Climate change is one of the world’s most pressing challenges. If you’ve heard about initiatives like our Climate Resiliency Community Challenge, you can see how AT&T is taking action on climate change. Nicole Anderson, AVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and President of the AT&T Foundation, supports environmental sustainability programs that can help our company and the environment in the long term.

As a graduate of our Leadership Development Program, Nicole learned quickly how to be flexible and jump into new challenges in order to grow as a leader.

“Through the Leadership Development Program, I knew I could gain insight about how corporations, like AT&T, use their scale and talent to tackle big problems,” Nicole said. “It was like a bootcamp that sets you up as an expert problem solver for complex challenges.”

The Leadership Development Program is a rotational program. Over the course of two and a half years participants “rotate” into new managerial roles. Often participants must manage teams in functional areas they know little-to-nothing about. For Nicole, in her final rotation, that meant managing repair technicians in California’s Bay Area– not exactly a role you’d prepare for in a college course.

“Working with the technicians taught me so much about frontline work, the ins-and-outs of how we stay connected and the incredible interaction we have with our customers. I learned to really listen and when there are a lot of unknowns, ask questions to get a lay of the land. The Leadership Development Program is always throwing challenges at you, but it also gives you resources and leaders who you can learn from.”

A Global Challenge

When Nicole first joined the Corporate Social Responsibility team, the focus was on small actions that employees could take to conserve energy.  Today, AT&T is taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change and setting public goals to help drive our progress.

For example, AT&T is reducing our own emissions while helping customers reduce theirs. That is the intent behind our 10x Carbon Reduction Goal to enable carbon savings to our customers 10X the footprint of our own operations by 2025. We also are identifying climate-related risks and working to build resilience for our business. To do that, AT&T worked with U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to develop a Climate Change Analysis Tool  that visualizes the impacts of climate change on our operations 30 years into the future.

We’re piloting our tool in the southeastern U.S., which has been among the regions hit hardest by recent hurricanes and other climate-related weather events. This will allow us to better prepare our network assets for flooding and high intensity winds during these extreme weather events that are fueled by climate change.

Building Community Resilience

climate changeAT&T believes that everyone should have access to the information they need to understand the risks of climate change to their own communities. That’s why we’re sharing with the public the same rich climate datasets that we are using in our risk analysis so that others can assess their vulnerabilities and build resilience to climate impacts.

To help accelerate the uptake of the climate datasets, AT&T launched the Climate Resiliency Community Challenge which aims to help universities and municipalities work together and be more climate resilient by using the data we have made available. Andrea Brands, who is on Nicole’s team and oversees the execution of the challenge, recognizes that universities are a great way to scale social impact.

“Universities have the knowledge, expertise and resources to work with their local governments and use this data,” noted Brands.  “We work together for the betterment of the community. You can think of it as open-source climate information.”

Change, Today

AT&T has made significant progress thus far in efforts to affect positive change by addressing climate change and other environmental challenges:

  • Our renewable energy purchases surpass 1.5 GW, making us one of the largest corporate purchasers in the country.
  • We realized $51.1 million in annual energy savings from more than 28,000 energy efficiency projects completed in 2018. We’ve reduced our energy intensity by 78% since 2013.
  • Through technology, we’ve enabled customer GHG reductions 2x the footprint of our operations, on our way to our 10X goal.
  • We achieved our 2020 goal to reduce Scope 1 GHG emissions 20% from a 2008 baseline—3 years ahead of schedule—reaching a 24.7% reduction by the end of 2018.
  • With a pledge to achieve zero waste*, teams in our Dallas HQ and 100 other offices helped reduce total waste by 50% since August 2018.

Each day, our employees are finding new and innovative ways to make a difference with our resources and technology and a growing group of our employees have signed up to be environment champions in their communities.  You can follow Nicole and her team on @ATTimpact or visit to learn more about how they are making an impact, and we invite you to join us in our mission to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment

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