American telecom giant AT&T has announced this week a new goal to achieve “zero waste” at 100 of its facilities by the end of 2020 as part of the company’s larger environmental commitments and policies.
It’s been a big year for AT&T in terms of its environmental and energy achievements, after announcing in early February that it had secured a Power Purchase Agreement worth 520 megawatts (MW) from wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas. Specifically, AT&T secured 220 MW worth of wind power from the Minco V Wind Farm located in Caddo County and another 300 MW from a wind farm in Webb and Duval Counties in Texas.
“As one of the world’s largest companies, we know how we source our energy is important,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Operations, at the time. “Many companies are focused on their own carbon footprint but we believe our industry can do more. We’ve been working for a long time to ensure our wind projects deliver for both our business and the environment. We will continue to explore renewable energy solutions to help create a better, more sustainable world.”
Unfortunately, AT&T did not score very well on Green America’s Wireless Scorecard — though this may not have taken into account the company’s recently-announced PPA, considering the Scorecard scored the company an ‘F’ for “Current Clean Energy Sourcing.” Green America also scored them a C for “Clean Energy Commitment” and a D- for “Green House Gas Emissions Reductions,” leaving the company with an overall C-.
It will be worthwhile seeing how AT&T scores next year, however, considering that the company now boasts it is one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the United States and has set a 10x Carbon Reduction Goal to enable carbon savings 10x the footprint of its operations by the end of 2025. I spoke to Shannon Carroll, the Director of Sustainability Integration at AT&T, who explained that AT&T is also “working to make our network, fleet and operations more efficient, including a goal to reduce the emissions of our fleet by 30% by 2020 from our 2008 baseline.”
Announced earlier this week, and building on its continuing commitments, AT&T has unveiled its new “Zero Waste” goal for 100 facilities by the end of 2020, which the company intends to start this year by reducing waste and increasing recycling and composting, with an overall goal of diverting 90% or more of the company’s waste from landfills.
“It takes all of us working together to protect our planet,” said Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer and senior vice president-Corporate Social Responsibility, AT&T. “That’s why we want to apply the power of our network and our people to be part of the waste solution. Stepping onto the path to zero waste is another way our employees are helping to improve our global headquarters community and other communities where we live and work.”
The new target is also set to compliment with the Green Dallas Initiative and AT&T’s new downtown campus — the AT&T Discovery District. According to Shannon Carroll, the new zero waste goal for AT&T is simply “the next step” in the company’s commitment “to minimizing the amount of waste we send to landfills … We chose 2020 as the date to achieve our goal in order to move quickly, while still allowing enough time for diversion solutions to be properly implemented.”
To achieve its targets, Carroll explained that the company will be “collaborating with one of our vendors on project management and implementation, including zero waste best practices” — though who that will be is unknown at the moment.