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AT&T Sets 2011 Goals on Supplier Carbon, Renewables

AT&T will ensure that a majority of its spend this year goes to suppliers that track their GHG emissions or have plans to do so by 2012, in one of several new goals announced in the company’s 2010 Sustainability Report.

AT&T has also announced 2011 goals to add at least 5 MW of renewable energy and make sure 100 percent of its corporate real estate managers have energy targets in their annual performance review scorecards, and will this year launch initiatives to reduce energy consumption equivalent to $40 million.

Specifically, the energy reduction commitments include:

  • Improving the power efficiency of data centers supporting AT&T’s internal business by 17 percent, even as hardware is increased by 20 percent
  • Saving three percent of energy used at AT&T Labs by eliminating and consolidating laboratory equipment
  • Continuing data center best practices to reduce energy use by 1.8 million kWh.

According to the report, AT&T reduced its electricity intensity by 16.6 percent from 2009 to 2010, beating its goal for a 15 percent reduction. The company used 415 kWh per terabyte of data carried on its network in 2010. In 2011, the AT&T aims to reduce this by another 17 percent.

Earlier this year the company announced that it found $44 million in annualized energy savings by implementing 4,200 energy efficiency projects at its facilities in 2010.

Solar energy production rose by 76 percent in 2010, from 1.6 million to 2.8 million kWh. Domestic greenhouse gas emissions were 8.925 million in 2010, down from 8.931 million in 2009.

In 2010 AT&T more than tripled the number of alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet, from 970 to 3,487, including 2,472 compressed natural gas (CNG), 1,013 hybrid and two electric vehicles. The company plans to spend up to $350 million to buy 8,000 CNG service vehicles by the end of 2013, and $215 million to replace more than 7,000 passenger cars with alternative fuel models through 2018. It also expects to buy more electric vehicles this year.

The company’s water footprint, estimated for the first time in 2010, was 3.48 billion gallons. AT&T says it worked closely with its bill payment and utility data quality control partners to analyze and improve the accuracy of its water utility data, and also worked with Vanderbilt University to identify the most appropriate water footprint protocol. The company decided that the Global Reporting Initiative water protocol was the method best suited to its uses.

AT&T said that last year, pounds of network scrap materials kept out of landfills fell, from 72.1 million to 56.9 million. But the 2010 figure represented 95 percent of all materials received at AT&T’s Investment Recovery Center, the report said.

Product take-back rose from 63,000 in 2009 to 96,000 in 2010, although the number of cell phones reused or recycled fell from 4.2 million to 3.7 million.

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