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Tencent 2022 ESG Report: Progress on All Three Fronts

Tencent has made significant progress in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance over the past year. In the 2022 ESG Report published this week, the company comprehensively lays out its initiatives, including its carbon neutrality and biodiversity efforts, efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the advancement of sustainable social value innovation.

Tencent is guided by our vision to use ‘Tech for Good’. In 2022, the company remained focused on improving its ESG performance while starting to add social value creation in the balanced scorecard to evaluate overall business performance.

“Transforming our care for the people into products that can solve social pain points is, in a nutshell, how we implement our sustainable social value innovation strategy,” said Pony Ma, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent.  

On the same note, Martin Lau, President of Tencent also highlights, “We need to discover the pain points, then use the capabilities of our products and technologies to find innovative pathways to address them. During this process, we take our corporate social responsibility as the baseline to assess if our products have created unique user value, and if we have upheld our ethical values along the way.” 

Environment: Pathway to Carbon Neutrality by 2030

Tencent has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations and across its supply chain by 2030, at which time, it plans to be powered 100 percent by green energy.

The company’s decarbonization roadmap puts emissions reduction and renewable energy as priorities, supplemented by carbon offset technologies and mechanisms. Based on our commitment to carbon neutrality, we have refined our decarbonisation pathway targets and set absolute greenhouse emissions reduction targets in alignment with the Paris Agreement. The avoidance of 241,952.9 tonnes of carbon emissions was achieved with the purchase of 336,419.5 MWh of green energy in the past year. In addition, Tencent continues to support the development of next-generation low-carbon technologies, launching its flagship CarbonX Program in March 2023 and the TanLive platform in December 2022.

To strengthen the management of nature-related risks and opportunities, Tencent published a Biodiversity Statement that outlines its strategy and approach to develop its business in an eco-friendly way. It committed to reducing dependence on natural resources, and is working to protect ecosystems and rare species.

Social: Tackling Social Pain Points and Driving Positive Change

Tencent is focused on leveraging its core capabilities to tackle social pain points and driving positive change.

AI technology is enhancing accessibility and bringing a higher quality of life to people with physical limitations. With the launch of the “Barrier-Free First Aid” feature, which uses speech recognition technology to enable text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversion, we were able to assist people with hearing impairments in seeking help independently and efficiently. Our MTGPA Haptics solution supports the elderly and visually impaired to navigate indoor and outdoor spaces through vibration prompts on their smartphones.

Smart technology is helping to boost operational efficiency and introduce high-precision solutions in the transport, medical and healthcare, manufacturing, and other sectors. Furthermore, gaming technologies are applied to the construction of highly-simulated internet-based factories, digital technology is opening new frontiers in virtual tourism, and AI-driven technologies are used to the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), nicknamed Sky Eye, to find pulsars.

Driving “sustainable social value innovation” remains an important cornerstone for Tencent, as it builds on pillars such as research in basic sciences, education innovation, assisting with public emergencies and philanthropy platform.

In its 2022 efforts, the company’s Future Scientist Programme sponsored 20 groups of outstanding secondary school students to receive personal guidance from renowned scientists and developed an open emergency response platform to help first aiders quickly locate the nearest AED. In addition, we launched a new interactive feature called “One Flower, One Dream” to encourage greater participation in charitable activities. Tencent’s annual public charity campaign, “99 Giving Day”, drew more than 100 million participants who contributed RMB3.3 billion in 2022, with proceeds helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged in society.

How to better support women’s development in different professions and positions has been a challenge faced by various industries, including the tech sector. Tencent has been committed to strengthening the integration of DEI into the workplace. In the past year, the company has enhanced its efforts in this area by releasing its Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and establishing a DEI special committee under the ESG Working Group.

Tencent has committed to steadily increase diversity at the company, and has put human resource management processes, mechanisms, and employee awareness programs in place to cultivate a fairer, more open and inclusive environment. Of note, the ongoing Women Impact Tech Conference is held to encourage more women to actively participate in industry developments and pursue personal career advancements.

Governance: Increasing Board Diversity and Strengthening ESG Governance

We are committed to increasing board diversity and strengthening our ESG governance to ensure sustainable development in the long-term.  

Tencent updated its Board Diversity Policy in March 2022. In the selection of directors, the Policy comprehensively considers diversity factors, including but not limited to industry knowledge, professional background, experience, gender, and race.

In 2022, Professor Zhang Xiulan joined the Board as an independent non-executive director, bringing her unique perspectives, rich industry experience and professional insights to the company. The proportion of female directors on the board is expected to reach 25 percent after May 2023. The Board intends to increase the proportion of female directors to 30 percent by 2030.

To promote internal collaboration and performance management of key ESG topics, five special committees have been set up under the ESG Working Group. The five committees oversee the areas of user privacy and data security; diversity, equity and inclusion; supply chain management; biodiversity conservation; and ESG communications. 

Tencent has been proactively managing the balance between commercial value, social value and shareholder value. We remain committed to leveraging our core strengths and collaborating with all stakeholders to create long-lasting impact that serves the people and society.

Learn more about Tencent’s ESG efforts in its 2022 ESG Report.