AT&T on Tuesday announced that it's working with Equinix, Microsoft, and a number of other partners to help customers collectively reduce a gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035. A gigaton of emissions, or 1 billion metric tons, is equivalent to approximately 15% of US greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.
The new effort, called the Connected Climate Initiative, will help organizations measure and reduce their energy consumption via best practices and new products and use cases. It will also support startups building 5G and broadband-enabled climate products. In addition to other vendors, the effort will include AT&T Business customers, universities and nonprofits.
The initiative should serve the growing number of enterprises that are prioritizing sustainability measures for a number of different reasons. Companies are facing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint from employees, investors, customers and regulators.
"The pressure on organizations to meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is more widespread than most finance leaders might realize — 85% of investors considered ESG factors in their investments in 2020," according to Gartner.
According to research from Forrester, 55% of Fortune Global 200 companies have already established targets for the partial or total elimination of GHG emissions.
"As businesses embrace climate change as a priority, our connectivity solutions can help them make progress to reach their goals," AT&T Business CEO Anne Chow said in a statement. "AT&T has a track record of delivering sustainability results within our own large-scale operations and for our business customers across industries. The time is now to expand our impact by developing and deploying more capabilities and solutions that enable companies to reduce their environmental footprint. This is a collective imperative across all business that also benefits the planet and society as a whole."
AT&T is setting its goal to reduce GHGs by a gigaton after working with the Carbon Trust to calculate how much its connectivity services help reduce emissions. The company says that between 2018 and 2020, it helped reduce more than 72 million metric tons of CO2e through the enablement of smart IoT and edge-computing technologies for the manufacturing, agriculture and commercial sectors.
In addition to Equinix and Microsoft, AT&T's partners in the effort include Duke Energy, SunPower, Badger Meter, IndustLabs, Traxen, BSR, RMI, Third Derivative and the Carbon Trust. Academic institutions, including Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri, will explore how AT&T 5G may help reduce energy consumption and emissions.
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