicity activities and employee trainings such as the National Energy Conservation Publicity Week and the Low Carbon Day, and increased publicity efforts on low-carbon technology innovation, energy conservation of 5G base stations for the Winter Olympics, and solar energy application. A number of typical cases of green and low carbon cases were selected as the “2022 Model Cases of Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality Action”.

Promoting green and low-carbon production

China Unicom actively promoted the intelligent transformation, energy-saving innovation and green upgrading of communication infrastructure to improve comprehensive energy utilisation efficiency. The Company enforced strict control from the source of equipment procurement, promoted the green management throughout the full life cycle of products, allocated RMB168 million of special fund for energy-saving transformation, and continuously improving the greenness of communication network infrastructure.

Promoting energy saving and consumption reduction in 5G network
  • Focusing on equipment, sites, and networks, the Company achieved low-carbon operation of base stations without affecting subscribers’ network use. At the equipment level, it actively introduced technologies such as high bandwidth and multiple antennas, gradually improving the integration and energy efficiency of 5G equipment. At the site level, through co-build co-share, centralised machine room deployment, outdoor site deployment and the use of natural cold sources to reduce air conditioning energy consumption, it significantly improved site efficiency. At the network level, the Company adopted artificial intelligence algorithms to predict base station traffic trends and automatically optimised by shutting down some active devices based on time, frequency, space, power and other dimensions.
  • Based on the hierarchical energy-saving architecture comprising network level, site level and equipment level, the Company innovatively proposed a 4G/5G collaborative intelligent energy-saving system, realising intelligent energy-saving management of wireless networks, and intelligent control of power supply and other basic peripheral facilities.
  • The Company utilised artificial intelligence to forecast base station traffic and put base stations in deep sleep during zero or low traffic windows, with the ability to wake up within seconds. This technology saved approximately 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduced carbon emissions by about 5,400 tonnes annually without compromising subscriber’s experience.
  • The Company improved the monitoring and management methods of energy conservation and carbon reduction, realised the simultaneous deployment of energy consumption monitoring of new power facilities, and the simultaneous implementation of energy consumption monitoring of existing power facilities and transformation projects.
Building green data centres
  • The Company adjusted the layout of its data centers and relying on the “Eastern Data and Western Computing” project, actively guided the construction of non-real-time data centers to move to western regions, using green energy generation in the western regions to alleviate energy consumption pressure.
  • The Company strictly adhered to national and local environmental protection regulations for the construction of new communication equipment rooms (including data centers). It built a dual-carbon demonstration park and constructed a green and centralised, secure and reliable computing power infrastructure. The first large-scale new integrated power supply equipment was put into operation in the Hohhot base.
  • The Company created the first centralised evaporative cooling air conditioning system in China, a practical case in the field of cloud data centre machine rooms, achieving optimal operational efficiency. This technology uses water evaporation to absorb heat and renewable energy from outdoor dry air to achieve natural cooling of data machine rooms. The Company built the world’s largest data centre indirect evaporative cooling water system cluster application, which achieved a 65% reduction in annual energy consumption compared with traditional cooling and air conditioning systems.

Actively responding to climate change

Under the framework of national policies, regulations as well as listing rules, the Company comprehensively considered factors such as legal compliance, strategy, operation and information technology to organise climate change risk identification and assessment on an annual basis, strengthened climate change risk management, and conducted special risk identification and assessment on specific projects from time to time.

List of Climate Change Risks
Empowering the Green Development of Society

China Unicom actively leveraged the important role of 5G in promoting the green transformation of the industry, accelerating the process of energy conservation and emission reduction, and protecting the natural ecology. The Company launched digital solutions for carbon reduction, smart water conservancy, environmental monitoring and energy consumption management, empowering the green transformation and upgrading of various industries.

Empowering ecological and environmental protection

The Company supported ecological protection with digital technology integration and innovation, and have developed a number of solutions such as China Unicom’s smart water conservancy and smart ecological environment. The Company provided applications for smart river and lake management, smart sand mining and other fields. Such protections have been widely applied in provinces along the Yellow River, such as Henan, Qinghai and Gansu, and rivers under the administration of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission, to support precise pollution control in areas such as water environment, atmospheric environment, pollution sources and hazardous solid waste, and help protect biodiversity.

