Technology Enables Efficiency

  • Many technologies have the power to reduce environmental impact.
  • M2M or IoT connectivity could avoid 9.1 gigatons of CO2-e by 2020.
  • AT&T is committed to continuing the sustainability conversation.

Intuitively, it makes sense that many of our products and services have the power to reduce environmental impact and save companies money at the same time. Research supports that intuition. According to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) SMARTer 2020 Report, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry eliminates seven times the emissions it creates.

More specific to our own products and services, an AT&T-sponsored study by CDP and Verdantix found that by 2020, U.S. businesses with revenues of more than $1 billion can collectively achieve financial benefits of almost $15 billion and cut nearly 4.6 million metric tons of C02 by substituting Telepresence® for some business travel. We’re seeing those results in our own experience. Since 2010, AT&T has saved $54.5 million and avoided 35,400 metric tons of C02 by replacing some travel with Telepresence, as we reported in our 2013 Annual Sustainability Update.

Technology Enables Efficiency_WIDE

An even greater savings potential comes from Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. We sponsored research by the Carbon War Room that suggested this technology could be worth $1 trillion and could avoid 9.1 gigatons of CO2-e by 2020, which is equivalent to almost 19 percent of the world’s 2011 total emissions. What potential! We’re doing our part to move this from concept to reality.

view 2013 annual update

We’re also working with thought leaders in the industry to identify the greatest potential savings and turn that into value for our customers. A recent conversation with David Metcalfe, CEO of Verdantix, confirmed what we’ve been feeling when he said, “We’re seeing clear signs that technology companies are working with their customers to evaluate and implement technologies that can help drive efficiencies into their business, saving money and reducing environmental impacts.”

So how do we transform this potential into real financial and environmental savings? We’re working to answer this question, and we have committed to make it a focus for 2014 and beyond. Our specific goal is to better identify the environmental impact and savings these technologies could potentially generate by talking with consumers and business customers. This goal, along with a host of others, is a part of our 2013 Annual Sustainability Update. Throughout the year, our People | Planet | Possibilities website will provide the most current updates on our progress. We look forward to continuing a conversation on this topic.

John Schulz Sustainability Operations Director AT&T About John