In recent years, the issue of climate change has gathered momentum, with the frequency of persistent hot weather and climate-related natural disasters drawing worldwide attention to the urgent need for action that is to achieve carbon neutrality.
OPPO believes that better environmental protection can only be achieved through the parallel advancement of science and technology. Following years of research and analysis, OPPO released the OPPO Climate Action Report: Climate Pledges and Low Carbon Development Strategy, at MWC 2023. In the report, OPPO pledges for the first time to achieve carbon neutrality across its global operations by 2050. With technical support from global consultancy Deloitte1, the report outlines five key areas in which OPPO will work towards achieving this goal: low-carbon manufacturing, reducing the carbon footprint of products, investing in options that generate less carbon, utilizing digital technology to manage carbon emissions, and collaborating on industry standards to address climate change.
Starting in 2020, OPPO has published a sustainability report each year to publicly disclose its plans and practical progress towards sustainability goals. In 2022, OPPO completed its first global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and used this data as the scientific basis for its carbon reduction strategy. Now, in the new Climate Action Report, OPPO pledges to make its operations carbon neutral by 2050.
Commenting on this commitment, Tony Chen, OPPO Founder and CEO, said: “Achieving our goal of becoming carbon neutrality will require both determination and patience. Guided by our mission of ‘Technology for Mankind, Kindness for the World’, we promise to pursue carbon neutrality with the same zeal and commitment that we invest in our technological innovation.”
Promoting green manufacturing and operations through innovation
OPPO has held onto its global position as the fourth-largest phone manufacturer for two consecutive years，with users in over 60 countries and regions worldwide. As its business grows rapidly, OPPO is equally concerned about how to reduce its environmental impact.
Among the carbon emissions generated by OPPO’s various operations, factories and data centers are the two most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 62% and 31.9% respectively. While continuing to drive commercial growth, OPPO is also exploring innovative ways to achieve greener manufacturing and business operations. Through energy saving and emission reduction initiatives, by the end of 2022, OPPO has managed to reduce 6000 tons of greenhouse gas emission from its operation each year. This is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gas absorbed by 3,330 square kilometers of forest in a year.
Since 2020, OPPO has systematically carried out a series of energy-saving upgrades to key machinery in its factories. One such project has involved automating previously manually operated machines. Compared with manual control, the automated equipment can be set to operate precisely according to the real-time requirement, thus reducing power consumption to the bare minimum. For example, with the automation upgrades introduced to the corner cutting machines, power consumption has fallen by 54%.
In addition, OPPO is also working on the construction of carbon neutral data centers. Its first self-built data center, OPPO Binhai Bay Data Centre not only uses 100% renewable energy, but also continues to explore and apply cutting-edge, low-carbon technology. One of the key outcomes of this exploration has been the research and implementation of immersion cooling technology for GPU server clusters.
We are living in a digital era, with ever-increasing demand for data storage, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing. Thus, the power consumption of data centers and their GPU server clusters is also rising significantly. Not only does this increased power consumption present a major challenge, but we must also work out how to dissipate the heat produced as efficiently as possible. Most traditional data centers rely on mechanical equipment such as fans and air conditioners to cool the building, which in turn consumes more energy and produces higher levels of CO2.
In order to improve energy efficiency and achieve carbon neutrality, OPPO is deploying immersion cooling technology for GPU server clusters in its data center. Immersion cooling technology, which refers to the direct immersion of servers in a non-conductive liquid, directly draws the heat generated during operation away through the liquid, without the need for active cooling by devices such as fans and air conditioners. The liquid that has risen in temperature is cooled by circulation and then returned to continue absorbing thermal energy. The heat recovered is then put to good use in other areas such as heating and hot water provision, significantly improving the energy efficiency of the overall system. The deployment of immersion cooling technology leads to a 45% improvement in energy efficiency, and an industry-leading data center power usage efficiency (PUE) as low as 1.15.
Introducing sustainability into the product management life cycle
While constantly thinking about how to improve the user experience of its products, OPPO also aims to provide greener products. To this end, OPPO has made sustainability a key goal in the life cycle management of its products to minimize their impact on the environment.
While designing the packaging of its products, OPPO follows the internationally recognized green packaging principle of 3R+1D (reduce, reuse, recycle and degradable). In 2023, starting in the European market, nearly all plastics have been removed from the packaging of OPPO’s smartphones, making it 100% biodegradable and more eco-friendly. Approximately 45% is also made from recycled fibers, sourced from recycled wastepaper or plant-based materials (such as sugarcane and bamboo byproducts), helping to reduce the demand for raw materials.
OPPO has also made technological breakthroughs aimed at improving the durability of its products. For example, OPPO’s proprietary Battery Health Engine technology can maintain 80% of the original battery capacity for up to 1600 charging cycles, significantly extending battery life.
The volume of electronic waste generated globally has grown by 21% over the past 5 years, making it the fastest growing category of household waste2. To tackle the problem of e-waste pollution, OPPO has established a number of product recycling systems and launched a trade-in service in both domestic and international markets to promote the recycling of used electronic devices. In 2021, 1.2 million phones were recycled in China, amounting to a total weight of 216 tons. This number rose to 1.3 million phones and 240 tons in 2022. In the EU and other regions, OPPO is involved in the Green Dot program as well as partnering with professional recycling firms to help recycle used products.
For a long time, OPPO has not only been investing in low carbon initiatives but has also taken action to inspire more of its peers. During the Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards at MWC 2023, OPPO Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Jun Liu, was invited to present the Tech4Good award, recognizing companies that have used technology and innovation to make the world better and to solve global challenges. In recognition of its own efforts, OPPO was also invited to join the judging panels for the Best Mobile Innovation for Climate Action Award and the Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Award.
The road to a greener future is a long one, but with its Climate Action Report and low carbon development strategy, OPPO is already well on the way to achieving this goal. OPPO is committed to playing its part as it works with both partners and the public to build a better future for all.