Empowering the green transformation of industries

Focusing on the adjustment of industrial structure and the improvement of resource and energy utilisation efficiency, it has been a direction of China Unicom to promote the deep integration of emerging technologies such as the Internet, Big Data, AI and 5G with green and low-carbon industries. In 2022, the Company submitted the “5G Full Connection and Integration Network to Empower Green and Intelligent Manufacturing” solution and won the third prize for Green Manufacturing in the 5th “Blooming Cup” 5G Application Collection Competition.

Optimising the green management

Following the decision and guidance of the “Carbon Peak, Carbon Neutrality” Management Committee, the Company established and improved the “Carbon Peak, Carbon Neutrality” management system. According to the “Carbon Peak, Carbon Neutrality” 14th Five-Year Action Plan of China Unicom, the Company implemented the “3 + 5 + 1 + 1” action plan. In terms of low-carbon operation, research and development of energy-saving and carbon-reduction technologies, and sustainable use of resources, the Company took a number of improvement measures to comprehensively, systematically and deeply promote energy-saving and carbon-reduction work, so as to improve the effectiveness of environmental protection. With the goal of green and low-carbon circular development, the Company continuously improved the greenness of communication network infrastructure, and helped bring the green and low-carbon development of the industry to a new level. It made a positive contribution to the country’s 2030 targets to increase the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption to about 25%, and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by more than 65% as compared with 2005. It is expected that by 2025, the comprehensive energy consumption per unit of information flow will decrease by about 20% compared with 2020, and the comprehensive energy consumption per unit of telecommunications business will decrease by about 15% compared with 2020.

the “3 + 5 + 1 + 1” action plan for carbon peak and carbon neutrality
Communication support for major events, rescue and disaster relief & epidemic prevention and control
Supporting major events

Adhering to the philosophy of “carefulness, focus, trust, excellence and intelligence”, China Unicom provided 131 communication support for major national conferences and events such as the “Two Sessions”, the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Conference, the Shanghai International Import Expo, and the Launch and Recovery of Shenzhou-series Launch Vehicle in 2022. The Company achieved zero occurrence of major network security incidents, zero tampering of important websites, zero leakage of important data, and meeting people’s expectations.

Communication support for the Beijing Winter Olympics Games and Winter Paralympic Games

In 2022, the world watched as the Olympic Games were held in Beijing. As the sole official telecommunication services partner of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games and Winter Paralympic Games, China Unicom has achieved more than 20 “global firsts” and “historical breakthroughs” in fields such as “smart event management, smart spectator experience, and smart athlete participation, building the most advanced digital base for a high-tech Winter Olympics.

  • The Company dispatched a total of 377,800 support personnel and 166,100 vehicles, and formed 42 on-site support teams composed of 1,503 people to provide 95,000 services for the Winter Olympics Games and Winter Paralympic Games.
  • The Company compiled the Winter Olympics Legacy Report and Case Collection of China Unicom to promote the replication and promotion of the technological achievements of the Winter Olympics and facilitate the digital transformation and development of various industries.
Participating in disaster relief

In 2022, natural disasters occurred frequently in China. China Unicom made early deployment, revised its emergency communication support plans, investigated hidden dangers, carried out emergency drills, responded quickly, and took up various emergency rescue and communications support tasks. Natural disasters such as typhoon “Xianba”, “Mulan”, “Ma-an”, “Xuanlannuo” and “Meifa”, as well as the mountain torrents in Datong, Qinghai, and the 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Luding, Ganzi, Sichuan, all resulted in local communication interruptions. All units of the Company responded quickly and worked together to repair and restore damaged communication facilities in a timely manner, while meeting the urgent communication needs of the people. Throughout the year, the Company invested a total of approximately RMB55.53 million, dispatched 65,739 person-times and 23,183 rescue vehicles, and provided 3,641 emergency equipment and 14,982 emergency fuel generators for disaster relief. Through early deployment, early implementation and early prevention, there were no large-scale base station shutdowns or widespread communication interruptions in 2022, leading to a reduction of RMB375 million in direct economic losses as compared with 2021.

Supporting scientific & technological pandemic prevention

In the face of the pandemic, China Unicom’s cadres and employees devoted themselves to the front line without fear of difficulties and challenges, dedicatedly served the pandemic prevention and control to ensure the safety and smooth operation of the whole network during the pandemic, ensure the stable operation of various pandemic prevention systems, and ensure the uninterrupted customer service. The Company launched more than 20 scientific and technological anti-pandemic products represented by Digital Sentinel and Cloud Cabin, and properly conducted the communication big data digital travel record service and the protection of user privacy after they went offline, contributing China Unicom’s strength to the prevention and control of the pandemic.

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