New Year’s Sustainability Revolution

As we sat down to enjoy our New Year’s Eve tradition of sparkling cider, my 7-year-old proudly announced that she had a New Year’s “revolution.”   I honestly can’t remember what her “revolution” was because my mind immediately went to thinking about how much of an upgrade “revolution” was over “resolution”—especially this year.   For a lot of businesses, families, and individuals, 2010 was a tough year.   There are more than a few among us who need or would welcome a positive revolution to start 2011.

I was in that mindset and pondering deep thoughts about my work in sustainability here at AT&T the first few weeks of the New Year. My mind went back to hearing my daughter’s sweet voice as she proudly announced her New Year’s “revolution.”   And it occurred to me that in many ways, technology is the New Year’s “revolution” for sustainability—not just any technology, but the coming together of information and communications technology, specifically.

The landscape is changing – things (devices, machines, etc.) are communicating in ways that exchange information like never before – like the new GlowCap pill bottles, designed to help people remember to take their medication. Whenever a patient opens the bottle, information is communicated to his or her physician via wireless technology. Or AT&T’s January 2011 announcement that it will provide connectivity services to enhance safety and information exchange in future BMW automobiles through the car company’s BMW Assist service.

More than 100 years ago, the amazing thing about the telephone was that people could talk to each other without being in the same place.   The amazing thing about communications today is that machines can talk to machines and create efficiencies like we’ve never seen before. The result is a sustainability revolution empowered by information and communication technology. We’re giving people the solutions they want and that allow them more flexibility, more freedom, more choices—all while using fewer resources.

Beth Shiroishi Citizenship & Sustainability AVP AT&T About Beth