AT&T targets a gigaton of emissions reduction by 2035 with new climate initiative

The telecommunications giant will work with Microsoft, Equinix, the University of Missouri and other research universities and organisations to deliver broadband-enabled climate solutions at a global scale

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US telecommunications giant AT&T has announced plans to help businesses collectively reduce one billion metric tons, or a gigaton, of greenhouse gas emissions between 2018 and 2035 through a new climate initiative.

A gigaton is equivalent to around 15% of US greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 3% of global energy-related emissions in 2020 or 1.6 billion flights from Los Angeles to New York.

The AT&T Connected Climate Initiative will convene the “brightest minds” from leading technology companies, business customers, universities and non-profits to identify best practices, develop innovative new products and scale the innovations of start-up partners building 5G and other broadband-enabled climate solutions.

Microsoft is one of the key collaborators, which is working with AT&T in areas like 5G, AI, IoT and the cloud to further enhance the development of products such as the Guardian device with Azure Sphere, which enables businesses to collect and analyse data to identify efficiencies and reduce sources of carbon emissions.

Equinix is also working with the telecommunications company to provide highly secure access to energy efficient digital infrastructure, Duke Energy will work towards exploring how broadband technologies could help both companies accelerate the transition to renewable energy and the University of Missouri will explore how AT&T 5G could help reduce energy consumption and emissions from buildings.

Additional collaborators include the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, SunPower, Badger Meter, IndustLabs, Traxen, Third Derivative and the Carbon Trust.

Between 2018 and 2020, AT&T worked with the Carbon Trust and a selection of business customers to calculate the reduction of emissions enabled by its connectivity.

The result was more than 72 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent reductions through the enablement of smart IoT and edge-computing technologies for the manufacturing, agriculture and commercial sectors.

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

“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.”