There is often talk about how technology is a steppingstone to a cleaner economy. Nevertheless, computers, wireless devices, and communications systems all have an impact on global resources. For large companies, energy efficiency initiatives have involved far more than turning off the lights at the end of the workday or to shut off computer monitors when it’s time to hit the evening commute.
To that end AT&T announced last week that it saved US$44 million in energy savings thanks to 4200 energy efficiency projects launched in 2010. The savings originated in a comprehensive energy management training program, a sophisticated energy usage scorecard for the company’s 500 largest energy-consuming facilities, and participation in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program. Many of these programs started several years ago, and others will accelerate throughout the decade.
Some of AT&T’s energy saving initiatives included:
- The installation of desktop power management software on 169,000 computers, which saved the company $614,000.
- Upgrading its entire network, including the removal of switches at several central office sites, which slashed the network’s power consumption by 300,000 kilowatt hours.
- Eliminating incandescent bulbs and tower light controllers at 1100 cell sites, and replacing them with LED bulbs.
Those highlights complement AT&T’s accomplishments the previous year, when the company streamlined its data centers’ operations, saving 43.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity. AT&T had also started over 400 facility upgrades that saved another 36 million kilowatt hours in 2009.
More innovations, some new, others familiar, will proceed through 2011. AT&T continues to invest in alternative energy technologies, and plans to spend at least $US565 million to phase out 15,000 fossil-fuel consuming vehicles by 2018. Cellular recycling and waste diversion programs have improved, and the company’s customer service departments avoided over a million truck dispatches.
AT&T’s sustainability efforts have not gone unnoticed by the corporate social responsibility (CSR) peanut gallery. AT&T is on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s top 100 list, and ranked highly on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s scorecard, too.
To access AT&T’s recent CSR reports and explore its work in the world of sustainability, click here.