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Sprint Cuts Absolute Emissions 3.5% vs. 2010

Sprint Nextel has announced its 2011 GHG emissions metrics, which put the company halfway to its absolute reduction goal of 20 percent by 2017, compared to 2007 levels.

According to Sprint, it’s the first and only US telecom company to publicly announced an absolute GHG emissions reduction goal.

Sprint says its 2011 numbers show an absolute emissions reduction of 3.5 percent versus 2010. The company also for the first time released its emissions intensity metrics (the ratio of emissions compared to the amount of data transmitted) and found a year-over-year reduction of 31 percent.

The company says that, at an overall reduction of 60 percent since 2007, it has nearly reached its emissions intensity reduction goal of 75 percent.

Sprint will release the full emissions scorecard next month. It says consolidating existing network technologies and introducing more efficient network equipment helped the company reduce its demand for electricity — at 83.5 percent of GHG emissions, electricity use at network sites is Sprint’s largest emissions driver.

Sprint says it achieved additional reductions through fleet improvements, such as replacing six-cylinder vehicles with four-cylinder SmartWay-certified vehicles, and operations improvements, such as installing air conditioner zone controls, proximity lighting, and variable frequency drives at data center sites. The company also provided energy-efficiency training to facility managers and increased its investment in clean energy.

In addition to setting these emissions-reduction goals in 2007, Sprint pledged to increase its use of renewable energy to 10 percent. As part of its membership in the World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Program, Sprint has agreed to work with suppliers to measure, report and reduce supplier emissions; find opportunities to reduce emissions associated with mobile phone charging; and develop and promote communications solutions that help others reduce their own emissions.

A study published earlier this month by Verdantix named Sprint as the top US wireless provider for corporate sustainability performance.

The company, which in June announced its shift to “ecoEnvelopes,” says using the two-in-one reusable envelopes for customer bills and payments will save the equivalent of 447 tons of paper in about a year, and prevent 2,692,185 pounds of CO2e.

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