AT&T has set an industry-leading target to help businesses collectively reduce a gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions —1 billion metric tons — by 2035, an effort which will contribute to a better, more sustainable world.
A gigaton is equal to approximately 15% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 3% of global energy-related emissions in 2020 — or 1.6 billion flights from Los Angeles to New York.
The company will work with businesses including Microsoft, Equinix, and Duke Energy, along with research universities, and a range of other organizations to deliver broadband-enabled climate solutions at global scale. This collaborative builds on AT&T’s standing commitment to aggressively reduce our own emissions, while enabling the transition to a net-zero economy.
Why is this important? Fifty-five percent of Fortune Global 200 companies have established targets for the partial or total elimination of GHG emissions, and 23% of these businesses have set dates for reaching carbon neutrality. AT&T has identified a critical need to help businesses drive emissions reduction to scale. Whether it’s adoption of smart IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for commercial and manufacturing facilities or innovative AI management and monitoring solutions for transportation and energy, broadband technologies, including 5G, can help deliver more efficiencies.
“As businesses embrace climate change as a priority, our connectivity solutions can help them make progress to reach their goals,” said Anne Chow, CEO, AT&T Business. “AT&T has a track record of delivering sustainability results within our own large-scale operations and for our business customers across industries. The time is now to expand our impact by developing and deploying more capabilities and solutions that enable companies to reduce their environmental footprint. This is a collective imperative across all business that also benefits the planet and society as a whole.”
Between 2018 and 2020, AT&T worked with the Carbon Trust and a selection of business customers to calculate the reduction of emissions enabled by AT&T connectivity. The result was a reduction of more than 72 million metric tons of CO2e through the enablement of smart IoT and edge-computing technologies for the manufacturing, agriculture and commercial sectors. Gigaton is a new goal, spanning emissions reductions from 2018 to 2035, that continues our efforts in this space.
By 2030, the information, communications and technology industry could generate emission savings of more than a third of all global energy-related emissions in 2020 – according to GeSI.
How we’ll do it: With our newly formed Connected Climate Initiative, we plan to convene the brightest minds from leading technology companies, AT&T Business customers, universities, and nonprofits to identify best practices, develop innovative new products and use cases, and scale the innovations of startup partners building tomorrow’s 5G- and other broadband-enabled climate solutions.
Key collaborators include:
- Microsoft, who is working with us in areas like 5G, AI, IoT and the cloud to further enhance our development of products, such as the AT&T Guardian device with Azure Sphere: It enables businesses to securely collect and analyze data to identify efficiencies and reduce sources of carbon emissions. Use cases range from connected kitchens to fully digitalized spaces, transportation and supply chains. Azure Sphere is built on the Azure cloud which is 98% more carbon efficient than common on-premises solutions.
- Equinix, a digital infrastructure leader, will work with us to provide highly secure access to energy-efficient digital infrastructure, helping corporate customers accelerate their digital transformations and lower emissions. Shared customers are working with AT&T and Equinix to accelerate progress on their sustainability commitments.
- Duke Energy, one of America’s largest energy holding companies, intends to work with AT&T to explore how broadband technologies may help both accelerate the transition to renewable energy as well as support achieving Duke Energy’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, will research how AT&T 5G could help speed emissions reduction in industries with high emissions such as transportation.
- The University of Missouri, will explore how AT&T 5G may help reduce energy consumption and emissions from buildings.
“Ubiquitous connectivity — nationwide broadband, which includes 5G access, for businesses everywhere — has the power to help scale technologies, dramatically accelerating business efforts to reach their climate goals,” said Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer, AT&T. “As AT&T advocates for universal broadband, we see an opportunity to support even more businesses in the transition to a net-zero economy through our global reach, advanced network capabilities and collaborations with industry and NGO partners.”
More information about our environmental sustainability efforts and goals can be found in our ESG Summary.