AT&T has formed a Business Sustainability Advisory Council aimed at helping the world’s businesses quantify the impact of ICT-enabled solutions for greenhouse gas reductions. The council has already signed up the Carbon Disclosure Project, Cisco Systems, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the University of Colorado Denver, and the University of Texas at Austin as members and expects to attract more organisations going forward.
The council will work to further the cause of measurement, methodologies and technology use cases to help business customers on their sustainability initiatives, AT&T said. “By arming companies with this information, the council aims to help businesses make smarter sustainability choices and investments and better prepare for potential environmental regulation.”
“In forming this council, we’ve taken an important step in helping companies realize the benefit of responsible action that, in parallel, can have compelling business benefits,” said Ron Spears, President and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Business Solutions. “AT&T is looking forward to working with the council as it helps us develop measurement methodologies to communicate the environmental benefits of ICT products and services to customers.”
“The ICT sector has a huge role to play in helping companies measure and reduce their carbon emissions. We believe AT&T’s Business Sustainability Advisory Council is the right step at the right time with its focus on helping businesses understand the significant role communications technologies can have in reducing greenhouse gases while also demonstrating opportunities for reducing costs,” said Paul Dickinson, CEO, Carbon Disclosure Project.
Members of the AT&T Business Sustainability Advisory Council will work together to further study, build upon, and validate the findings of the SMART 2020 report developed by The Climate Group and the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI), which identified ICT-enabled solutions with the potential to reduce CO2e emissions by up to 15 percent worldwide annually by 2020.
In announcing the formation of the Advisory Council, AT&T also released a white paper that builds on the GeSI report. Called Networking for Sustainability: the Network Offset Effect, the white paper describes the positive sustainability value creation that can occur when companies migrate their business activities/operations onto a network and reduce their dependence on hardware and other systems that are potential sources of CO2e emissions.
The forming of the Advisory Council follows several major sustainability initiatives at AT&T, including the May appointment of Charlene Lake as its first Chief Sustainability Officer, the recent naming of John Schinter as its first director of energy, and the formation of an Energy Council with key executives across its business units who will be responsible for advancing its energy strategy.
Earlier this month, AT&T joined the US Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now LEADER initiative, and pledged to reduce its energy intensity by 25% or more during the next 10 years. AT&T also pledged to reduce its energy intensive – relative to data growth on the AT&T network – by 15% this year, compared to 2008.