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Ant Group Publishes 2022 Sustainability Report with ESG Strategy Implementation Progress Update




HANGZHOU, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ant Group (or the “Company”) today released its 2022 Sustainability Report, highlighting progress made in implementing its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy throughout 2022.

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In the technological innovation field, Ant Group invested RMB 20.46 billion (approx. USD 2.89 billion) in research and development (R&D) in 2022, effectively doubling the company’s annual R&D spending in comparison to 2019. These investments were primarily allocated to innovations in key areas such as distributed databases and computing infrastructure, blockchain, privacy computing, data and network security, green computing, and artificial intelligence.

“Since our inception, we have been committed to harnessing technological innovation to tackle real-world challenges faced by communities. We believe that creating both commercial value and social value is key to driving our sustainable growth.” Eric Jing, Chairman & CEO of Ant Group, wrote in his opening remarks of the report.

For instance, as highlighted in the Green and Low-carbon Development section of the Sustainability Report, Ant Group’s adoption of green computing technologies, which focuses on optimizing data center power efficiency and AI model training, played a crucial role in achieving significant carbon reductions of 62,127.53 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). These reductions apply to the Ant Group’s leased data centers and fall within the Company’s carbon emissions reduction in its value chain for 2022. According to Ant Group’s Carbon Neutrality Roadmap, the Company will complete a full assessment of all greenhouse gas emissions in its entire supply chain by 2025. In 2022, Ant Group once again achieved operational carbon neutrality (Scope 1 & 2) for the second consecutive year, marking another step towards fulling its pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions across Scope 1, 2 & 3 by 2030.

For the first time in the 2022 sustainability report, Ant Group introduced an assessment and disclosure framework in line with the guideline of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This helps the Company to actively identify and manage climate related risks and opportunities. Furthermore, the 2022 Sustainability Report outlined core performance baselines for all the identified material issues and had them assured by third parties. These performance indicators will help the Company track progress and enhance consistency, verifiability, and comparability of the Company’s sustainability records.

“Over the years, we have gradually explored a green and low-carbon growth path driven by technology and platform. Despite this, there are still significant challenges ahead to achieve our 2030 carbon net zero goal. We need to invest more efforts and resources, as well as make plans for the long-term,” Yijie Peng, Chief Sustainability Officer of Ant Group, wrote in the report. “We are committed to achieving green operations within our own organization and engaging with our extensive user base and partner network throughout the value chain for a greener collective future.”

In 2022, Ant Group and its associate MYbank participated in the formulation and release of the first nationwide Green Rating Standard for Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs). This collaborative effort aimed to make it easier for financial institutions to evaluate SMEs’ green operations and environmental contributions, and provide incentives such as green loans. By the end of 2022, on cumulative basis, MYbank had successfully completed green ratings for 6.23 million SMEs. Furthermore, it provided green loans to 420,000 SMEs with preferential rates as incentives.

In 2022, Ant Group assigned all 19 identified material issues detailed in its sustainability report to key executives and business leaders who are responsible for setting three-year objectives & key results (OKRs), and execution plans. For example, for the issue of inclusive growth of small & micro businesses, the Company diverged from conventional metrics such as user numbers or daily active users (DAU) that are commonly used by internet companies. Instead, the focus is on improving service accessibility for small and micro businesses who were previously deprived of such opportunities through other means. Additionally, lowering operational costs and improving operational efficiency for SMEs are also used as metrics.

“We firmly believe that a company’s future growth opportunities are closely related to its ability to help address social problems,” added Yijie Peng. “Therefore, creating integrated commercial and social values is at the core of our ESG strategy and empowers us to identify innovation opportunities and drive our sustainable growth in the future.”

In Digital Inclusion, Ant Group and its associate MYbank have provided inclusive payment and financial services to 86 million SMEs (including small business operators) on a cumulative basis, making steady progress towards the goal of serving 100 million SMEs by 2030. In 2022, the average volume of transactions of merchants’ mini-programs on the Alipay platform grew by 49.2% year-on-year. To address the material issue of international collaboration & cooperation, Ant Group supported global partners in making their services accessible to a total of 260 million customers, and made it easier for SMEs to participate in global trade via the Company’s cross-border payment and financial services.

In 2022, Ant Group reinforced its corporate governance commitment by establishing two specialized committees: the Risk Management and Consumer Rights Protection Committee and the ESG Sustainable Development Committee. These additions further solidified the Company’s governance structure. To address the material issue of fostering industry empowerment and reciprocal development, the Alipay open platform collaborated with independent software vendors (ISVs) to create over 400 industry-specific solutions, assisting merchants from various industries in growing and improving efficiencies. The Ant Digital Finance open platform facilitated the annual addition of approximately one million users for over 150 partner financial institutions.

In 2022, Ant Group’s philanthropic donations amounted to RMB 790 million (approx. USD 111.6 million), bringing the cumulative philanthropic spending to RMB 2.7 billion (approx. USD 381.5 million) since 2019. Among these efforts, the “Cyber Mulan” program empowered women’s development in three key areas: basic protection, employment and career support, and diverse growth opportunities. It provided 3.75 million insurance policies to rural women, offered job training and digital employment opportunities to 10,000 women, extended interest-free or lower-interest loans to over one million women entrepreneurs, and supported 70 rural female football teams.

Since 2017, Ant Group has been publishing annual sustainability reports, following the Global Reporting Initiative standards. These reports, can be found on Ant Group’s website (Chinese only for now, English edition will be online in the coming weeks).

About Ant Group

Ant Group aims to build the infrastructure and platforms to support the digital transformation of the service industry. Through continuous innovation, we strive to provide all consumers and small and micro businesses equal access to digital financial and other daily life services that are convenient, sustainable and inclusive.

For more information, please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @AntGroup.


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