Tuesday, 26 June 2012

AT&T sustainability report – carbon footprint up 1.6% but energy intensity down 17%

AT&T V2US communications company AT&T has released its online, interactive 2011 Sustainability Report. The company’s carbon footprint is up 1.6% to 9,144,648 metric tons CO2e, but energy intensity of data carried was down 17% to 344 kWh/Terabyte.

Low-carbon progress included:

  • Solar energy production up 12% to 3183 kWh a year.

  • Implementation of 4,500 energy-saving projects that resulted in $42m in annualised energy savings.

  • Reaching deployment of 3,469 alternative-fuel vehicles saving 2.5 million gallons of unleaded gasoline every year.

  • Logging more than 2.9 million Telepresence minutes, saving almost $13.9m in travel dollars and more than 8,261 metric tons of CO2 emissions.


There’s a lot of sustainability information in this ‘report’, but mostly hard to find.

AT&T says the interactive format ‘empowers consumers to engage, share, and at the same time, generate a donation to a community-improving non-profit of their choice’. So it comes over as more of a PR exercise than an informative description of AT&T’s sustainability plans and progress – some of the information would be better put somewhere else. (Even as a PR exercise it seems to fall short, since, based on my experience, those using Firefox will be unable to access most of the content).

All the hard information is in the ‘Data Library’ and even then sliced up to make it more difficult to equate achievements, targets and background. Suffice to say that one company goal is to reduce electricity consumption relative to data growth by 60% by 2014 (based on 2008 levels). If I read the data correctly they’re almost there already, but overall emissions are going up.

© The Green IT Review

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