Let’s be honest. Annual reports don’t always make for the most entertaining reads, but I am genuinely excited about some of the stories in the AT&T 2014 Annual Report. Why? Because they demonstrate a dramatic shift in technology that is delivering real social and environmental benefits today and holds great promise for a more sustainable future. For example:

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted.
  • Water is near and dear to my heart having worked with Environmental Defense Fund to reduce our water footprint and to help other companies do the same. That said, watching the video about how HydroPoint helped The Phoenician Resort reduce its water usage by 50 percent has me thinking about all the water that could be saved when these types of solutions are adopted more broadly.
  • From cars to ovens, we are seeing more machines and devices get smarter. For example, the Emerson commercial oven can receive software updates remotely in near real time – saving time, money and energy.
  • AT&T has connected 3 million cars to provide an enhanced in-car experience. We’re also working with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America to identify opportunities to expand our delivery of social and environmental benefits.
  • While we don’t yet have “smart food,” we are working to reduce food waste. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. Think about all the water, energy and emissions associated with that food. Perhaps that is why I am most excited about the potential impact of an incredibly innovative device called Cargo View, which has real potential to cut down on that waste.
  • Finally, there is the subject of advancing education. There is much to talk about here, from the innovative Nanodegree program to the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, which are looking for new ways to bring technology to students no matter where they are learning – at home, school, work or anywhere else.

Last year was a great year for seeing how technology and connected devices can make a positive impact on sustainability and the world around us. These are just the first few chapters of what will clearly be an even bigger story about how these efforts can bring about real social and environmental benefits. I can’t wait.

About the Author

Tim Fleming

Director of Sustainability Operations

Fleming

Tim Fleming is a Director of Sustainability Operations at AT&T, focused on embedding sustainability into AT&T’s operations, products and services while positioning Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as an important sustainability solution.

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