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Sprint heightens climate commitment

Updated strategy includes pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2017 and to help customers identify their own carbon-reduction opportunities.
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Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on
The Transform is one in a line of handsets that Sprint has vetted for green-tech credentials.

Telecommunications company Sprint has updated its commitment to managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not just for its own operations but for those of its suppliers and, ultimately, its customers.

The pledge came during Sprint CEO Dan Hesse's keynote address at the CTIA wireless industry conference, and the company is pulling the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) into the fold as a partner in aiding its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction efforts.

"Our admission into the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program illustrates Sprint's commitment to making a difference by reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Hesse said. "Joining the Climate Savers program is an important part of our ongoing climate protection efforts. My hope is that our commitment encourages other companies to follow."

Sprint is aiming for an absolute GHG emissions reduction of 20 percent by 2017; part of this plan will be facilitated by the company's Network Vision program, in which it will focus on upgrading its wireless network to be more energy efficient.

Sprint is also actively exploring renewable energy alternatives. For example, wind power contributes approximately 93 percent of the electricity that is needed to keep the company's headquarters in Overland, Kansas, up and running.

Realistically, this isn't really a whole brand-new strategy, Sprint has been pretty vigilant about managing its impact for some time, as I have covered extensively. The subtle twist in this announcement is that the company is now focusing on "identifying opportunities for Sprint to help other companies reduce their emissions, particularly through our machine-to-machine partnerships." Hmmmm. I foresee a future in which Sprint's business-to-business sales team talks up the perceived energy efficiencies in its network in order ot help other companies talk about what they are doing to help the environment.

According to Hesse, Sprint is the only U.S. company that has committed to a complete end-to-end strategy to address GHG emissions. The only other telecommunications company that has made such a deep commitment is KPN from Holland, the company said.

It should be interesting to see how Sprint delivers on these heightened pledges as it takes on an LTE network rollout AND the Apple iPhone 4S. As the company's wireless traffic grows, it will definitely put a strain on its climate-saving intentions.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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