By 2019, AT&T plans on having deployed 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles to its corporate fleet.
AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said March 11 the company would invest $565 million toward the goal.
Over the next five years, AT&T will replace about 8,000 gasoline-powered vehicles with transport that runs on Compressed Natural Gas. Additionally, the company says it will replace 7,100 passenger vehicles with alternative-fuel models by 2019.
“Even during an economic downturn, it’s important to invest in the future, and we believe alternative-fuel vehicles are part of that future,” said Charlene Lake, AT&T’s vice president of public affairs and chief sustainability executive.
The Center for Automotive Research, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., estimates the new vehicles will save 49 million gallons of gasoline and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons over the next 10 years, according to AT&T.
Lake said AT&T will be communicating the initiative to consumers via paid print and television ads. The company also is adding green technology insignias to the vehicles themselves.
“It’s a smart investment for us. We think it will spur innovation in the company and the economy, and it’s good for our business,” Lake said. “We’re signaling demand for the alternative fuel market. We want other companies to hear our optimism and join us.”
AT&T started with alternative fuel trials in 2007 by running trials of three or four vehicles in California, she said. Last year, AT&T added more than 100 alternative-fuel vehicles in 30 cities.
AT&T is encouraging its suppliers to engage in sustainable practices, Lake said. In 2008, the firm introduced its Principles of Conduct for Suppliers on Citizenship and Sustainability.
AT&T has some other sustainable initiatives in the works. The company is trying out wind power. And it has a 1MW solar power generator at a San Ramon, Calif., office, which was installed in late 2008, Lake said.
Here is a video from AT&T: