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Displaying carbon emissions for your model

Why is it beneficial to calculate the carbon emissions of my model?

Training ML models is often energy-intensive and can produce a substantial carbon footprint, as described by Strubell et al.. It’s therefore important to track and report the emissions of models to get a better idea of the environmental impacts of our field.

What information should I include about the carbon footprint of my model?

If you can, you should include information about:

  • where the model was trained (in terms of location)
  • the hardware used β€” e.g. GPU, TPU, or CPU, and how many
  • training type: pre-training or fine-tuning
  • the estimated carbon footprint of the model, calculated in real-time with the Code Carbon package or after training using the ML CO2 Calculator.

Carbon footprint metadata

You can add the carbon footprint data to the model card metadata (in the file). The structure of the metadata should be:

  emissions: number (in grams of CO2)
  source: "source of the information, either directly from AutoTrain, code carbon or from a scientific article documenting the model"
  training_type: "pre-training or fine-tuning"
  geographical_location: "as granular as possible, for instance Quebec, Canada or Brooklyn, NY, USA. To check your compute's electricity grid, you can check out"
  hardware_used: "how much compute and what kind, e.g. 8 v100 GPUs"

How is the carbon footprint of my model calculated? 🌎

Considering the computing hardware, location, usage, and training time, you can estimate how much CO2 the model produced.

The math is pretty simple! βž•

First, you take the carbon intensity of the electric grid used for the training β€” this is how much CO2 is produced by KwH of electricity used. The carbon intensity depends on the location of the hardware and the energy mix used at that location β€” whether it’s renewable energy like solar 🌞, wind 🌬️ and hydro πŸ’§, or non-renewable energy like coal ⚫ and natural gas πŸ’¨. The more renewable energy gets used for training, the less carbon-intensive it is!

Then, you take the power consumption of the GPU during training using the pynvml library.

Finally, you multiply the power consumption and carbon intensity by the training time of the model, and you have an estimate of the CO2 emission.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact number because other factors come into play β€” like the energy used for data center heating and cooling β€” which will increase carbon emissions. But this will give you a good idea of the scale of CO2 emissions that your model is producing!

To add Carbon Emissions metadata to your models:

  1. If you are using AutoTrain, this is tracked for you πŸ”₯
  2. Otherwise, use a tracker like Code Carbon in your training code, then specify
  emissions: 1.2345

in your model card metadata, where 1.2345 is the emissions value in grams.

To learn more about the carbon footprint of Transformers, check out the video, part of the Hugging Face Course!