December 8, 2022
  • Rakuten Group, Inc.

Rakuten Receives IT Award in Sustainability Field from Japan Institute of Information Technology’s 40th IT Awards

Tokyo, December 8, 2022 - Rakuten Group, Inc. announced that it has been awarded the Information Technology Award (Sustainability Field)*1 in the 40th IT Awards (*2) for FY2022 organized by the Japan Institute of Information Technology.

The IT Awards are presented by the Japan Institute of Information Technology to enterprises, groups, organizations and individuals whose outstanding efforts in driving business innovation through advanced IT applications have produced results, contributing to the creation of businesses for operations in domestic industry and government institutions, creating and promoting effective business models and improving productivity.

Going forward, Rakuten aims to further improve its services to meet customer needs and contribute to the development of industry and society through information technology.

Below is the overview of the project that received the award.

Development of an advanced carbon neutral logistics system

Project overview: Rakuten Group has built and deployed an AI dispatching system in the field of logistics. By bringing the system in-house, Rakuten has succeeded in optimizing vehicle dispatching and delivery routes and reducing distances travelled in delivering products, realizing a reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition, in order to avoid the large volume of calculations required for machine learning and automated calculations, Rakuten adopted a process using clustering in the initial step and then finding the optimal solution for each cluster. This method enabled solutions even with complex requirements to be found in a short time, making the system practical for use in the everyday coordination of deliveries.

In the Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper and Rakuten Zenkoku Super services where the system has been deployed, based on the results of the first month of operation, travel distances were reduced by 15% (approximately 860,000 km per year), reducing CO2 emissions by 170 tons per year. Further increases in efficacy are expected in the future as system deployment expands.

Reason for award: In addition to demonstrating pioneering methodology and results towards achieving carbon neutrality, Rakuten received this IT Award in recognition of its cross-organizational collaboration between the Logistics Business Department, departments promoting AI and Big Data technologies and the Rakuten Institute of Technology in the successful deployment of AI technology in the field of logistics, an emerging field of system development.

*1 IT Award (Sustainability Field): Awarded to initiatives for outstanding achievements in initiatives towards carbon neutrality, climate change, respecting diversity, health and well-being for employees, and diversity & inclusion through the application and deployment of IT and digital technologies under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
*2 Site only available in Japanese.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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