AT&T’s Climate Leadership on Display at Climate Week NYC 2019

AT&T’s leadership to help address climate change was on display at Climate Week NYC 2019, as we joined with business and government leaders from around the globe to discuss and advance collective climate action. As part of Climate Week, we announced that our renewable energy purchases will surpass 1.5 gigawatts of clean energy as a result of new Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs) with Invenergy and Duke Energy Renewables.  These new agreements helped solidify AT&T’s position as one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the U.S. The total expected annual electricity produced by our renewable energy purchases is also enough to power the entire city of New York for about one month.[i]

What is Climate Week 2019?

Climate Week NYC is an annual conference organized by The Climate Group, an international non-profit focused on accelerating climate action. The event brings together businesses, governments, academic institutions, arts organizations, individuals and non-profit organizations to brainstorm ideas, actions, and general best practices to mitigate climate change and advance global climate goals.[1] The event is an important gathering for industry leaders to commit to celebrate collective action on climate change.  We were honored to join many corporate leaders in supporting these important conversations.

What did we do?

At AT&T, we believe in the power of technology to help create a better, more sustainable world. Acting as a good corporate citizen often means leading by example. Our announcement at Climate Week 2019 has helped us solidify our place as one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the United Sates.[2] Our newest renewable energy purchases will support wind and solar projects, developed by Invenergy, delivering 800 megawatts of sustainable energy, as well as 160 megawatts of wind energy generated by the Frontier Windpower II project, developed by Duke Energy Renewables.[3] Additionally, AT&T-backed renewable energy projects will help create hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of permanent, clean energy careers. [4] We are also investing in the people who bring clean power to the grid. AT&T is providing scholarships for students seeking careers as wind turbine technicians through contributions to organizations including Texas State Technical College (TSTC) and Canadian Valley Technology Center (CV-Tech).

Why did we do it?

Our approach to environmental sustainability is based on the core belief that our success depends on the overall health and strength of our communities. After all, we all share the same planet. Renewable energy is one key solution to advancing global climate goals. As the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear, the shift to renewable energy sources will need to accelerate[5]. To be precise, IPCC indicates that renewables will need to make up 70 to 85 percent of electricity generation by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change[6]. At AT&T, we’re proud to play a role in helping to speed up and scale the renewable energy sector.

What else are we working on?

At AT&T, we value creating a sustainable environment where global communities can prosper and thrive. In 2015, we set our 10x Carbon Reduction Goal to enable greenhouse gas savings 10x the footprint of our operations by 2025. In addition to company-wide efforts, we are deploying new technologies that will help our customers reduce their carbon footprints. We are working on desk-based video conferencing tools, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and Smart City projects that will help increase energy efficiency and power cleaner transit options. [7]

We have also pledged[8] to help advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are designed to reduce poverty, protect our planet, and ensure prosperity for all. AT&T has a long- standing history of using the power of technology to make communities stronger. We are positioned to use our unique resources and insights to support people and the planet in our journey toward sustainability, and to advance other efforts that align with many of the Sustainable Development Goals.[9]

In addition to our work to help mitigate climate change, AT&T is also taking steps to adapt to the changing climate. Earlier this year, we engaged the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory on a Climate Resiliency Project and became the first in our industry to develop a Climate Change Analysis Tool. Our tool uses the best available data and science to visualize the impacts of climate change on our business operations – at the neighborhood level – 30 years into the future. We’re using our tool to make better, climate informed decisions for the future. Decisions like: where to place and how to best protect the infrastructure that will power 5G. And, we’re sharing the same datasets we are using with the public, so others can assess their vulnerability and build resilience.

What are our future goals and commitments?

At AT&T, we believe that communications technology and entertainment can inspire people to imagine, innovate transformative solutions, share their views and positively impact the world. When it comes to tackling social, economic and environmental issues, we recognize the importance of AT&T’s role in addressing the challenges of tomorrow. Our objective is clear: to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.

We’re always moving forward, which means exploring additional ways to drive action on climate change and improve the lives of those we share the planet with. As a technology company, innovating to create a better world is something we truly believe in. We are eager to continuously look at opportunities to grow our renewable energy purchases, collaborate with experts in the field that will challenge us to learn and improve, and to foster healthy global communities wherever we go. Our customers are counting on us to be a good corporate citizen, and we have no intention of letting them down.

[1] https://www.climateweeknyc.org/climate-week-nyc-2019

[2] https://businessrenewables.org/corporate-transactions/

[3] AT&T Climate Week NYC 2019 FAQ

[4] AT&T Climate Week NYC 2019 FAQ

[5] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Special Report. Global Warming of 1.5°C. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

[6] Greentech Media. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/ipcc-renewables-85-electricity-worst-impacts-climate-change#gs.opmdjk

[7] AT&T Climate Week NYC 2019 FAQ

[8] https://about.att.com/csr/home/blog/2016/08/at_t_supports_theun.html

[9] https://about.att.com/csr/home/reporting/sustainable-development-goals.html

[i] Based on estimates from “2018 Power Trends” by The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

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