Acknowledging the importance of climate change mitigation, Yandex is committed to exploring its corporate carbon footprint. By gauging direct and indirect emissions associated with our operations, we gain valuable insights into efficiency that inform our decisions on the way to net zero performance.
In order to mitigate climate impact of growing demand for data center services, Yandex invests in cutting-edge energy efficiency and embarks on a shift to green energy.
In 2021, Yandex introduced a green energy procurement scheme for the data center in Mäntsälä (Finland). We signed an agreement on the purchase of wind power to cover 100% of the facility’s energy needs (or approx. 20% of the energy needs of all Yandex DCs). The agreement took effect in January 2022, and during the first half of the year, we purchased over 24,000 MWh of green energy.
Unfortunately, unforeseen external circumstances prevented us from sustaining cooperation with the energy supplier beyond that period. Consequently, we are seeking out new opportunities to implement our plans for decarbonizing electricity consumption that align with our goals and vision. We have been engaging in dialogue with members of the Russian energy market, where four of Yandex’s DCs are located.
Empowering Climate Mitigation
We want to leverage our technologies to help individuals, businesses, organizations – and even the entire metropolitan areas – become more sustainable and curb their carbon footprint. Here is a few examples of our products and services that serve this purpose.
RouteQ is a solution for businesses that helps optimize fleet management, improve logistics efficiency and reduce related carbon footprint. The service relies on advanced algorithms that plan routes and provide order optimal distribution across fleet, leading to minimized deadhead mileage and lowered risks of vehicle downtime.
According to our estimate, 5,035 metric tons of CO2 equivalent of GHG emissions associated with Yandex Market logistics were avoided through optimized mileage alone that the service enabled.* This equals the carbon footprint of over 1,000 passenger vehicles in one year.
*The assessment covered the period of 12 full months between January and December 2022. The figure is calculated in accordance with the guidance in the GHG Protocol for estimating emissions from mobile sources. The amount of emissions saved is the difference between the amount of GHG emissions from mileage in the scenario of not using RouteQ (scenario value) and that from the actual mileage (actual value). The scenario value is obtained by multiplying the actual value by the RouteQ efficiency factor derived on the basis of the reduction in mileage (total and idle) for service customers. The actual value is calculated from the total fuel consumption data where fuel consumption is the sum of vehicle mileage multiplied by the average fuel consumption per kilometer.
Migrating from on-premises data centers to Yandex Cloud does not just help reduce costs of infrastructure deployment, maintenance and utilization. It also provides an opportunity to save energy and lessen carbon footprint. According to an international research conducted in 2020, migration to the cloud can lead to a significant 65% energy reduction and 84% carbon reduction.
Also, the more efficient the infrastructure that supports cloud computing, the smaller impact cloud solutions have on the environment. Thanks to our energy efficiency efforts, Yandex Cloud helps decarbonize customer operations while having reduced climate impact itself.
Yandex Cloud enables operational transformation and innovation by serving as a launchpad for the deployment of a variety of digital solutions, including AI-enabled systems and IoT. Cutting-edge digital integration brings improved efficiency and long-term productivity, lowering costs and mitigating climate impact associated with inefficiencies and idle activities.
Optimized routes and multimodal transportation are the factors that help limit carbon emissions and make travel more efficient.
Yandex Maps assist with getting directions and reducing travel time relying on precise geospatial data and wide transportation information, such as mass transit options, traffic, real-time updates on road incidents, road construction and detours, parking space availability, and many more. They also embed real-time tracking of public transit vehicles, making commuting easier than ever and time efficient.
Yandex Mail provides users with convenient management of unsolicited mailings, enabling them to reduce carbon footprint associated with opening and reading emails. The spam control feature effectively blocks spam emails or filters them into a dedicated folder, while the unsubscription-by-swipe feature, introduced in 2022, helps users unsubscribe from all unwanted newsletters with a single swipe. These options not only save users time but also help conserve battery life on their devices when interacting with the service.
In 2022, over 10,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent of GHG emissions were prevented with Yandex 360 spam filter.* This would require over 4,000 hectares of forest to be sequestered.
*According to available research, a single spam email is associated with an average of 0.3 grams of CO₂ equivalent of GHG emissions, where 52% of these emissions come from the email being opened and read. We assumed that the carbon footprint of a spam email with an attachment is 3.4 grams of CO₂ equivalent, 11 times higher than the average value, i.e., exactly as much as an average email with an attachment (1228 KB) was larger than the average size of an email without attachments (106 Kb) in 2022. We multiplied this value (0.3 grams for emails without attachments and 3.4 grams for emails with attachments) by the actual number of filtered and undelivered spam emails (25 billion emails without attachments, 187 million emails with attachments) and calculated a 52% share of it. All undelivered emails were regarded as emails without attachments. We assume that spam emails were never opened by users.