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Economy

AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative Aims For Emissions Reduction

Brendan Stephens

AT&T is taking a huge step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the launch of the Connected Climate Initiative.

This pledge is designed to help businesses reduce emissions by one billion metric tons (a gigaton) by 2035. That’s an amount equal to 15 percent of the current amount of United States’ emissions, and three percent of the world’s.

AT&T has already announced several notable initiative partnerships with companies including Duke Energy, Microsoft, SunPower, the University of Missouri, and Texas A&M University.

Photo Courtesy David Hinkle

The Connected Climate Initiative is designed to encourage businesses to shift IT application workloads to the cloud and use more renewable energy sources such as fuel cells. In many cases, the initiative ties in with a company’s carbon offset goals and its commitment to social responsibility. Moving applications to the cloud means businesses can potentially eliminate their own data centers, significantly reducing the fossil use and cost that comes with operating one.

At Duke Energy, the company is working with AT&T to explore how broadband networks can speed the transition to renewable energy sources. Duke Energy is committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, and AT&T is a vital part of that transition.

Colleges and universities are eager to work with AT&T. At their RELLIS campus, Texas A&M is researching how 5G technology might accelerate emissions reductions in the transportation sector, while the University of Missouri is looking at how 5G may significantly cut down on building emissions. In Indiana, the Purdue Research Foundation is studying how 5G might reduce emissions in specific industrial manufacturing scenarios. AT&T is providing funding for much of this work.

Photo Courtesy Robin Worrall

“Industry partners are critical to the success of the ‘lab to life’ innovation platform,” said Troy Hege, Vice President of Innovation and Technology at the Purdue Research Foundation. “We know the most impactful opportunities often come at the intersection of research and communities, and private partners can be tremendously helpful for understanding the user experience and how technology can be used to solve challenges in local communities.”

As corporations continue to set net-zero goals and search for carbon offsets, IT providers with climate control initiatives are becoming an essential part of doing business. AT&T is leading the trend toward a carbon-neutral future in the IT space and beyond.

“As businesses embrace climate change as a priority, our connectivity solutions can help them make progress to reach their goals,” said Anne Chow, CEO of AT&T Business. “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.”

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